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I own a beer filling station, and customers return their growlers to me. Is it safe for me to re-use the growlers (after sanitizing of course)

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10 answers

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Yes, it is perfectly fine to refill a growler after sanitizing it.  Just make sure that the cap is also sanitized and free of debris and make sure the seal still has its integrity.
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Safe, and sort of the point of growlers. A growler is a reusable bottle that essentially eliminates packaging costs for the seller, provided it comes back. The perception should also be very "green". 
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Many folks use a new screw cap as well for glass growlers. The customer should take care of their bottles, too. We include instructions with our SS Growlers for care and sanitation. 

Nothing like taking in a growler to fill  that is 1/4 that's been sitting in the back of a Dodge for 5 months. 
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It is reusable but it is perfectly fine to refill a growler after sanitizing it. We offer machines that could design your own logos, pictures and words on it. Laser engraving machine.
www.dihorse.com
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Have you considered providing Coasters to your returning Customers.  Maybe Printed with your Hours of Operation? Great means of advertising!!
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Growlers should be rinsed with hot water at least twice after the last pour and inverted to dry. This cannot be done in a dishwasher and Rube Goldberg arrangements for allowing air to circulate often lead to a broken growler or other china found on a granite countertop.
Attach a Growler Collar, a five inch diameter disc with a threaded center hole and three feet to elevate the growler for draining a drying overnight. You'll find that customers prefer to keep their growlers clean and don't want to swap them for another...even though it's been sanitized. Bottoms UP!
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Yes it is perfectly safe to refill growlers. This is the primary reason that breweries, bars and restaurants buy them. You can follow this link to a great new document on growler care:
http://www.draughtquality.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Facts-About-Growlers-v1.pdf
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Most of my customers inspect the integrity of the glass and the inside of the growler before filling and will refuse to refill if it does not meet their standards.  You have to protect yourself, but yes, a growler is definitely meant to be refilled.  New caps are also recommended periodically for screw tops
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Be sure to check for cracks in returned growlers. It is impossible to know what people do with their growlers once they leave your store. If the glass is cracked it can bust once your fill it with any carbonated liquid.

I add about an inch of water to my growlers when I store them. Many of the growler fillers I use ask their customers to do this. It helps to ensure that no beer hardens in the growler if it is stored for more than a few days.
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Assuming the growler is sanitized properly, absolutely. That's one of the biggest reason for the boom in growler popularity--end-users love the convenience and economy of having their own custom refillable container.
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