Monday, December 12, 2011

Growlers coming back to D'Vines?

You may remember a few months ago when local beer store D'Vines started selling growlers of beer -- that is, you choose a keg of fresh beer and they pour you a bunch in a large, resealable bottle. It was a neat idea, but unfortunately, was illegal due to the city's (I would argue antiquated) alcohol laws.

However, it looks like sweet, sudsy relief is around the corner: Ward 6 councilman Tommy Wells introduced legislation to allow growlers. I don't see who would be opposed to this. To me, any worry about being buying them to loiter and get drunk is kind of silly -- who buys fancy pale ale or stout to get drunk outside when they can buy much cheaper stuff?


Anonymous said...

The challenge is that usually except in a system like South African Apartheid, there is only one set of laws and one set of enforcement for all people. And technically it's not legal to discriminate with the exception of age. Under DC human rights laws you are not even supposed to discriminate based on income.

So it's not always to simple if its important the law be applied equally. Unless the suggestion is we need a new urban apartheid, things are not always so easy. And wells may be making bad law.

Andrew W said...

For the record, William, I'm not opposed to selling single beers and small booze bottles either.

Anonymous said...

That's my point, we are in a neighborhood/community so it's not just about what I favor. I would favor public drinking areas (with public restrooms) which would allow you to openly comsume a brew brought from home or the store.

However, I would increase enforcement otherwise.

But as a responsible member of the commmunity and given our policing, we a not there yet. So I don't support Well's approach or my idea without some real community vetting, whether I think the registrictions are silly or not.


Anonymous said...

William - I can't make sense of what you're saying. The proposed law "would allow retailers to fill growlers, whether sold by them or brought in by a beer drinker." The retailer could sell whatever sort of beer they choose to anyone with a growler. Who does this discriminate against?

Anonymous said...

There are reasons ABC laws/rules currently don't allow growlers. Andrew raised and then dismissed one set of concerns loitering and public consumption. He did so saying one class,those who buy high priced brew should be under different law than those who buy the cheap stuff. The discrimination is implied.

I say law based on implied discrimination is generally bad law. And is a very slippery slope and should be done thoughtfully not a blog speed.


cathy said...

william, i agree with you that it was a weird comment, that growlers should be allowed because those using them are unlikely to drink publicly. but the fact remains that the original post wasn't asserting that some people should be able to drink from open containers in public and some shouldn't. growlers should fall under the same law as single cans, and let the cops enforce the open container law.

Andrew W said...

No William, you misunderstand me. Loitering and drinking outdoors is illegal, no matter who does it. I'm saying that people who buy growlers will probably not be drinking and loitering with their growlers. If people make that argument as a reason to oppose growlers, I think they are wrong.

In any case, what are other reasons growlers are illegal? You can buy them at breweries now. How is that different than at a liquor store?

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen grawlers range from beer bottles with connected tops, to a large jog with a top to a cup with a top. So the line begins to blur between just filling a cup and on site and off-site consumption. Restaurants will want to do the same, then beer trucks. And the law/rules become a mess for all just to deal with a very narrow segment. It's a bad way to write law.

Some folk feel that if you make it too easy to get to the brew in a consumable size people will drink in public and hang around for refills. Which can compound other problems.

My point is we just need to be thoughtful and careful not to slip into an apartheid system of laws, because we are too lazy to work the process at the neighborhood level down to city hall.

Andrew W said...

If people hang around waiting for refills someone else should call the cops.

If restaurants and beer trucks want to have growlers, they can propose laws. I doubt they would pass. You're taking the slippery slope to its extreme.

From what I recall, the growlers at D'Vines were required to be sealed with a plastic cap, like those ones on Snapple bottles and stuff.

beatledud said...

First, I thought there were two other places in the city that already sell Growlers. Why can they and why can't Devine's?

Second people drink in public anyways (specifically people that live in public spaces, not all but some). Point being if a person wants to drink in public that person is going to drink in public. Having a resealable top (which companies like Miller Lite already provide) isn't going to change anything.

I think the real issue is health related and liability. What if someone brings in a dirty Growler and becomes ill as a result of consuming from it? What if they try to sue? I don't think it's the business's fault obviously, but it's a question to be raised (but cafe's do it now with people bringing in their own mugs).

And as a side note, we as a country really need to get over this public drinking issue. Countries in Europe do it all the time (some even allow it on their public transit system) and civilization hasn't ended there. Even other cities in the US, like San Francisco where it's highly tolerated, city life is just fine and quite pleasant.