Jacksonville brewmasters applaud Growler Bill

Jacksonville brewmasters applaud Growler Bill

Beer distributor lobbyist successfully stalls bill

Florida is one of few states that do not allow a 64-ounce container for beer. Under Florida law, craft brewers and brewpubs may only use quarter-gallon or gallon containers, nothing in between.

The industry-wide standard in the craft beer industry is, you guessed it, the 64-ounce Growler. It’s readily available and less expensive to buy than 32-ounce or 128-ounce bottles and legal in almost every state except Florida – until now.

Senate Bill 1344 – passed unanimously on Mar. 21 – decreased the regulation on permissible container sizes under Florida Law Section 563.06, F.S. which only permitted the smaller or larger bottles. However, on Mar. 31 the Senate Bill and one also filed in the House were successfully stalled by a lobbyist representing beer distributors for Anheuser-Busch.

If the bills were to pass, effective July 1, 2013, fans of Florida beers would be able to buy a 64-ounce growler for filling and sealing at a brewery or specialty retailer, then bring it back for cleaning and re-filling. The passing of SB 1344 would help small business Florida Breweries grow through the use of the cheaper industry standard and will decrease restrictions on the free market.

The folks at newly opened Aardwolf Brewing Company concur. “It is good to see this bill finally moving forward. Being able to sell our beer in a standard sized growler will make things easier on us from a supply chain perspective, but it will especially benefit the consumer,” said co-owner Michael Payne. “Sixty-four ounces is a much more reasonable container size for takeaway beer and it leads to beer being consumed fresher, unlike the gallon growlers we are stuck with right now which are often more beer than people want and lead to leftover beer becoming stale before the consumer can drink it.”

What are Growlers? According to Intuition Ale Works, “Growlers are refillable beer bottles that contain 64-ounces (a half-gallon) of beer. Allegedly, refillable bottles or pails were given the nickname “growler” sometime in the early 20th century due to the rumbling noise made by the carbon dioxide rattling the lid. The nickname stuck, and most folks in the beer industry still refer to any refillable bottle as a Growler.”

Funny name or not, Growlers are great for brewers and their customers.

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