Why I hate CA growler laws

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by Arbitrator, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    What the hell do you do with these specialty bottles after you drain them? Big 3 liter bottles of landfill.

  2. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I've been saying this for years, thanks for getting confirmation from a legit source.

    It's on the brewers to accomodate blank\sticker growler fills, they could approach it from the environmentally friendly angle.
    flexabull and teamizm like this.
  3. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    Personally, I like having different growlers from all the different breweries. But I'm a collector. I can see how it would be annoying for most people.
  4. riko

    riko Aspirant (208) Jan 18, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Wouldn't you recycle them just like you would recycle four 750 ml bottles (which together would hold 3L)? Not sure I understand what the difference would be.
  5. tyrsis

    tyrsis Disciple (321) Mar 13, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    You can actually refill these with whatever the label on the bottle is.
  6. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    How often does Stone have 12.12.12 or 15th Anniversary on tap to fill growlers?
  7. Gilmango

    Gilmango Aspirant (224) Jul 17, 2007 California

    If you are not into displaying these as "trophies" or collectables after they are empty then you should donate them to a homebrewer. If you don't know one you could bring it to a homebrew supply store or give it away on Craigslist. Especially these beauties with the flip tops. Homebrewers love large format bottles and also flip tops, both mean less work, and these bottles are great for parties/crowds.

    Also with bottles like this the glass is much more expensive than the equivalent number (5) of 22 oz. bottles, so putting them in recycling would be a sad thing.
  8. tyrsis

    tyrsis Disciple (321) Mar 13, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Not often, but they also do large format of Arrogant / Double Bastard, which they have fills of often.
  9. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    All great ideas. No reasonable person would send them to the recycler. My point is that the consumer paid a premium for the specialty bottles but due to the CA growler laws they can't actually refill them due to the fact that the beer is retired/difficult to get/not available on tap.
  10. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    That's not too surprising to me. It'd be nice if the ABC would put out an official statement to that effect so we could separate the breweries who are trying to shaft people on growler prices from those who aren't. (I'm not certain any are, but if the ABC says that blanks+sticker is okay and breweries still refuse to do it then I think it's a safe conclusion.)

    Thanks for the post!
    jasonmason likes this.
  11. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    No offense to the poster of this information, but I agree with you. I'll believe it when I see it from an official source.
  12. PeterJ

    PeterJ Initiate (69) Dec 5, 2012 California

    All it takes is to submit a written request for an opinion/ruling. ABC rules are tough to interprit sometimes because a ruling will overrule a written code.

    Example- Per the ABC code, liquor over ___ (I believe 100) proof is illegal. There was, however, a written ruling that exempted Bacardi 151 as the only legal overproof liquor. Now there are others on the market but even though they are technically illegal, the law is not enforced so the exemption to Bacardi 151 won't be challenged.
  13. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Do you know how to submit a written request? I e-mailed them to ask, but if you know how that could get the ball rolling faster. I'd really like an answer on this damn question.
    tjensen3618 likes this.
  14. womencantsail

    womencantsail Poo-Bah (5,884) May 25, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Having a statement from someone with authority could be interesting...the brewery would have to either refuse to believe such a document or just admit that they really just want the extra $<x> from you.
  15. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I still don't get why a legal statement is needed.

    a) Can a brewery label growlers by applying stickers? yes, many do.
    b) Do you bring your growler from home to get refilled? of course you do.
    c) If sticker falls off growler in the dishwasher, could the brewery reapply their sticker label? sure

    Boom, stickering blank growlers is legal.
  16. blguillen

    blguillen Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2011 California

    I have so many growlers, I don't know what to do with them. I just display the 'cool' ones and put the others in my closet. When I was in Washington state recently, I found out that I could fill practically anything I wanted. I was naive to the fact that this was possible. Being a beer drinker from California my whole adult life, I just assumed thats how it was everywhere.
  17. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poo-Bah (3,472) Jan 15, 2009 California
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely! I've said this for years as a person that has practiced law in California for likely longer than most BAs have been alive!

    The "custom imprinted growlers" are simply a profit item for breweries. Good for them but give us a choice. If we want a collectible, we can buy an imprinted growler. Otherwise, give us the choice of a generic growler on which you can simply affix a label. (And/or remove the prior breweries label, etc. before doing so.) It is legal and it will work just fine!
    Retsinis likes this.
  18. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Devotee (485) Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Which breweries do this?
  19. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Sticker growlers?
    I thought Enegren Brewing stickered their growlers but upon closer inspection it does appear printed.
    Anyhow, stickers are perfectly legal ways to label a beer container, see 90% of bottled beer.
  20. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    <conspiracy keanu> what if like... 90% of beer is illegal </keanu>
  21. PlinyTheYoungest

    PlinyTheYoungest Aspirant (210) Jun 30, 2009 California

    I was back in Alabama just a couple weeks ago enjoying their wonderful growler laws again filling up some of my friends 1 liter swing tops with any one of the 40 some beers available at Hop City in Birmingham, it was wonderful. But to the point of this thread, I was told that all our growlers needed was to have the government warning affixed somehow. The guys at the shop told me to just go home and print it out and tape it on my growlers. I don't know how the law is worded there differently than it is here in CA, but what do you think would happen if we all just started showing up with growlers taped up with print outs stating the brewery's name and carrying the government warning? Would they turn us away on policy or continue to insist that it was illegal? Could be an interesting experiment.
  22. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    All of the CA breweries quote the law. Can any of them produce the written proof? Maybe it has become such a mantra that it has gained Urban Legend status.
  23. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    This is the only growler I own interestingly enough, so I had to go check and they definitely used stickers on the growler as opposed to some sort of permanent design.
  24. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I will shoot them an email and see if they can slap a sticker on my blank 1 liter swingtop growler and fill it up.
    I live 10 mins. from them and generally enjoy their beers, but I have refused to buy anymore growlers over the past 2 years.
  25. MisterClean

    MisterClean Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2008 California

    Here's the issue. CA Wholesalers love the growler law and have too much power. Any departure from current law would hurt their margins since they believe it would hurt bottle sales. They need to be reminded that it's the beer consumers who drive the demand and keep them in business, not the other way around.
    pinkgrenade and Levitation like this.
  26. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (536) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    It's nice when places don't charge much for a container. Bootleggers does one for $6. I believe my Firestone one was also dirt cheap. But then you have places like Eagle Rock Brewery trying to get $20+ for glass? No thanks.
  27. thome50

    thome50 Initiate (61) Dec 10, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Firestone is $5 which is awesome and as cheap as I've seen from Central to Southern California.
  28. Retsinis

    Retsinis Champion (857) Sep 25, 2009 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agreed. Yeah, old argument, debated to death, but seen some that are $30+ empty (Iron First, Mike Hess, Societe) to name a few. That's some serious coin for a container, no matter how functional, "bling" they are. I tend to not pay more then $15 tops for glass, and over the last two years, only done so on places I frequent often. Wish i could take any of them to any brewery and get a fill, guy can dream. :rolling_eyes:
  29. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    I blame unions. I don't know why, i just do.
  30. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I sent ABC an e-mail and got a confusing non-answer back, but was given an e-mail for someone who may be able to better answer. If I ever manage to get a real answer I'll post here.
    MrFootstones likes this.
  31. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,647) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    $5 for the fill would be even better!
  32. danscott

    danscott Aspirant (238) Jul 15, 2006 California

    I got mine in 1998, I think. It was 124 degrees out. He comped it, gave us two pint glasses and two buckets of ice. One for the beer, one for the dog.

    Way back then, they had some tasty beer.
  33. Bungletronics

    Bungletronics Initiate (141) Jan 5, 2009 California

    While I hated TX alcohol laws when I lived there, I was able to use all my CA brewery growlers at various Whole Foods and other locations for growler fills. Sucked not being able to get growlers from the source, though.
  34. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    I think breweries have no fucking clue about the growler laws, based on BS many have told me.
  35. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    As I stated earlier, there has to be some written proof that states the law about filling beer containers.
  36. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (536) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah. Every time I even bring up the subject, there's some defensive talk about the alcohol laws here... yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaah.
  37. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Per California ABC

    SECTION 25200-25206

    25200. All beer sold in this State shall have a label affixed to the package or container thereof, upon which shall appear the true and correct name and address of the manufacturer of the beer, and also the true and correct name of the bottler of the beer if other than the manufacturer.

    No manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of beer shall use a container or carton as a package or container of a beer other than such beer as is manufactured by the manufacturer whose name or brand of beer appears upon the container or carton, or use as a package or container of a beer a container or carton which bears the name of a manufacturer of beer or the brand of any beer other than those of the manufacturer of the beer contained in the container or carton.
  38. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    Great, thanks.

    It looks like a sticker with the name and address of the brewer would work.
  39. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Well, yes, reading the law and coming to that conclusion has always been possible. The question isn't "does a plain reading of the law seem to indicate that stickers would be fine?" but rather "does the ABC interpret the law as allowing stickers?" The latter is the part that's unclear, and given the state of things it seems like almost everyone thinks they don't interpret it that way.
  40. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    The Pizza Ports sell their growler for $3. Now that's cheap. $20 for glass is fucking retarded.
    penniwisdom and Levitation like this.
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