Soon you can actually fill this vessel with cider. Photo via Seattle Cider Company's Facebook page.

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.

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