Arizona’s new growler law goes into effect Aug. 2 – in other words, midnight tonight. This is a huge deal for craft beer drinkers and the state’s craft beer industry. You can find the official Arizona statute here (start on page 44), but here are the basics.
What’s a growler?
A growler is a jug used to transport draft beer. Most are made of brown glass. Most hold a half-gallon (64 ounces) of beer. Most feature a screw-on lid.
Who sells growlers?
Until now, most growlers in Arizona have been sold by breweries and have the brewery’s logo. You buy a growler, then pay an additional fee each time you have it filled at the brewery. Prices start around $10 for the growler. Beer costs vary by the beer.
What does the new law change?
Any Arizona bar or liquor store now is able to sell and refill growlers with any beer it has on tap. Restaurants with a Series 7 liquor license also can sell and refill.
Will every bar and liquor store sell growlers?
No. Each can choose whether or not it will participate. Walgreen’s, which was the primary force behind the push for the new law, isn’t selling growlers – yet.
Will every participating bar and store sell its own branded growler?
Some will. Some won’t. It’s up to them.
Which beers will be available to refill growlers?
It’s up to each bar and store to decide. It’s likely bars will not refill growlers with limited-edition beers only available in small quantities.
What will prices be?
It’s up to each bar or store to set its own prices. Higher-alcohol and harder-to-find beers likely will be priced at a premium.
Will a bar or store refill a growler with someone else’s logo?
It’s up to each bar or store. Many breweries accept other breweries’ growlers but exchange them for one of their own for marketing purposes.
Are there any other requirements?
All growlers must be clean before brought in for filling, sealed with plastic adhesive (typically tape) after filling and display a government warning label.
As you can see, there’s a lot still to be figured out. Although bars and stores had 90-day notice of the new law, only a few have ordered their own branded growlers so far. Many are still figuring out prices. This will be an ongoing process. Stay tuned.