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Governor Brown signs a bill beer drinkers will love

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North Coast beer drinkers are going to have more freedom to enjoy their favorite brews. Governor Brown’s signature of a Wes Chesbro Bill will ensure that.

AB647 was called the “Growler Bill” because of  64 oz containers called “Growlers” that beer lovers use to transport some of their favorite styles of beer from brew pubs or breweries. The problem was…once a label was on the bottle, a consumer couldn’t refill with another company’s beer because of the restrictions on open containers.

April Day, Compliance Administrator for Lost Coast Brewery: “I’m happy there’s clarification and that we are able to fill growlers from other breweries. It’s an opportunity for the customer…you know they don’t always want to have to buy another growler…they just want to use the one they already have.

More than half of all Americans now live within ten miles of a craft brewery. The usage of growlers is very popular in California. Industry officials have praised the bill saying the containers are a wonderful, economical, alternative that allows beer enthusiasts to enjoy their beer without wasting containers. April Day said, “A lot of craft brewers don’t bottle all of their beers…and this is an opportunity to get different kinds of beers that are not available on draft, at most bars or in a bottle.”

Humboldt County currently has seven craft brewers who sell, locally, throughout the US and Internationally. South Korea, Australia, Japan, Italy, Canada and Panama are just a few of the countries that consume Humboldt handcrafted beer. It’s sent to them in plastic recyclable kegs called Key Kegs.

Like the wine industry, craft brewing is big business and getting bigger. Lost Coast Brewery will open a new and larger brewery near Broadway and Sunset Avenue in about a year.