Oregon becomes 1st state to allow wine growlers

FILE- Patricia Helman, of Puerto Rico, tastes pinoit noir wine at the Domaine Drouhin tasting rooms at their vineyards in Dayton (Greg Wahl-Stephens, AP Photo)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregonians now have a new way to get their wine.

On Thursday Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill allowing places with a full on-premises sales license to offer take-home wine in refillable jugs known as “growlers.” The rule could apply to wineries, restaurants, grocery stores and wine shops.

It was a week ago Thursday that the Oregon state Senate raised a glass to the idea. They voted unanimously on the idea of allowing consumer-supplied growlers of up to two gallons.

Oregon is the first state in the country to approve wine growlers. The bill, HB 2443, also allows take-home malt beverages and cider “in securely covered containers provided by the purchaser.”

Refillable beer growlers, usually holding up to 32 ounces, have been offered for some time at Oregon brewpubs.

Oregon has 900 vineyards which grow grapes and 450 wineries which turn the fruit into wine, according to the Oregon Winegrowers Association.

Many of Oregon’s wineries are small operations that have trouble competing for limited space on store shelves, Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) told the Associated Press. He said the change will give the small local businesses another way to get their wine in front of consumers.

Supporters also say this will allow wineries to reduce their carbon footprint.

— The Associated Press and KOIN’s Jennifer Meacham contributed information used in this report.

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