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What are the rules and regulations for refilling beer bottles?

I know there are certain regulations about the types of bottles you can use and can't use.


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Kinnek Knowledge Team

I apologize, but I'm not entirely sure if I can answer that question precisely without some more information.  Do you operate a brewery?  A brewpub?  A distributor?

As a general response, the laws vary quite a bit between states, so you'll want to assess the specific laws of your state before determining the best policy.  For example, in Pennsylvania, retail establishments have to either recycle or destroy empty beer bottles within 24 hours of consumption.  As you can imagine, this law puts a damper on beer bottle refilling for a brewpub in Pennsylvania.

Most breweries are actually concerned with applicable 'growler' refill laws.  Again, growler refill laws vary by state, but as a general rule, a growler MUST be properly sanitized before refilling, and the growler must also belong to (or be branded as) the brewery doing the refilling.  In many states, therefore, you cannot take your own growler to get it filled at a brewery.  The brewery can refill its own growlers, however, provided that the growlers are properly sanitized.

Apr 23, 2014

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