Growler fever at beer stores, why?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by brewtus, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. brewtus

    brewtus Zealot (549) Dec 29, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    So is anyone else's city going through growler fever? In the last few months there was a shop opened that only sells pints and fills growlers (the daily growler, check it out). I haven't been yet but that concept is great. now every beer shop is installing taps, moreover they're all requiring that you use their branded growlers. Why do these bars think that this will make them more money?

    I get it when they carry rare beers, keg-only, and special limited kegs but some of these beer stores are selling the same run-of-the-mill beer in growlers as they are in 6 packs.

    Get better beer if you're going to do this and let me use my own growler.

    This just confuses me, but can anyone explain it?
  2. BeastLU

    BeastLU Disciple (326) Dec 20, 2012 Virginia

    If I went into a place with my own growler and they refused to fill it becuase it wasnt theirs, I would refuse to have it filled or ever go there again.
  3. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    Welcome to many states in the USA, including Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota and North Carolina.
    leezy, KWMiles, Gatch and 2 others like this.
  4. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    We have a couple places like that here in AZ but I have never had an issue with them refusing to fill up my own personal growler. Good thing too as I prefer my flip top growler to the usual screw top most places provide. Have even brought my Stone brewery flip top in a few time with no issues.
    HoptimusMax1mus likes this.
  5. luisc123

    luisc123 Initiate (173) Oct 20, 2011 California

    I live in California. Our growler laws suck. I would welcome this option.
    litheum94 and blguillen like this.
  6. BarRoomHero88

    BarRoomHero88 Aspirant (275) Jan 19, 2012 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    In NY, I've noticed more and more places having growler fills. Mostly the usual bottle shops, but there are a few supermarkets and even a few gas stations around here that are hopping on board. The supermarkets have decent beer, but nothing that I would probably bother with.
  7. feedmechili

    feedmechili Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2010 Kansas

    So in Cali you're cool with pot, but a half gallon of beer raises eyebrows?
  8. Circleo12

    Circleo12 Devotee (452) Nov 12, 2012 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Ouch. We have a lot of places around me now that are growler fill stations, luckily. And, the growler 'brand' doesn't matter one bit. I love it, my wallet doesn't.
    DrStiffington likes this.
  9. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2011 Maine

    I would be OK with even adding a sticker to a generic growler so its "theirs".
    Gatch likes this.
  10. Douberd

    Douberd Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 Netherlands

    What's the problem, that they don't let you use your own growler or that their growlers are screw top?
    I suppose they charge you a deposit and you can return it and have your money back, right?
  11. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Law just changed in AZ so yes we are too.

    Though, much to my happiness, local breweries could always do this in the past but now retailers can do it with imported & regional craft too - so guess what the boom has been in...? :slight_smile:
  12. hoparoundnw2337

    hoparoundnw2337 Initiate (55) Aug 6, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    All I know is the bottle shops that have growler fills usually try to have beer that are not bottled (like Boneyard). With that said it's a nitch around here...
  13. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    Given the laws in many states, you would refuse to do business with any growler-filling establishment, period.

    In many places it's illegal to fill a growler that's not "theirs".
    BoneyardBrewer likes this.
  14. OMsweetOM

    OMsweetOM Aspirant (277) Feb 1, 2011 California

    Though I live in regulation happy CA, it's always nice to visit OR where it's much easier to fill growlers. In fact, the best place in existence is The Growler Guys which operates out of a Shell Station and has 34 taps. They also have a bunch of local brewery growlers and growlettes in case you forgot your own.
  15. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,083) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Love places to fill growlers. I got excited because the local Office advertised that they just started selling growlers, but then they told me the prices. Outrageously high and I'm used to paying high prices for growlers. Example: $34 for Brooklyn Monster, which is about $7.50 a 4 pack.
  16. RonfromJersey

    RonfromJersey Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2002 New Jersey

    While I may disagree, I can somewhat see the point of view with breweries only filling their own growlers.

    I don't understand stores and bars though. Are they adding labels with he brewery and beer names? Or just selling more glass?
  17. plaid75

    plaid75 Poo-Bah (3,974) Jan 13, 2005 New York
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Duane Reade as well.
  18. RonfromJersey

    RonfromJersey Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2002 New Jersey

    The Office growler price is probably based on the price of four pints at the bar, as opposed to brewery or retail prices.
  19. shuajw

    shuajw Aspirant (287) Aug 12, 2007 Georgia

    Atlanta seems to be going growler crazy, I have to assume it will come crashing down eventually. Especially since breweries or brw pubs can't do growler fills of their own beer. Outside of a few draft only Georgia beers, not really sure why anyone would bother with most of the growler fills I see. Across the board, everything is more expensive for a growler fill than just buying a 4-pack or 6-pack of the same beer. Some stuff the only comes in bombers might be cheaper in a growler, but who needs 64oz of Southern Tier Creme Brulee.
  20. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Perhaps the profit margin on growler selling certain kegs is better than reselling bottled beer? Perhaps the shop owners feel they need to add growlers to gain or keep from losing a competitive edge? Supply usually goes up in response to a recent growth in demand don't forget!
    misterid likes this.
  21. jmarce

    jmarce Initiate (70) May 15, 2011 Connecticut

    Yea I don't understand it at all for the run-of-the-mill stuff. A store I went to this past weekend had Lagunitas Sucks 64oz growlers for $12.99 a fill with a stack of 6 packs a few feet away for $12.49 a 6 pack. Why would I want to pay more $/oz and lose the convenience of being able to drink it 12oz at a time vs. 64oz at a time? Only time I buy growler fills is for stuff that isn't bottled or that I can't get fresh bottles of, otherwise it makes little sense to me. I'm guessing it must be better margins for the store on fills vs. bottles, otherwise why offer it?
    Centennial likes this.
  22. brewtus

    brewtus Zealot (549) Dec 29, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Seems to be a novelty, jmarce you're right it's almost always more expensive for common beers and makes no sense.
  23. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (649) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Growlers confuse me. The whole foods sells 32/64 oz. most times the per oz is more than the six pack I can buy there, sometimes not. I do like to buy things I can't get bottled. There is also a place up the road from the WF that has growler fills. They will fill any growler they told me. They are a bit expensive but I did fill a 32oz of enjoy by for $12. Hopslam is up coming so that could be good.

    I would think kegs are less money so the tap beer in growlers should be less money or at least the same price per ounce

  24. Ohsaycanyoubeer

    Ohsaycanyoubeer Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2012 Colorado

    Thats what I have found most places do. It's just a big label they put over to make everything kosher.
  25. BarRoomHero88

    BarRoomHero88 Aspirant (275) Jan 19, 2012 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    For what it's worth, I'll usually only buy growlers of beers that are either not available in bottles in my area, or the growler fills are cheaper than the bottles. Also, a few breweries around here don't offer bottles IE: Crossroads
  26. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Use of the store-only growler depends on the state. Look up the regs before you let an establishment tell you that they can only fill theirs because "it's the law."
  27. brewtus

    brewtus Zealot (549) Dec 29, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Oh I'll welcome a growler of CBC bodhi any day until they start bottling it so I second that
  28. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    I have always had to but the growler anywhere i have gone
  29. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    Let me rephrase. I have always been able to use any growler from anywhere when i get a refill. However, I dont usually buy a growler unless I can t get the beer in a bottle
  30. TychoNDC

    TychoNDC Disciple (391) Jan 7, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I usually only get them on weekends when I'm going to a party/visiting folks and know we can finish a 64 oz in a night or two. The growler bars at my local bottle shops tend to have a bit more variation than is available in bottles. I have definitely noticed in my area of NY that the number of places featuring growlers has expanded.

    Growlers do have some nice bonuses to them. They allow for a variety of pours, in case you don't want 12/24/36oz of something. Also, a fresh IPA poured from a fresh growler is a beautiful thing.
  31. audioserf

    audioserf Aspirant (253) Sep 3, 2010 Connecticut

    I am pretty much over growlers. I'll get a growler if it's a growler-only beer (I'm mainly talking about NEBCO stuff here like FBD, Coriolis, Scrumtrulescent Saison, etc), otherwise I prefer to buy bottles/cans. Once you open a growler you have to drink 64oz of beer within one or two days, tops, before it drops right off the cliff. That's not always a good idea, or a realistic one, for me.
  32. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (957) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    That's illegal in AZ. It has been for a while and I think authorities were sort of turning a blind eye at places until they started cracking down. I remember Papago had to start only selling their own beer in their glass a few years ago.
  33. dhespelt

    dhespelt Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2012

    32 oz "growlitos" are great! perfect for a 1 person session.
    John1985 likes this.
  34. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Yeah, I am in the 'only getting a growler if it is draft only' camp. I can't see the point in getting something I can grab off the shelf in a less convenient and less shelf stable vessel to gain usually only a minimal taste advantage.
  35. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    That's strange cause I haven't had any issues with using my own flip top growler at a few liquor stores that fill growlers. Actually just got a growler filled last month no problem at a larger chain store. I will keep doing it until I get told "no they can't". Love my flip tops. I have heard that some laws changed recently, maybe it addressed this issue so its okay now?
  36. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (957) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Possibly. Maybe its different for stores. I know this has been true for bars
    DinoFight likes this.
  37. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    , actually not true in Maine, I`ve never had a problem getting my federal jack`s growler refilled.
  38. misterid

    misterid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 Wisconsin

    because draft is better than canned/bottled?

    and because the retailer gets a higher profit margin from growler sales?
  39. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

  40. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Growler fever at beer stores, why?

    1- To be able to try beers that arent bottled or canned
    2 - Because its cool and eco friendly
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