State Growler Laws: Will my local brewery fill my ManCan?

Hi! I’m Lexi, ManCan’s Brand Manager, and I’m excited to make my debut on the blog. If you ever have any questions for me, shoot me an email at lexi@mancan.beer.

You just got your shiny new ManCan and you’re dying to know: where can I get this magnificent shining glory filled with fresh craft beer?

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Simply put, it depends Mostly on the state in which you live.

Before we dive in, let’s cover the two legal definitions of growlers. These affect how states decide where you can get a growler filled, which determines where you can get your ManCan filled:

  1. “Bottle”
    • A type of growler that is filled in advance of the sale at the brewery. The customer does not furnish the container in advance.
  2. “Large Glass”
    • A type of growler that the customer brings in to the brewery to have filled. The customer furnishes the container to have filled, or they buy it from the brewery. Note: it does not need to actually be made out of glass. ManCan falls into this category.

In this post, we’ll focus on the legality of filling your ManCan from state to state, but take heed, beer adventurer, there are reasons other than the law why breweries may elect *not* to fill ManCan. One is taxes. Brewers and brewery owners must decide their approach to “bottles” vs. “large glasses” as that affects their tax situation. Some may choose the “bottle” approach for taxation purposes and as such, they may not be willing to fill your ManCan. Another reason they may not fill ManCan is because they are a small batch brewery and want to preserve their beer for in-person brewery goers. Perhaps... do they just hate stainless steel like my Dungeons and Dragons character, Ellywick? Maybe. Who knows? We live in a free market economy and brewers reserve the right not to fill any container for any reason they want. It’s always best to call a brewery in advance, even if your state falls on the “Heck yeah, they’ll fill your ManCan!” list below. Call first to make sure they'll fill your new pride and joy.

Most breweries we’ve worked with LOVE to fill ManCan, because our product keeps their craft beer fresh and carbonated until the very last drop, allowing you to savor the fruits of the brewer's labor for days on end. Check out our shop.

Here is a breakdown of states, from a legal perspective, that will fill your ManCan.

 
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The “Heck yeah, they’ll fill your ManCan!” list

You can fill a 128 oz. growler and a 64 oz. growler in these states.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
    • Just not on Sundays! Get to church!
  • California
    • There are some exceptions surrounding what type of license the brewpub has. Call in advance to check.
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
    • Our Tribe in Nebraska says you must have purchased the can from the brewery. Have all your fave Nebraska breweries get in touch with customer support so they can start selling and filling ManCan!
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
    • Here, only the “manufacturer” of the beer can sell if for off-premise consumption. So no brewpub ManCan fills.
  • New York
  • North Carolina
    • Our Tribe in North Carolina says breweries here will just treat the Picnic Keg as two 64 oz. fills.
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
    • Dang, you guys are hardcore! In your legal terms, anything between 1.5% to 12% is considered “non-intoxicating.” I get a buzz at around 7%... weak!
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
 
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The “Love ya, but we’ll only fill your Grab ‘n Go Growler (not your Picnic Keg)” list

You can fill a 64 oz. growler in these states.

  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
    • It’s possible they would fill the Picnic Keg, but the legal language is unclear. Call in advance.
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Rhode Island
 
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The “What, no love for ManCan?” list

These states are unlikely to be willing to fill your ManCan.

  • Georgia
    • Everything is based on local municipalities in Georgia. Call your brewery in advance to ask if they’ll fill your ManCan.
  • Mississippi
    • We read that the actual “manufacturer” of the beer can’t sell it for off-premise consumption, but a “brewpub” can. Call in advance.
  • Nevada
    • We read that the actual “manufacturer” of the beer can’t sell it for off-premise consumption, but a “brewpub” can. Call in advance.
  • New Hampshire
    • We were informed by one of our amazing customers that New Hampshire breweries are only permitted to fill their own growlers. Some breweries sneak around this by putting their sticker on outside receptacles, making them "theirs" in that way... though I wouldn't count on this working. As you've probably guessed - it's worth calling in advance to ask your New Hampshire brewery if they'll fill your ManCan.
  • Oklahoma
    • We read that the actual “manufacturer” of the beer can’t sell it for off-premise consumption, but a “brewpub” can. Call in advance.
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Do you see an error? I’d love to correct it. Reach out to me here, friend. I’d love to sign off that this information will always be 100% accurate, but I’ll come right out and admit that I am not a lawyer, nor am I able to keep up with changing laws. Please consider this article as a helpful portion of your growler law research and not the end-all-be-all, because I may have made a mistake or two, or time may have passed and things may have changed. Please check the Brewer’s Association website for more on growler laws in each state.

Now that you’ve got the rundown on where to fill your ManCan, head over to our brewery map to see a list of breweries nationwide. Cross-reference that map with this post to find a new local brewery support - give them a call first if you’re unsure - and get on with your ManCan beer adventure!

Prost!
—Lexi