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Charleston brewery to mark return of the growler

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak Black Sheep Burrito bartender Brittani Brooks will be ready to celebrate the resumption of retail sales of growlers ­— resealable, refillable jugs — thanks to a state law that goes into effect Friday. To commemorate the event, the Charleston Brewing Co. is hosting “Growler Fest” at 4 p.m. Friday at Black Sheep on the corner of Quarrier and Summers streets.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak
Black Sheep Burrito bartender Brittani Brooks will be ready to celebrate the resumption of retail sales of growlers ­— resealable, refillable jugs — thanks to a state law that goes into effect Friday. To commemorate the event, the Charleston Brewing Co. is hosting “Growler Fest” at 4 p.m. Friday at Black Sheep on the corner of Quarrier and Summers streets.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A state law that takes effect Friday will allow Charleston’s sole brewery to resume growler sales and, for the first time, sell its most popular brews in cans directly from its dock.

Charleston Brewing Co. will celebrate the new law, Senate Bill 273, with Growler Fest Friday afternoon. Live music will be provided by 600 Lbs. of Sin and the first 500 patrons will receive a complimentary jug — or growler — featuring the Black Sheep Burrito & Brews logo, head brewer Ryan Heastings said.

“We’re expecting a big turnout,” he said.

The growler business was strong at Charleston Brewing Co. for its first year of business, but when Black Sheep took over operations at 702 Quarrier St. in January 2014, it ran afoul of the law at the time, which said only brewpubs — establishments that both brew and sell beer on site — may refill the 64-ounce resealable bottles.

Lawmakers fixed the law during the recent legislative session to allow any properly licensed retailer to refill growlers.

The new law also lowered tiered licensing fees for smaller brewers, eliminated burdensome bonds for pubs, and will allow breweries to provide samples on tours.

Heastings will also be able to sell beer directly from his dock located at the back end of Black Sheep.

He said he plans to start doing so on a limited basis soon.

 “The other big thing for us in this new law is the ability for breweries to do dock sales, not only to sell growlers but also bottles and cans as well,” he said. “We’re looking to bring in a mobile canner…

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