**UPDATE** Governor signs Illinois bill allowing bars and restaurants to fill growlers/crowlers and expanding brewpub rights. Let the beer flow.
House Bill 3610 became an amalgam of rights for Illinois’s hospitality industry, combining an amendment to the rights of brewpubs with a bill that allows bars and restaurants from Chicago to Effingham to sell growlers to patrons in the great state of Illinois. And now it is Public Act 101-0517 thanks to Governor Pritzker’s signature.
Here’s what it does for bars and restaurants in Illinois:
Growlers/Crowlers (yes, both) are no longer solely within the purview of breweries and brewpubs. Now, on-premises retail licensees (bars and restaurants and anyone else that gets an on-premise license) can fill growlers/crowlers as well.
- The beer must be transferred within the licensed premises by an employee at the time of sale (i.e., no pre-fills);
- The employee must be 21 years or older;
- The growler or crowler can hold no more than 128 fluid ounces;
- The growler or crowler must have a closure – either a twist-type, cork, stopper, or plug and MUST HAVE A TAMPER PROOF SEAL;
- The growler or crowler must have a tag or label affixed that states:
- The brand name of the beer dispensed,
- The name of the brewer or bottler;
- The type of product such as beer, ale, lager, bock, stout, or other brewed or fermented beverage;
- The net contents or the growler or or crowler;
- The name and address of the business that cleaned, sanitized, labeled, and filled or refilled the growler or crowler;
- The date the growler or crowler was filled or refilled;
- The statement “This product may be unfiltered and unpasteurized. Keep refrigerated at all times.”; and
- The licensee filling the growler must abide by the rigorous sanitation requirements of the act by cleaning the growler in one of three specified ways and of Title 11 of the Illinois Administrative Code Section 100.160.
NOTE: this is only for beer. If you’re looking to have something else fill those containers – better start lobbying your representative.
Here’s what it does for brewpubs in Illinois:
Commonly owned brewpubs (brewpubs wholly owned and operated by the same licensee) can now combine their annual 155,000 gallon (5,000 barrels) production limit and aggregate the total between their wholly owned and operated licensed locations. Having a smaller brewpub and a larger one will no longer be an issue if your production capacity at one far outstrips the other.
The only question is how soon you’ll make it to Olympic Tavern to buy one?