It's been just about two years since Arizona's lawmakers made the first set of commonsense changes to the state's laws concerning growlers -- large jugs that can be filled with draft beer and taken home.
Their updates enabled bars and breweries to fill growlers with any beer they had on draft, regardless of whose logo was on the vessel. The catch: it needed a government warning label and it had to be made of glass. Now that's about it change.
In years past (like, 150 years past), taking your draft beer home was all the rage. Consumers used all manner of objects to get the job done: glass pitchers and jars; pottery; their hands. But the most popular instrument of beer delivery was a pail made of galvanized metal. It's believed that the term "growler" emerged from these vessels - as a thirsty drinker walked home, he would agitate the beer and carbon dioxide would escape from the lid, causing a growling sound.
Now beer-lovers will once again have the ability to get their beer in metal. At midnight Thursday, July 24, new legislation that removes limits placed on growler materials goes into effect. Vessels made from stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic and virtually any nonporous, sanitary material will be allowed.
Did you catch "aluminum" up there? That one's important, because it'll enable breweries to fill and seal "crowlers" - giant versions of the aluminum cans you see on shelves every day. These vessels, popularized by Oskar Blues Brewing Co. in Colorado, are single-use but keep beer fresher longer than standard growlers and can be taken anywhere aluminum cans are allowed. SanTan Brewing Co. will premiere their crowler system -- dubbed "Canzilla" -- on the 24th.
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To celebrate the new law going into effect, the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is hosting "Great Growler Fill" events at breweries and bars across the state.
For information about how you can participate in the celebrations check out our post about the event.
Zach Fowle works at World of Beer in Tempe.