Might the growler find its way to Decatur?

I love the City of Decatur for many reasons.

It’s diverse. It’s eclectic. It’s where I sleep at night. And, as if I needed another reason ….

It’s where the growler might surface. It seems, as Decatur Metro mentioned today here, the City is tying to detemine whether it can allow retailers to both fill and sell growlers. [See also Doug Richards Profile on 11-Alive News] What’s a growler, you ask? It’s a jug of beer. Or at least that’s what it was in the 1920s. Today that term captures the higher-tech bottling of draft beer. Here’s what Wikipedia had on the subject as of 5:05 EST on 4/8/2011:

A growler is a U.S. half gallon (1,890 ml/66.5 imp fl oz) glass jug used to transport draft beer in Australia, the United States and Canada. They are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-out beer. Some breweries also offer a one-litre or one-quart version. Growlers are also used by homebrewers as an alternative to kegs or smaller bottles for carbonating and storing their beer.

Growlers are generally made of glass and have either a screw-on cap or a hinged porcelain gasket cap, which can provide freshness for a week or more. A properly sealed growler will hold carbonation indefinitely and will store beer like any other sanitized bottle. Some growler caps are equipped with valves to allow replacement of CO2 lost while racking. [Source]

I’m familiar with the alcohol laws surrounding the issue. Allowing patrons to take home freshly-brewed beer in a big bottle sounds wonderful and simplistic. The City’s heart is in the right place (IMHO). But the question is where the State of Georgia’s mind is. The State’s alcohol distribution laws are set up, in a large way, to protect the wholesalers. Micro-brewers must go through wholesalers to distribute their bottled beer to end-users like you and me. So, if a micro-brewer is permitted to sell a take-home product (like a growler) directly to the customer, how, then, will the wholesaler make money on the transaction?

Can you guess?

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