Washington's cider industry may be growing like crazy, but the laws governing this most enjoyable beverage remain a weird patchwork of beer and wine crossover. However state lawmakers have just reconciled the cider trend with another recent development in local drinking: our obsession with growler fills.
The Northwest Cider Association spread the word recently that SB 6442, newly passed and awaiting signature by Governor Inslee, will make it legal to tote a growler to a bar or bottle shop and fill it with cider.
Beer aficionados like growlers because they're economical, reduce the waste of single-use bottles and cans, and lets you enjoy the creations of small-batch brewers who don't bottle their wares from the comfort of your couch. These days even Bartell's is installing growler fill stations in its new stores. It's a huge win for anyone interested in exploring our local ciders; while researching this cider feature last year, I encountered a host of alluring creations that aren't available by bottle or can.
According to the Northwest Cider Association release, a similar law in Oregon increased draft cider sales. Keep an eye on local bottle shops and bars that do growler fills to see if more ciders appear on tap.