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  1. #1
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    Forcing you to buy their growler?

    Just taking the collective pulse here to see if this bothers me too much.
    So I had an appointment in San Marcos Ca yesterday 68 miles from my home. In the interest of making the most of the trip ( and picking up some beer from 2 of my favorite breweries) I stopped by Vista's own Mother Earth brewing. I asked them to fill my generic double wall aluminum growler and was told that they will only fill Mother Earth branded growlers! I've been told before by other breweries that they can't fill another companies growlers for legal reasons but most will just tape over the logos. I passed on buying anything on the grounds that I go to dozens of breweries over a year or two and if that was standard policy I'd have to have a pantry just for growlers, and I've not been turned away with my generic growler by anyone else. Is this common?
    To make things even more frustrating Belching Beaver grill has a full bar and they said that fact prevents them from filling growlers; frustrating.

  2. #2
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    California Law changed a few years ago to allow any Brewery to fill any Growler as long as there was an appropriate label that identified the brewery and the beer in the growler.

    I did not know Mother Earth was being stingy about it. Was this as the downtown location or at Thibbido Street? Perhaps the beer tender was mis-informed? I cannot recall if I have ever had a growler filled there or not.
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  3. #3
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    No, you aren't overreacting. If a brewery/taphouse/wherever won't fill whatever random growler I have floating in my car, they won't get my business. I have too many growlers from forgetting to bring one with me - I'm not going to buy your growler, and try to remember to bring the right one wherever I go in case I want to get a fill on a whim.

    The beer scene is too competitive for me to deal with that nonsense. I can enjoy the tasty selection of some other establishment, thank you.

  4. #4
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    I ran into this a couple of years ago right after the law had changed. A certain unnamed norcal brewery that had a lot of hype (mostly deserved) at the time wouldn't fill my "foreign" growler. The taproom staff-person acknowledged that there wasn't a legal reason for it, but that the brewers were worried about "quality-control." Their house growlers were just plain-old branded brown glass.

    I still buy their beer (and they will fill any growler now); but it kind of ticks me off thinking about it even now...

  5. #5
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    yeah, I am very disinclined to fill a growler at places that do this. agree with the "too many growlers" problem. I'd rather buy a couple generic ones that are really nice than to be forced to buy a bunch of crappy generic brown glass ones. I, too, have a fairly nice double wall stainless growler that I can carry on my bike in a larger cargo cage (Blackburn).

  6. #6
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    Email returned from mother Earth. The rep said they had to have an identifier that it was their beer in the growler and they haven't developed a sticker or tape with their name on it yet.

  7. #7
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    Print off their logo and tape it to your growler. They try again.

  8. #8
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    68 miles from my house so that wont happen unless I need to go back for another appointment. The reply I received told me they had $2 crowlers available but the beertender failed to offer me that option. If they had stickers, even if they cost a dollar I would have considered buying one to be able to take their beer home but they haven't bothered to do what everyone else in the industry has, remove obstacles to selling their product! I don't think that's my job, especially with something along the lines of 400 micro breweries in southern California. Shame though, they make some great beers. Hopefully they square away that issue, if I need to return to that vendor I might try what Mike said and stick their logo on my growler. Hopefully Belching Beaver finds a way around the liquor laws so they can send their beer home with people.

  9. #9
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    It was the location on Main.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider View Post
    Email returned from mother Earth. The rep said they had to have an identifier that it was their beer in the growler and they haven't developed a sticker or tape with their name on it yet.
    ahhhh, kinda odd considering that law changed so long ago. Almost every brewery I have been to in the last few years where i got a growler filled had some sort of hanging tag to apply to the growler. Many of them tiny little hand written tags on a small piece of string.
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  11. #11
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    How much are they charging for a new growler? Around here (Chicago), most breweries only charge like $2-$3 if you get them filled right away.

    This is why I prefer crowlers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_H_2 View Post
    How much are they charging for a new growler? Around here (Chicago), most breweries only charge like $2-$3 if you get them filled right away.

    This is why I prefer crowlers.
    I have not checked prices at Mother Earth specifically, but new glass is around 5 or 6 bucks for 32oz and 8 to 10 bucks for a 64oz, also depends on if it is screw top or pop-top, glass or stainless... etc, etc.
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  13. #13
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    Price is less an issue than sheer clutter. I like the solution that bottle logic has. The tape they use to seal the growler tops has their name and logo.
    I'm not careful enough to have multiple gallon jugs laying around the house, I prefer the metal growlers for that reason, I prefer the generic ones because up to now everyone would fill them so I could get by with one or two.
    Noble has stickers and that works well too.

  14. #14
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    Societe in San Diego does something similar with the way they wrap the top of the growler. Pizza Port uses a small paper tag on a string and hand writes the beer on the tag. Alpine just writes with a sharpie on the cap.....

    There is really no reason any brewery cannot do something similar.

    Of late my Growlers have been used by my wife to be flower holders as Table center pieces for parties.

    This is an older picture but my glassware collection is currently about like this, growlers on the top shelf.


    Forcing you to buy their growler?-downstairs-office-beer-glass-setup.jpg
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  15. #15
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    Marin Brewing Co. just had a piece of paper with their name on it and used a rubber band to hold it on. I have heard that Russian River only fill their growlers because they don't want to contaminate the kegs.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I have heard that Russian River only fill their growlers because they don't want to contaminate the kegs.
    huh?

    How on earth could a growler, even a "dirty" one contaminate a keg? That seems physically impossible.... unless they have an odd method of filling growlers by dipping them into a open keg full of beer.....
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    huh?

    How on earth could a growler, even a "dirty" one contaminate a keg? That seems physically impossible.... unless they have an odd method of filling growlers by dipping them into a open keg full of beer.....
    Yeah...I second that call of "bull-sh!t!" If they can contaminate their setup by filling a growler (or a freakin' pint glass for that matter), then they've got an issue the board of health needs to know about.

  18. #18
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    somewhat side subject, a lot of breweries are picky on the growlers they fill. IE: Stone won't fill cheap screw top glass growlers as they often leak through the lid. Due to this, they don't want their beer to be subject to poor beer environment that can damage the beer and hurt their beer quality perception. (flat, oxidized, etc.)

  19. #19
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    Stone's full of themselves, and something else too. Unless they're disinfecting, then purging the growler with CO2 prior to filling it, then their claims to a "poor beer environment" are total BS. And if anyone expects growler beer to stay carbonated after the first pint is poured, then they're delusional as well.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    somewhat side subject, a lot of breweries are picky on the growlers they fill. IE: Stone won't fill cheap screw top glass growlers as they often leak through the lid. Due to this, they don't want their beer to be subject to poor beer environment that can damage the beer and hurt their beer quality perception. (flat, oxidized, etc.)
    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    Stone's full of themselves, and something else too. Unless they're disinfecting, then purging the growler with CO2 prior to filling it, then their claims to a "poor beer environment" are total BS. And if anyone expects growler beer to stay carbonated after the first pint is poured, then they're delusional as well.
    I understand where stone is coming from, but lots of things could hurt the beer once it leaves the premise in a growler, pop-top or screw top. Exposure to sun or heat, someone poping the top to smell the beer. Drinking half to at one time and then waiting a few weeks before finishing it...

    A few places that sell and fill screw-top growlers that I have been to also wrap the cap in tape or stretchy plastic to help seal them. This works really well. I also make a habit of not bringing the cap back so the brewery has to give me a fresh one. I have had beer in a screw top stay fresh and carbonated by not opening it for a month while it was in my fridge. I do think filling the growler with CO2 before the fill can help with the longevity of initial storage, and I practice using the entire thing once it has been opened, saving beer is never a good idea.
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  21. #21
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    What works best is filling it properly and not leaving any head space. Then screw tops are the best.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    Stone's full of themselves, and something else too. Unless they're disinfecting, then purging the growler with CO2 prior to filling it, then their claims to a "poor beer environment" are total BS. And if anyone expects growler beer to stay carbonated after the first pint is poured, then they're delusional as well.
    technically disinfecting isn't as important as making sure the growler coming in isn't dirty. Spoilers won't grow and infect within standard growler shelf stability timeframe. Dirty growler will impact off flavors as it has residual aroma and flavor affecting attributes. Stone does rinse all growlers to remove any potential particulates with clean water from a clean growler then purges growlers with co2 prior to filling with a tube filling from the bottom up until beer runs off the top. They also refuse to fill dirty growlers. (this is a very common norm within most of the craft industry)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    What works best is filling it properly and not leaving any head space. Then screw tops are the best.
    hydroflask style screw tops yes(or similar with an actual gasket seal), cheap crappy glass screw tops are horrible.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    hydroflask style screw tops yes(or similar with an actual gasket seal), cheap crappy glass screw tops are horrible.
    Define horrible. To me that means either the beer leaks or noticeably degrades. That hasn't been my experience, and I have lots of it, as do most of my friends. As long as there's silicon on the inside of the cap and it's screwed on tightly, they can be stored horizontally without any leakage.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Define horrible. To me that means either the beer leaks or noticeably degrades. That hasn't been my experience, and I have lots of it, as do most of my friends. As long as there's silicon on the inside of the cap and it's screwed on tightly, they can be stored horizontally without any leakage.
    anything with this cap. they are horrible. Small or startup breweries start using these since the growler/cap combo is very cost effective. These guys are known industry wide to leak co2 out the top. Only way i would fill one is if i used parafilm over the cap after it was filled.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Societe in San Diego does something similar with the way they wrap the top of the growler. Pizza Port uses a small paper tag on a string and hand writes the beer on the tag. Alpine just writes with a sharpie on the cap.....
    Maybe some of them have changed. But the last time I asked at Green Flash (~1 yr ago) they would only fill their own. And they would only fill Green Flash growlers with GF beer (no Alpine) and would only fill Alpine growlers with Alpine beer. Pizza Port also never used to fill any but their own.

    I have a couple stainless growlers now and a bunch of glass ones I'd like to get rid of. I should just offer them up... I seldom get growler fills anymore. Unless you're getting just a very basic beer filled the prices seem to be outrageous these days. Might as well get a six pack that I don't have to drink right away...

  27. #27
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    Wonder if they fill these types of growlers:

    https://www.drinktanks.com/pressuriz...by-drinktanks/

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    anything with this cap. they are horrible. Small or startup breweries start using these since the growler/cap combo is very cost effective. These guys are known industry wide to leak co2 out the top. Only way i would fill one is if i used parafilm over the cap after it was filled.
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    If using a fresh cap they are fine. Alpine and Pizza Port still use em, I would not call either of them start-ups, they are very well known in the industry and well regarded.

    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Maybe some of them have changed. But the last time I asked at Green Flash (~1 yr ago) they would only fill their own. And they would only fill Green Flash growlers with GF beer (no Alpine) and would only fill Alpine growlers with Alpine beer. Pizza Port also never used to fill any but their own.

    I have a couple stainless growlers now and a bunch of glass ones I'd like to get rid of. I should just offer them up... I seldom get growler fills anymore. Unless you're getting just a very basic beer filled the prices seem to be outrageous these days. Might as well get a six pack that I don't have to drink right away...
    If it says Alpine on the side of the container, that logo must be hidden from view to put anything besides Alpine beer in it. That is California law. Would they fill blank glass or a blank stainless? That is the real question.

    I have considered taking a wire-brush to my stainless Society Growler just so I can use it at more breweries.
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  29. #29
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    I've fill my growlers all over Oregon with all kinds of labels and no labels. Nobody cares. They just seem glad to fill your growler. Glad I live in Oregon.

  30. #30
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    Easy, I don't do growlers. Here in MA, even some of the smallest breweries will can.

  31. #31
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    are they not in the business of making money?
    Last edited by shwinn8; 08-06-2017 at 03:26 AM.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider View Post
    Just taking the collective pulse here to see if this bothers me too much.
    So I had an appointment in San Marcos Ca yesterday 68 miles from my home. In the interest of making the most of the trip ( and picking up some beer from 2 of my favorite breweries) I stopped by Vista's own Mother Earth brewing. I asked them to fill my generic double wall aluminum growler and was told that they will only fill Mother Earth branded growlers! I've been told before by other breweries that they can't fill another companies growlers for legal reasons but most will just tape over the logos. I passed on buying anything on the grounds that I go to dozens of breweries over a year or two and if that was standard policy I'd have to have a pantry just for growlers, and I've not been turned away with my generic growler by anyone else. Is this common?
    To make things even more frustrating Belching Beaver grill has a full bar and they said that fact prevents them from filling growlers; frustrating.
    CA laws changed awhile ago...I know it is the breweries decision to honor whatever they like but, there are too many great breweries out there waiting for my business. If a brewery won't fill any clean labeled or unlabeled growler...f!*# that brewery, I'll take my business elsewhere.

  33. #33
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    I know PA requires the surgeon general warning be printed on the growler. We tried to get them to fill nalgene bottles at Bloom Brewery before and they couldn't do it by law.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott n View Post
    I know PA requires the surgeon general warning be printed on the growler. We tried to get them to fill nalgene bottles at Bloom Brewery before and they couldn't do it by law.
    Utah is the same way as a friend of mine discovered on his first trip to Moab and Moab Brewery. Now he knows better and does what we do- brings beer from Montana.

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