Grappling with Hawaii’s growler law

Grappling with Hawaii’s growler law
Published: Jul. 20, 2015 at 8:21 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 20, 2015 at 8:30 PM HST
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KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The recent 'growler law' signed into effect by Gov. David Ige allows for any restaurant or retailer with a liquor license to sell beer, cider or other specified malt beverages for off-site consumption in containers up to 64 ounces.

It's a big win for consumers.

"It allows them to bring fresh beer home with them.  In our case, some of the freshest beer on the island" said Geoff Seideman, owner and brewmaster at Honolulu Beerworks.

The law is also a boon to businesses and craft brewers.  Even places like Whole Foods Market will be able to sell them. 

"We will be selling growlers with the Whole Foods Market brand, beautiful glass growlers.  It's also possible to fill up your Hydroflask" said Clair Sullivan of Whole Foods Market.

While there is a marketing and retail opportunity for sellers, it's not entirely a rosy picture for some businesses.

"A lot of these bars and restaurants will either have to get new equipment of have space for their growlers" said Seideman.

Additionally, growlers are normally sold at a lower cost than per pint, so the business filling them could be taking a hit on their profit margin. 

"Whenever we're setting prices we're of course thinking first about the cost of the goods, and then from there our intention is to be competitive in the marketplace" added Sullivan.

Despite the looming hurdles, Seideman couldn't be more pleased with the possibilities for his brand, and others.

"What's good for us is the more growlers and the more people are exposed to fresh, local beer the better it is for us that we can produce more beer".

More beer means more jobs.  Seideman employs 25 people, and is planning to expand.

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