Growler Legislation

March 13, 2013

Craft beer is becoming extremely popular in Minnesota (among other places). In the Twin Cities, breweries have been opening at a rapid rate in recent years. Many breweries sell Growlers, a container (often 64 ounces, though it can vary) that can be filled directly from the tap at a brewery to be taken home. The website beeradvocate.com has a nice explanation and history of what a growler is.

Minnesota statutes currently provide that a brewery can sell growlers as long as they produce fewer than 3,500 barrels in a year, and even then, only 500 of those barrels can be used for growlers. M.S.A. § 340A.301. If a brewery produces more than 3,500 barrels in a year, they are prohibited from selling growlers at all. Because of the growing popularity of craft beer, this is becoming a problem for some local breweries. City Pages noted in a recent article that one local, popular brewery, Surley Brewing Company, has already exceeded that limit and has had to stop selling growlers from their local taproom.  Small brewers are concerned that the current law will impact their business growth.
New legislation has been proposed in Minnesota aiming to amend the existing statute to raise the cap on the current 3,500 barrel restriction to 250,000 barrels. 2013 Minnesota House File No. 1198. You can find information about the movement behind this legislation at www.savethegrowler.org.

A simple search for growler on WestlawNext in proposed and enacted legislation delivers 43 results.  Here they are by state:

In most jurisdictions, a “Growler” means

a reusable container that is capable of holding up to 64 fluid ounces of beer and is designed to be filled and sealed on premises for consumption off premises.”.

2011 DC L.B. 1101 (NS), 2011 Washington DC Legislative Bill No. 1101, Washington DC Council Period Nineteen

 

So, you might try a broader search: adv: growler (half-gallon (64 +3 ounces oz) and alcohol beer intox! liquor spirit).  This query delivers 86 results:

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH REFERENCES – News

I ran a search in news to see recent articles about growlers. I started with a very general search:

BEER /25 GROWLER & DA(LAST 2 YEARS)

I retrieved a little over 1,200 results, including:

GROWLERS AN OPTION FOR TOTING CRAFT BEERS, Arizona Daily Star, 2012 WLNR 22016291

Walkerville Brewery Launches Custom Growler Series with Roasted Chestnut Brown Ale, Canadian Beer News (Blog), 2012 WLNR 26834095

Growlers offer better beer taste, less waste, Air Force Times, 2012 WLNR 1034992

JUG LIFE, Chicago Tribune, 2013 WLNR 2551922

So how about a search focusing on legislation and growlers?

BEER /25 GROWLER /250 LEGISLAT! & DA(LAST 2 YEARS)

There are 123 results with this search in News. Some of our results include:

A growing movement to widen growler sales, Baltimore Sun, 2012 WLNR 2651272

Del. lawmakers eye beer sales, 3/7/13 AP Alert

Legislature says: Drink up!, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2011 WLNR 7835570

County growler measure faces criticism, Baltimore Sun, 2012 WLNR 4269339

Brewers cheer on growler bill, The News Journal, 2013 WLNR 5771499

Small Florida breweries seek to change state law restricting size of to-go ‘growlers’, The Florida Times-Union, 2013 WLNR 5782316