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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.

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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.

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