Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Government Accountability & Oversight Committee

SSB 6442

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Allowing sales of growlers of cider.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Senators Brown, Hatfield, Schoesler, Hobbs, Honeyford, Hewitt, Kohl-Welles, Keiser, Kline and Rolfes).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Permits licensees currently allowed to sell beer in growlers to also sell cider in growlers.

Hearing Date: 2/24/14

Staff: David Rubenstein (786-7153).


The Liquor Control Board (Board) issues a variety of liquor licenses, including microbrewery, restaurant, and retailer licenses. Subject to various restrictions, some licensees may sell beer in a sanitary container brought to the premises by the purchaser or supplied by the licensee and filled at the tap at the time of sale (growlers). Licensees that may sell growlers of beer include: (1) domestic breweries and microbreweries; (2) beer and wine restaurants and taverns that hold a "combined" license; (3) certain beer and wine specialty shops; and (4) hotels. Most such licenses require that beer sold in growlers be for off-premises consumption.

Cider is defined as table wine made of fermented apples or pears and containing between 0.5 percent and 7 percent alcohol by volume. Because cider is defined not as beer but as wine, cider cannot be sold in growlers under current law.

Federal law imposes various requirements on labeling of alcoholic beverage containers, including a Surgeon General's warning that women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Summary of Bill:

Any licensee permitted to sell beer in growlers is similarly permitted to sell cider in growlers. The licensee must comply with federal law.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.