Looks like the State of Georgia may have revised its opinion on growlers. It has been recently discovered that there is a certain situation that would allow growlers to be sold in the state of Georgia. I have obtained a letter from the Georgia Department of Revenue that states this:
“The Department [Of Revenue] has determined that, persuant to the Georgia Alcoholic Beverage Code, “growlers” or similar containers may be appropriately used so long as it is at a licensed retail off premise location that does not deal in distilled spirits by the package. “
Essentially, off premise retail stores that don’t sell liquor, could in theory sell growlers for off premise/home consumption. However, local city laws or ordinances may prevent this. The letter further states:
“Other provisions of the Official Code of Georgia or local ordinances may be more restrictive in the use of such containers and business models.”
So, the city of Atlanta may specifically prevent growlers”to be sold. Why is this all of sudden surfacing? This weekend in Athens a beer store opens its doors with the distinct purpose of selling growlers. The store – “The Beer Growler” was recently mentioned in Athens newspaper The Flagpole. Check out the article here –> http://flagpole.com/Weekly/GrubNotes/GrubNotes-12Nov10
If I understand the situation correctly, the City of Athens has NOT specifically allowed this. I asked Kraig Torres, owner of Hop City Craft Beer & Wine about the matter. His quote “Atlanta, and surrounding jurisdictions have not allowed the sale of growlers specifically, despite the revised opinion of the State of Georgia. I am looking into the matter deeply. The DAY growlers are green lighted by the City of Atlanta is the day Hop City will sell it’s first growler.”
Bottom line, the State of Georgia has revised its view on growlers for off premise sites WITHOUT liquor. The local ordinances still prohibit the sale of growlers currently. It is not guaranteed that “The Beer Growler” in Athens will be allowed to remain open by the city of Athens. There is still a lot to discuss on this matter as it develops.
More to follow on this…