Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growler mania

Out West, in Big Sky country, folks want some clarity on legal aspects about selling growlers.

The question on the floor in Montana is who can legally sell 'em. Here in the Garden State, Beer-Stained Letter sort of put that question to New Jersey regulators, (specifically, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control).

The answer is: If you're licensed to sell by the pint, as in you're a bar owner, you can fill and sell growlers. Also, some packaged goods stores have additional licensing that allows growler sales. Brewpubs may seem like a special case, but they fall within the category of bars and taverns.

This quest for an answer about Jersey growler sales results from what seems like some of the larger packaged goods stores jumping into the business of draft beer by the half-gallon or 2-liter jug. Not to mention the bars that have capitalized on sales of to-go draft beer. So we fired off a quick inquiry to ABC.

And here are the numbers Trenton provided:

As of December 2010, New Jersey had 473 package goods stores licensed to sell growlers. (It seems like a high number, but that's the count ABC provided. It doesn't mean all 473 licensees are doing growlers.)

As of December 2010, the state had 5,665 bars that could fill growlers at their taps and sell them over bar.

Growler mania.

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