Russian River Opts Out of Growler Policy Reform
It was Danny Fullpint’s birthday week and then boom, 4th of July Week(end), and thus, this flew under the radar. Here is Russian latest stance on the California Growler Policy reform topic that’s been buzzing for months now. Cheers!
Our company policy regarding filling growlers:
Due to a recent reinterpretation of an existing liquor law by the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, breweries holding Type 23 licenses are now allowed to fill other breweries growlers with the proper legal information and state label approval. We, along with several other California breweries, have decided to continue to fill ONLY our own growlers at this time for the following reasons:
Quality: We feel our growler is the highest quality growler for the price on the market and have been using it for 20 years since we owned Blind Pig Brewing Company. Vinnie was the very first brewer to use this growler and we are still quite fond of its ease of use, look and quality! It is easy to fill, holds a good seal for up to a couple of weeks, and is dark glass so the beer does not become light struck.
Sanitation: We currently have no means to provide adequate sanitation of other types of growlers. We also do not carry replacement parts (like screw caps).
Logistics: We designed our entire draft system to accommodate filling only our specific growler. Growlers that are taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, bigger, or smaller will not fit properly under our taps.
Branding: Growlers are like bottles- it’s just another way to package beer to go. We work hard to make the best beer possible and are proud to put our name on it! Nothing against other breweries growlers, but we want our beer going home with you in our branded growler!
Thank you very much for your understanding and enjoying our brews!
Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo
Russian River Brewing Company
Commentary: There are many people who feel entitled in this world. In the case of the California Growler fill reform policy, some craft beer enthusiasts in this state feel entitled to having one growler that will get you filled, based on the interpretation of the new ABC laws. While many on BeerAdvocate got very angry at Russian River for their stance, I think what really chapped the gang was the ‘Sanitation and Logistics’ portion of their reasoning. Let’s get down to brass tacks here. Russian River wants people to buy, use and tote growlers that say their company name on it. They’re statement is much more diplomatic than a big fat “NO!”, but that is essential their deal. We will try and get Stone Brewing Co.’s word on the matter, but we’d bet the farm that based on how much they’ve invested into their silkscreen branded glass, that the last thing they’d want to do is deviate from that, no matter how environmentally friendly they are.