LA Brewers Guild – Growler Filling

BeerofTomorrow_JMVHi Everyone,

Here’s an update about one of LA’s hottest topic, growler filling.  The LA Brewers guild has issued a statement with some guidelines.  Non-native growler filling will probably be something you’ll see around town, but it may take some time before everyone is able to do it.  Still, it’s forward momentum and a great example of how the burgeoning Los Angeles craft beer scene is comprised not only of the brewers that make the beer, but a collaborative relationship between them and the people who drink it.

*Photo credit: John M Verive – Beer of Tomorrow

The Los Angeles Brewers Guild

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Brewers Guild Updates Statement on “Non-Native” Brewery Growler Fills

Los Angeles, CA May 30, 2013 – Earlier this year a representative from California ABC commented on breweries’ ability to fill growler bottles with beers they manufacture, and stated (in summary) that any brewery can fill any container, provided that existing label information is obscured and that new, approved labeling is affixed to that container. Before this statement was issued many California breweries were operating to the contrary, in order to avoid confusion and to ensure they remained in compliance with State Law and avoided harsh fines and penalties. For the past several months the Los Angeles Brewers Guild has been working with its member breweries, as well as other regional brewing guilds to determine the best course of action to address this new information. At a meeting of the LABG on May 15, 2013 several member breweries revealed that they have received label approval for a new format of growler label and will soon be ready to move forward with filling growlers not native to their own brewery. The guild unanimously agreed that the best course of action is for each brewery to begin these “non-native” fills at their own pace, dependent on their own label approval status, and on the infrastructure at each member’s individual establishment. In the coming weeks you can expect to see some local brewers begin these “non-native” growler fills, however there are a couple key points to keep in mind:

1) Each brewery is different and will consider non-native growler fills based on their own policies and procedures, and on their own preparedness to do so.
2) Some brewers may choose to continue filling only their own growlers at this time. Please respect this decision.
3) Call first. Before you bring a non-native growler to be filled at a brewery be sure to ask:
–a) If they will fill a non-native growler
–b) If they can accommodate filling the size/shape of your particular growler
4) State law requires that all identifying marks on non-native growlers be obscured before another brewery can fill that growler. ABC specifies that the method of obscuring those identifying marks cannot be “easily removed”. Again, each brewery will have their own policy in how they comply with this law, so be sure to check with them before you go to get a fill.

Cheers, and happy growler filling!

About Kristofor Barnes

Kip is the founder of Bierkast and co-founder of Los Angeles Ale Works. Picking up home brewing after college, he has since become an accomplished award winning home brewer, LA Beer Blogger, and author of the Beer Lover's Guide to Southern California. Kip is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema Television. He lives in Inglewood, CA with his sciency wife Katie. Follow him @bierkast or #FollowTheLAAW @laaleworks

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