Today the LA Brewers Guild provided an update to their previous statement on "non-native" growler fills. While their message doesn't come as much of a surprise. The timing of their release is interesting since this has been a hot topic since January.
Briefly, the point of the statement in January was that any brewery can fill any container, provided that existing label information is obscured and that new, approved labeling is affixed to that container. Many breweries chose to only fill their own growlers to avoid any harsh fines and penalties.
During this time the LABG has been working with it's members to determine the best course of action in moving forward. Several breweries have been issued approved labels following the format of a growler label. The next step is for those breweries to begin filling growlers "non-native" to their own brewery. Moving forward, breweries will be allowing these fills at their own pace.
Key points to keep in mind:
1. Each brewery is different and will consider non-native growler fills based on their own policies and procedures, and on their own preparedness to do so.
2. Some brewers may choose to continue filling only their own growlers at this time. Please respect this decision.
3. Call first. Before you bring a non-native growler to be filled at a brewery be sure to ask:
1. If they will fill a non-native growler
2. If they can accommodate filling the size/shape of your particular growler
4. State law requires that all identifying marks on non-native growlers be obscured before another brewery can fill that growler. ABC specifies that the method of obscuring those identifying marks cannot be “easily removed”. Again, each brewery will have their own policy in how they comply with this law, so be sure to check with them before you go to get a fill.