Growlers are like handy little packages for that craft beer you can't normally find in stores. And in Florida, some breweries offer growler fills, but more than likely they will fill only their own. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but having several growlers lying around the home can be bit cumbersome.
But now an ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store in Lake Mary has a growler fill station.
But rather than having one growler for each brewery, Florida's largest liquor store chain will allow you to fill whatever growler you choose with whatever they have on tap.
Update: Edible Orlando reported that a Fort Lauderdale ABC location plans to receive a growler filling station.
And it's usually the good stuff: Cigar City, Sierra Nevada, Founder's, Dogfish Head, etc. Most Florida breweries have not bottled or canned their brew yet, but that will soon change, and you should start to see more Florida taps showing up in ABC stores that fill growlers.
Of course, you are allowed to fill only the legally approved growler sizes, either quart- or gallon-size, although some legislators are currently pushing for a law that would allow standard-sized 64-ounce growlers.
The biggest opponent to allowing a growler or that size (or even growlers in general) is the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, which represents Florida's Anheuser-Busch distributors, though A-B itself reportedly remained neutral on the matter.
The 64-once growler bill proposed earlier this year failed to make it past subcommittee. Florida does allow for other sized growlers to be legally filled, and there is no law preventing you from purchasing two 32-ounce growlers at the same time. The 64-ounce is the industry standard, however, and, as a result, is much cheaper, which would be a boon to the state's craft beer industry.
ABC is not the first liquor store in the U.S. to bring this novel concept, although it may be the first in Florida. Maryland-based Total Wine and More has gradually been installing growler stations in their stores, although they haven't said yet whether their Florida stores are on the list.
With 145 stores spread across the state, it's not clear when, or if, any ABC stores in South Florida will receive growler stations. But rest assured that if market demand is high enough, you will see one in an ABC store near you.