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DC Councilman Tommy Wells Introduces Bill to Expand Growlers in DC

In October, we told you about a growing growler controversy in DC. Yesterday, DC Councilman Tommy Wells introduced the Sustainable Bottle Amendment Act of 2011. Wells notes on his blog:

Customers outside of the District have long reused containers – often 1 to 3 liters in size – at brewpubs and retailers to significantly reduce the number of bottles that find their way into our trash and recycling streams.

Just over the District border in Hyattsville, for example, a customer can return a clean container to a brewpub or retailer, have the container filled and sealed, and return home. Within the last year, the opening of new manufacturers such as DC Brau on Bladensburg Road NE, have raised the consciousness about using them. Several retailers have made investments in the containers and heat shrink sealers, but have learned through ABRA that current DC law doesn’t provide clear guidance for this effort.

This legislation would expand growler fills to off-premises retailers (think Devinos, D’Vines for sure, and I think Whole Foods that already sell beer) and also to on-premises retailers that also have a brew pub endorsement on their license (District Chophouse and Gordon Biersch). Contents of growlers still could not be consumed on-premises in either case and would have to be consumed off-premises.

We’ll keep you posted as we track this legislation through the DC Council, but this is a step in the right direction for growler advocates everywhere!

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