UPDATE 07/14/15 – The “growler law” has been officially singed by Governor Ige. It may be a while before it gets implemented, but it’s finally legit in Hawaii!
Growler fill stations and specialized growler shops have become all the rage in places like Portland. You’ve been able fill up a growler in bottle shops, mini marts, beer bars and even dedicated growler shops since late 2013 in Beervana and that experience is closer than ever to coming to Hawaii.
Last month HB770 was sent to Governor Ige for his signature. The new law would basically allow retailers, bars and restaurants to be able to fill growlers for off premise consumption. It would also allow brewpubs and small craft producers to fill growlers of beer other than their own. The official description of the bill reads:
Authorizes restaurants with a liquor license to sell beer, malt beverages, or cider for off-premises consumption, under certain conditions. Authorizes retail dealers with a liquor license to sell beer, malt beverages, or cider in non-original packages, under certain conditions. Authorizes brewpubs and small craft producer pubs with a liquor license to sell malt beverages manufactured on the premises or purchased from another liquor licensee for off-premises consumption.
The bill was heavily supported by Whole Foods and the Hawaii Food Industry Association, who through written testimonial stated that the bill would help spur the craft beverage industry and reduce the amount of single-use glass since growlers are re-usable. The bill passed through both the House and Senate with little opposition and it appears that the Governor will eventually sign it into law. With support from big corporate companies like Whole Foods and the Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild, we’ll hopefully be able to follow in the footsteps of 34 others states and the District of Columbia where retail growler fills are allowed.