The NC Rules Review Commission officially passed the temporary growler fill rules this morning, and they will go into effect starting October 25th. The permanent rules have to be in place by January 1st, 2014.
No real surprises in the filling rules, they simply lay out how the growlers should be sanitized prior to cleaning, how the tubes or machine used to do the filling are to be cleaned, and how the filling implements should be stored.
The definition of a growler was also refined, going from simply a “refillable container no larger than 2 liters” to “a refillable rigid glass, plastic, aluminum or stainless steel container with a flip-top or screw-on lid that is no larger than 2 liters.” Interesting that they included the “rigid” modifier, as this could possibly affect adoption of the recently developed “soft” growlers such as the BeerPouch.
Quite a few new rules around malt beverage labeling were added, including now requiring the Federal alcoholic beverage health warning statement on all manufacturer prefilled containers (so both bottles and growlers). Retailer filled/refilled growlers must also “be affixed with a label or a tag” containing the following information:
- brand name of the product dispensed
- name of the brewer or bottler
- class of product (e.g., beer, ale, porter, lager, bock, stout, or other brewed or fermented beverage)
- net contents
- if the malt beverage is fortified by any stimulants from the original manufacturer, the amount of each (milligrams) per container
- name and address of business that filled or refilled the growler
- date of fill or refill
- if the malt beverage is more than six percent alcohol by volume, the amount of alcohol by volume
- the following statement, “This product may be unfiltered and unpasteurized. Keep refrigerated at all times.”
All filled/refilled growlers are also required to carry the Federal alcoholic beverage health warning statement.
Non-brewery retailers are also prohibited from prefilling growlers for sale – filling and refilling is specifically limited by the rules to occurring “on demand by a customer.” Once purchased, whether it is prefilled or a refill, a growler can only be consumed “off-premises.”
You can find the adopted growler fill temporary rules here:
Growlers: Cleaning, Sanitizing, Filling and Sealing (.doc)