In December, we told you that Councilman Tommy Wells had introduced a bill to expand growlers in DC. We haven’t heard anything else about this legislation since then, and apparently Thor Cheston hadn’t either and decided to investigate.

Cheston, of course, is well-known in DC craft beer circles and is in the process of opening a Shaw brewpub named Right, Proper with accomplished local homebrewer Nathan Zeender.

Cheston recently emailed Councilman Tommy Wells to see what the bill’s status was. He was told to check with Councilman Jim Graham who chairs the council committee that oversees alcohol issues. A hearing for the growler legislation has not been scheduled at this time, but there may be an omnibus alcohol issues bill brewing for this spring that the growler legislation may be a part of.

Below is the text of Cheston’s letter to Jim Graham sent Saturday morning. Information on how to contact your DC council member on this issue follows the letter.

Mr. Graham,

Council Member Tommy Wells suggested I contact you regarding the
Sustainable Bottle Amendment Act of 2011. I am hoping this will be
included in the large omnibus alcohol related bill this Spring?

I am a budding entrepreneur who is currently raising funds to open a
neighborhood brewpub in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC in
2013. Having the ability to sell our beer in reusable containers with
a Class-C Tavern/Brewpub license has the potential of adding a great
deal of revenue to local businesses like mine and add to the growing
craft beer scene in the District.

I, along with many colleagues, have been working diligently for the
past few years to turn Washington, DC into one of the great beer
cities of the United States. With DC based breweries like DC Brau,
Three Stars and Chocolate city in operation and great beer bars like
Pizzeria Paradiso, Brasserie Beck, Churchkey, etc. doing record
setting business the only thing the District needs now is great

Selling house-brewed beer in reusable containers, aka “growlers” is a
cornerstone of brewpub culture in the United States. Passing the
Sustainable Bottle Amendment Act of 2011 would allow brewpubs to
expand their market and be the final step in making Washington, DC a
city know for great beer.

Please let me know how I can help get this bill passed with the
Sustainable Bottle Amendment included.

Thank you very much and I hope you are enjoying your weekend.


Thor Cheston


To contact your DC council member, you can find the links to their individual pages through here.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on this legislation!