The following column was written by the North Carolina Retailers Association:
A new bill has passed that gives customers more refill options for growlers, and it promises to benefit North Carolina’s economy. Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 909 into law, allowing retail wine and beer stores and restaurants and bars to begin filling growlers with cider and wine for off-premise consumption. It’s the latest effort to support retail beverage businesses in North Carolina since the explosive growth of the craft beer industry, and it was only a matter of time.
Joe O’Keefe is the owner of Wine 101 in Wake Forest and he was thrilled to get the news Friday afternoon from Andy Ellen, President and General Counsel of the NC Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA).
“I was beyond excited when I heard because it’s a great way for retailers to offer some of the best ciders and wines in North Carolina,” said O’Keefe. “In the same way the growler has supported the brewery business, cider and wine makers are now free to experiment and give consumers a chance to experience more. In the end, everybody wins.”
The growler is a reusable jug available in sizes up to 64 ounces. It’s not a new concept. During the decades leading up to prohibition, the bucket trade permitted fresh beer to be carried from local pubs in the jugs. The name growler is rumored to come from a rumbling sound people heard when beer sloshed in the bucket and carbonation escaped through the lid. In recent years, the growler re-emerged to make a spectrum of craft beer available from breweries that were too small to get distribution. Now this same growth is anticipated for the state’s cider and wine makers, and the existing rules for malt beverage growlers will apply until the North Carolina ABC Commission adopts new rules. Read the full article here.