'Growler Bill' could expand craft beer market - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Growler Bill' could expand craft beer market

Right now, growlers can only be sold at breweries. Right now, growlers can only be sold at breweries.
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Missouri lawmaker could make it possible for you to go to your nearest gas station and fill up a gallon jug full of draft beer to-go.

The bill, HB 279, has been coined the "Growler Bill" because of the glass jugs you can transport draft beer.

The proposed bill would make it so any retailer with a Missouri liquor license could sell them.

That would mean grocery, convenience and liquor stores could sell between 32 to 128 fluid ounces of draft beef for off-premises consumption.

Right now, though, consumers can only purchase growlers at breweries.

The jugs are a big selling point for places like Hubrew.

"We get a lot of people that pop in and usually that's our first couple of customers a day is just people on their way home from work and they stop in and fill their growler," Chad Huber said, Assistant Brewer at Hubrew.

Huber said making beer is all about the craft, but growlers help with the bottom line.

"We've sold a ton," Huber said. "Last year we sold 415 gallons of beer just in growlers."

However, it's a market some feel should be open to anyone licensed to sell alcohol.

Keller Ford, manager of Primo Vino, said he has people come into his store asking for growlers all the time, however, he can't sell them.

Managers at Hot Shots in Cape Giardeau say it would even the playing field.

"I think when somebody else can sell something that somebody else can't it creates an unfair advantage in the marketplace," Paul Blaylock said, general manager of Hot Shots. "For us to be able to follow the rules to be able to do something like that we could essentially build off more sales and help our place, and our community."

Huber said it would help small breweries get more attention.

"The majority of people aren't going to go stop in and fill a growler full of Bud Light when they can grab a 24-case for about the same price," Huber said. "So it's going to promote more craft beer."

He also said it would be a more convenient option for the consumer.

"It's the highest quality that you can have your beer is a growler is draft," Huber said. "It's as good as having a keg at home."

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