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Filling generic growlers

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by ModernTimesJacob, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    I like you, Sebowski. You don't really understand what's going on, or have long-range vision, but you're opinionated. It's hard not to respect that.
  2. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Shit, every bruery growler fill or Ladyface fill I have ever had simply had an abbreviated initials of the beer in there.

    No ABV. Not even the god damn full spelling of the name.
  3. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    And it will get their attention AFTER they've been fined/dinged/whatever by the ABC. And if they have to submit growler fill labels to the ABC, they'll lose out on growler fill revenue in the meantime or run the risk of getting fined again and again and again.

    I guess the fact that you've been more proactive than me is why you seem to be taking the flack for acting on my suggestion. But there definitely seems to be some possibility for forcing breweries hands in the matter by not only costing them fines, but loss of revenue from growler fills as well. Factoring in the number of nano's in SoCal that don't bottle at all (and so aren't submitting any sort of label for ABC approval) this could potentially force a number of otherwise ambivalent breweries to take a more active roll in the dialogue.

    I don't plan on actually doing anything yet, personally, as beauracracy sucks and isn't known for its efficiency. But, "hypothetically", its nice to know that there's a course of action that consumers can take to force suppliers hands.
  4. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Final bit of full disclosure before removing myself from this thread, I'm a bit notorious for cutting off my nose in order to spite my face, fwiw.
  5. besaunders

    besaunders Nov 8, 2007 California

    If somebody pulls this shit with Alpine, Pat is going to get pissed and there will be *no* more growler fills at Alpine, ever. Except of Willy Vanilly.
    Xul, UnknownKoger and nanobrew like this.
  6. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    lol, why the fuck does he even make that
    pmarlowe likes this.
  7. nanobrew

    nanobrew Dec 31, 2008 California

    "oh honey, it looks like you are out of Willy Vanilly! I will go fill it up for you... along with my 8 other growlers with Duet, PH, Bad Boy, nelson, hoppy birthday."
  8. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    *yawn* Good morning BA'ers....wait...wut?

    Jesus barrel-aged Christ, they call me a giant asshole and I would never do something like this.

    You realize if a vice agent sees this happen, they can shut the brewery down? So instead of talking to the brewery you've gone full North Korea Kim Jong Sux Nuclear and are threatening their business. Over the fact you're not happy with the fact they don't have individual labels? The breweries are still adjusting and weighing options, it can take a long time to get label approval, but you know, best not to ask your favorite breweries what they're doing, better just just fuck'em over.
    rob133, Xul, SageO and 2 others like this.
  9. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    Except it's not just that...if the ABC dings their license a point for a violation that a few dickheads complained about, this can completely fuck them over if they want to expand/amend the footprint of the brewery or hours of operation as well.

    Your idea is poorly thought out and is going to do more potential harm than good just because you what a blank/other growler filled. Look, I'd love to have my expensive SS growlers filled everywhere, but I'm not going to throw my favorite breweries under the bus and potentially harm their business. That's incredibly short sighted and I hope you and MikeTen get banned from the breweries you're trying to dick over.
  10. CAbeerCAbeerCA

    CAbeerCAbeerCA Mar 3, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I really hope the misuse of the saying was intentional because it makes the saying funnier.
  11. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    So you're only the kind of asshole that runs around being an incoherent dick on the internet, but push won't come to shove? Useless.

    Where is your citation that they can completely shut a brewery down?

    Moreover, what makes you think that breweries, who for years have been claiming they are afraid of violating the law, don't know what it actually says? Bottle labels have to be approved, keg labels have to be approved... They were cutting corners with growlers and they knew it.

    30 days isn't a long time.

    The current excuse against universal growlers is that it is expensive and time-consuming to make sticker-type labels. Well, most of them need such a label anyway, because they're not in compliance with the law. Force them to comply and guess what - a universal solution comes as part of the package.

    The law sucks, but it's a good crowbar to nudge these guys in the right direction.
  12. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    Are we dicking them over or do you just not understand what's going on? These breweries need the growler business as much as we want it. You're only thinking about your immediate, short-term thirst right now. It's a very primal instinct but past the caveman era, people developed more long-range strategy.
  13. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Whoops. Gotcha. Normally, just saying "this is stupid" makes sense on many levels, but it won't get too far as a formal challenge to an administrative regulation probably. . . then again, I dunno, such a requirement (growler labeling) does seem "arbitrary and capricious" (buzzword claims when challenging such a thing) but when an administrative agency can fall back on "won't someone think of the children" as a 'rational' basis for say, requiring the ABV etc. . . and prior submission, its unlikely a judge wouldn't be deferential to the ABC under this scenario I guess.

    Yeah, you're just kind of an internet antagonist, like a pro wrestler's schtick or angle. This guy is actually saying he is going to be a tattle tail in real life! Lame. Beer snitches get stitches or end up in ditches or whatnot.
    jtmartino and Brewzer1010 like this.
  14. skawars1

    skawars1 Feb 28, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Seeing as I am moving to the Bay Area in the next few weeks this is great news. I just had to get rid of 10+ FFF growlers. They will not refill any growlers. Do a search and you can see many whiny threads about it. There have been multiple times that I have passes on getting a growler due to their policy. State laws have nothing to do with it. I still have all my swingtops for homebrew and refills, but don't need to buy a new one every time I get a growler.

    The whole cost of a growler argument is pretty lame to me. Most states in the midwest allow refills. The brewery charges one cost for a 32/64oz refill with glass and one without. Usually it's like a $3-15 difference. More than enough to cover the cost of the glass and make a few bucks. If you order screen printed growlers in bulk they are pretty cheap. Screw caps can be had for like $2-3 each. Swingtops are obviously more.
  15. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    I suppose the best thing to do is sit back and do nothing and hope breweries drive the change on their own... the way they did for the past 10 (?) years that this statute was an issue for them. I particularly admire the way that breweries even went to clarify what the statute said. Oh wait! They didn't.

    They aren't on your side.

    EDIT: I can see why people might be upset if the breweries are blindsided. So, to keep this sporting and still light a fire under their asses, I will e-mail the breweries the statute and let them know that they are not in compliance and that I've let the ABC know. So we have:

    1) The ABC knows they're not in compliance.
    2) The brewery knows they're not in compliance (pretty sure most already knew this).
    3) The brewery knows the ABC knows, and is coming.

    Now they have the information to make a decision, no nasty surprises. And the clock is ticking until the ABC visit. Will they give up the lucrative growler fill business, or will they - gasp - do something consumer-friendly?
    3rdto1st likes this.
  16. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Mar 23, 2008 California

    I disagreed with your tactic till i considered that angle.

    I'm done buying growlers from breweries until this gets fixed anyhow, so screw 'em.
    MikeTen and pmarlowe like this.
  17. vurt

    vurt Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Side note: I remember Craftsman talking about bottling their beers back in 1997 or '98. It would be great if they did this, but I've given up on waiting for that to happen.
  18. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    I'm cool with that. If you have a problem, go to the source rather than behind their back.
    MikeTen likes this.
  19. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    Are you swinging your internet balls around here? My whole point is after the ABC clarified the law the breweries could make changes. I don't expect the changes to happen on a dime for several reasons:

    1) They need to look at their business plan
    2) They have to design new labels and submit for approval, most breweries are small operations
    3) They may have be designing/submitting/waiting for approval...we don't know
    4) But to squeal to the ABC like a douchebag when you don't know where in the process a specific brewery is in the above 3 points is an entirely dickhead move.

    I took the LEEDS training within the last 6 months and the ABC can shut down a brewery by suspending their license if they feel a violaltion warrants it. Much like the City of San Diego shut down all brewery tasting rooms over a 'violation'...however the City doesn't have jurisdiction over tasting rooms, the state does. Either way, breweries operate at the mercy of government so the ABC can do whatever they want.

    So you have to be asshole who starts ratting breweries out? What does this accomplish?

    Incorrect, a universal solution may not be part of the package. A brewery can choose to fill only their own growlers if they so wish, they'll just add the appropriate tags. Your ratting to the ABC as a cudgel is shortsighted when you have absolutely no idea what any brewery is currently doing. Further, it's risking their license.

    And exactly what is that direction?

    I fully understand what's going on. As I said above you're "Gotta have it RIGHT NOW" attitude is absolutely stupid. Change takes a time and government moves slowly... You're causing more problems than you think you're solving.[/quote]
  20. jasonmason

    jasonmason Oct 6, 2004 California

    So essentially: you want your growlers filled, you want it done now, and you are willing to send the ABC to close breweries down (or at least cite them) in order to get this?

    Yeah, that seems rational.

    Clarification on the process makes sense; taking it into your own hands has the potential to make this a much bigger problem. Though it's probably going to be really effective at getting yourself blackballed at whichever breweries you did this to.
    MacNCheese likes this.
  21. jamex

    jamex Feb 13, 2010 California

    Interesting enough, when I was getting my HB growlers filled, two people had fills of Milli Vanilli, er I mean Willy Vanilli.
  22. besaunders

    besaunders Nov 8, 2007 California

    Maybe it is just me, but I am very skeptical of MikeTen's claims that he will start reporting breweries. He's suckering people in.
  23. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    Thank you. You get it. MikeTen does not.
  24. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Except that customers weren't fine with it before which is obvious by the amount of traffic and discussion this thread's generating. I stopped buying new growlers a couple of years ago because I simply don't have the space to store them. That's the reality for me and I'm assuming for most other people. There have been countless times when I've visited a brewery while traveling in Cali or even locally and have passed on a growler fill due to my space constraints. I get that shit takes time and I'm willing to wait for a proper solution but all this resistance to change (which will benefit breweries in the long run) is puzzling to me.
  25. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    Who's resisting?
  26. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Skuter likes this.
  27. 3rdto1st

    3rdto1st Dec 1, 2011 California

    The language (point no. 2 in what the ABC rep said) also seems to point out that slapping their regular bottle labels on unmarked growlers is fine with the ABC, so no need for new approvals.
  28. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    I read that as 'proceding with caution' to make sure they're not caught doing something wrong. Takes time to work through something like this.

    Idiots writing formal complains to the ABC (who is required by law to investigate) isn't helping anything. Even if they do get their growler labels/methods upto code this does not mean they'll fill anyone else's growlers. You're just causing headaches for the brewer's who's beer we enjoy.
  29. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    Well...bottle labels almost always (law?) have volume size 12oz/22oz/750ml on them, so that'd be a violation as growler sizes vary from 1L, 2L, 64/66oz. And the crux isn't a blank growler...it's filling growlers from other breweries with a label. A 12 oz bottle label may not obscure the pre-printed glass label.

    1) consumer obscures it with tape
    2) consumer removes all labeling from a commercial growler to create a generic
  30. DrtyBvrJuce

    DrtyBvrJuce Jan 17, 2013 California

    [qhate=rilledsquid, post: 1049075, member: 348055"]Except that customers weren't fine with it before which is obvious by the amount of traffic and discussion this thread's generating. I stopped buying new growlers a couple of years ago because I simply don't have the space to store them. That's the reality for me and I'm assuming for most other people. There have been countless times when I've visited a brewery while traveling in Cali or even locally and have passed on a growler fill due to my space constraints. I get that shit takes time and I'm willing to wait for a proper solution but all this resistance to change (which will benefit breweries in the long run) is puzzling to me.[/quote]
    I wouldnt go that far. I don't like obeying the speed limit but you do anyway.
  31. 3rdto1st

    3rdto1st Dec 1, 2011 California

    Are you sure you're from california?
    rrryanc and RedBeeron like this.
  32. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    The solutions aren't complex so I don't understand the need to express some of the concerns that have been stated. I understand getting label approval takes time so that's a legitimate excuse for asking us to be patient. Telling us they're hesitant to implement a more relaxed growler solution because they're afraid we're going to bring in dirty growlers is funny to say the least--dirty growlers are dirty growlers regardless if they're branded or blank. Furthermore telling us it takes time to design a fill-in label is trivial at best (having been a graphic designer for 15 years, i can make that assertion with confidence).
  33. PlinyTheYoungest

    PlinyTheYoungest Jun 30, 2009 California

    Wait, we're still talking about filling other breweries growlers? I thought it was made clear earlier in the thread that we would be ok with having to fill blank or otherwise covered up growlers as specified by individual brewery policies.
  34. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Dec 10, 2011 California

    The issue is the breweries don't have a policy at the moment the law was clarified and it sent some BA's into masive butthurt entitled overdrive.

    At the moment we're waiting to hear what various breweries policies will be. But this isn't happening fast enough for some.
    jasonmason likes this.
  35. errantnight

    errantnight Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I understand your frustration, but I think you could have effected a lot more positive change and gotten a lot more brewers, BAs, and consumers on your side by beginning with advocating and educating breweries you frequent and seeing what their response is.

    Just as we have BAs rushing off to fill their Stone growlers at The Bruery and being all butthurt because the situation hasn't been solved, yet, and not understanding why the need to wait, a good portion of breweries may have been acting on incomplete information: they knew filling other breweries' growlers was a good way to attract the ABC and get their licenses shut down, but no one gave a god damn if they skimped on, say, writing down ABVs. That's not consumer unfriendly, that's more: these rules and regulations are bullshit and we're abiding by the thinnest interpretation of them and serving our customers.

    But you've decided in advance that all breweries who may be failing to uphold the exact letter of the law (that, by the way, you may not be interpreting entirely correctly or completely) have secretly had it out for their customers this whole time, and are attempting to win them over by encouraging punitive action.

    And somehow you've decided that not only do you have the moral imperative here, but that there's only two possible outcomes and both of them are good: breweries all start selling their beer in all growlers or they stop selling growlers. One of those is a terrible outcome for the consumer you claim to be advocating for, and the other is almost certainly unlikely (in that under the existing laws it's almost certainly too much work for all breweries to be able to fill all other breweries' growlers).

    The better long term solution is to advocate for changing the law. The better near term solution is to encourage breweries to see the opportunity (sell more beer to people who wish to buy it) at the expense of only a moderate amount of logistical bullshit. But give them time and encouragement to do so before bringing the ABC into it, which has only the certainty that more people on both sides of the issue will end up pissed off and make poor decisions that punish everyone (by making beer less available, instead of more).
  36. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Apr 5, 2006 California

    If this is true I think you deserve the award for BA Dickhead of the Decade Award. And that says a lot.

    If any BA comment has ever been worthy of a ban from bars or breweries, it is this one. (certainly not a metaphorical slap)
    Sebowski, rob133, Xpotential and 2 others like this.
  37. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    Great list. You just posted how a brewery is like any other business: shit doesn't happen immediately. Very profound.

    I don't expect the changes to happen because it's not in the breweries' interests to do it. That's why there was never any momentum before, no desire to clarify the statute, no people taking up Bruery's quest for a universal growler. They don't want it.

    So you apparently want a reasonable growler standard, but you're not willing to push the breweries, you aren't willing to talk to the ABC, and you're actively impeding / mocking the people who are willing to do both. Instead, you'll leave it in the hands of the same entities who have worked against universal growlers in the past. I hope the next words you post are "baaa-aaaa-aaa."

    Someone's mad!

    I never said anything about having it right now. That's what you morons came up with. Instead, I'm lighting a fire under the feet of breweries who have been saying, for years, "Well, we're just following the law." No - you're not, and you never were. Perhaps by punching them in the pocketbook, I can incentivize them to start working on their growler-side business - which can bring a universal solution along with law compliance.

    Leave them to their own devices, and we'll get no change. Take away some revenue, and we will.

    No licenses will be lost. They know the ABC is coming.

    No. This is where I stopped reading. You don't get it.

    You don't get it either.

    rrryanc likes this.
  38. MikeTen

    MikeTen Apr 3, 2009 California

    That's correct.

    Not quite. A temporary cessation of growler sales is all it will take. If a brewery has submitted a label to the ABC and is waiting for approval, and it knows it is coming to inspect them or whatever, they have to cease growler sales until the approval comes in. That's a lot of money lost. The breweries are going to see their bottom line and think, "Damn, that's a lot of money." When they think about how much money THAT is, they will think about how much more money they could make by submitting labels to stick over other breweries' growlers... And suddenly they'll think forward.

    They weren't thinking forward before, and they're not going to do it until they think about money. No business does.

    Agree 100% with your first part, but they've had plenty of time. It took someone else to clarify the statute, not the breweries. It's not in their interests, so "time and encouragement" aren't going to do it. A push is needed.

  39. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    The way that blog post was written has me really annoyed and feeling like I normally do towards Alpine when Pat makes some stupid claim that their beer is for locals only. To the point that I'm glad that ERB doesn't make any beers that I'll miss all that much.

    Especially given their track record for how expensive the glassware alone is, adjusting to the 'fill any reasonable growler' mentality would have me visiting, for at least the sake of getting a growler fill. They currently make $0 off me for growlers because I choose that the growler cost is too much. But if it was opened up, I would certainly be in there more often to take something on tap to go.

    Good luck with selling glassware, Jeremy.

    Mike is correct. Nothing is going to change because it isn't in their interest for things to change.
  40. Sebowski

    Sebowski Jan 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Say it loud, and say it proud, BA'ers

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