OLYMPIA, WA - The Washington State Senate has passed a bill that would permit those licensed to sell beer in growlers to do the same with cider. Senate Bill 6442 is sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick.
The bill passed Thursday by a vote of 45-4.
"Washington is home to some of the country's best cider producers, as well as the nation's oldest operating commercial craft cider producer," said Brown. "This common-sense measure will help our local breweries and distributors around the state meet their customers' demand for ciders to be available in growlers. It also has the added benefit of supporting our locally grown produce, as cider is often made from the best pears and apples in the world – which of course, are those grown here in Washington."
Brown said her bill originated as a constituent request from Geoff and Lindsay Gruetzmacher of the Richland-based business Growler Guys.
"The joint was jumping," said Brown of the Growlers Guys location. "With the addition of the ability to sell cider, I suspect the potential for growth will be even greater."
Under state law, domestic breweries may get a license that permits them to sell beer in a "growler," which is a sanitary container brought to the premises by the purchaser or furnished by the vendor and filled at the tap at the time of sale. Brown's bill would allow licensees holding either a license that permits – or a license with an endorsement that permits – the sale of beer to a purchaser in a growler to also sell cider in a growler.
SB 6442 now moves to the House for its consideration.