Since the craft brewing boom over the last few years, breweries in Massachusetts have almost tripled. Last year, there were 127 breweries in MA, with 33 set to open in 2017. In stark contrast, through 2011 there were only 46 breweries in the Bay State. This not only speaks to how much Massachusetts loves their beer, but also how dedicated MA is to growing the beer business.
Since the brewing industry has started in Massachusetts, there has been a law that you may NOT fill a growler from another brewery. This means that literally every time you go to a new brewery, if you want to take their beer home, you’ll need to purchase a new growler. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the kind of space in my house for 127 growlers… And not only that, but having to pay for a growler every time you fill up eventually adds up to a nice chunk of change.
This past week, the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission released an advisory letting people buy one growler and get it refilled at any brewery. That being said – there is a catch. You can’t actually use ANY growler that you’ve purchased in the past – the only growlers that can be refilled must be blank. They can’t have any association with any other brewery in the area.
Since just one state over in Connecticut, you can refill any growler that you have at any brewery, this can be a confusing concept for out-of-state beer drinkers. Here at reCreative, we know from experience how excited CT beer drinkers can get about their growler fills, I wouldn’t want to be the one who tells them they have to get a new, non-descript growler to fill out-of-state.
The growler fight has been going on for over two years in Massachusetts and this provision helps increase beer sales and decrease the need for multiple growlers. Although MA is still waiting on official laws to allow people to fill any growler, this is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s a win-win for brewers and consumers alike.