Delaware Beer News: House Bill 31 Introduces Growler Sales

As has been reported by many outlets, Rep. Debra Heffernan, D-Edgemoor on Thursday introduced House Bill 31, which would essentially allow growler sales in the state of Delaware.  As it appears to us, growlers can be sold by any authorized establishment that has an off premises license, with the additional purchase of a $150 license that would be good for two years.

The interesting thing is that the original wording of the Bill covers restaurants with an off premise license, so by extension this bill might cover them as well.  Of course the only restaurant I know of off the top of my head that has an off premise license is Jessup’s Tavern in Historic New Castle.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Full Bill below:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend §516(a), Title 4 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining as follows:

§ 516. Consumption off premises of hotel, restaurant, club, store or taproom.

(a) Any person in charge of a hotel, restaurant, club or store (other than a grocery, delicatessen or cigar store), whether owner, lessee or manager, and recognized as such by the Commissioner, may apply to the Commissioner for a license to purchase and to keep and sell and deliver on the premises only spirits, wine or beer by the bottle or half bottle only, but not for consumption on the premises where sold, or in any dependency thereof. All bottles so sold shall be delivered to the purchaser and shall be removed from the premises where sold with the seals of such bottles unbroken, with the exception of those licenses that are approved by the Commissioner for a Growler Filler permit which allows a licensee to purchase beer by the keg or partial keg and fill containers at time of purchase which will then be capped to leave the licensed premises for consumption off of the premises. For purposes of issuing a new license under this section, all establishments licensed for the sale of alcoholic liquors, but not for consumption on the premises where sold, shall be considered as being of the same type; provided, however, this shall not apply to the transfer of ownership or the renewal of an existing license.

Section 2. Amend §554, Title 4 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining as follows:

(oo) For a Growler Filler permit as provided in §516(a) of this title, the biennial license fee shall be $150.



                This Act permits off-premises consumption licensees who obtain a Growler Filler permit to purchase kegs or partial kegs from wholesalers and fill and cap containers for the customer to consume off of the premises where sold.

Author: Ed (The Dogs of Beer)

Beer Blog focused on Delaware & surrounding area. Drinker of beer. Writer of stuff. Over user of commas. Dangler of prepositions.

3 thoughts on “Delaware Beer News: House Bill 31 Introduces Growler Sales”

  1. I wonder how broadly the underlined exception applies…that is, does it bring in the grocery stores, delis, and cigar stores that are initially excepted out from the license in the first parenthetical. I assume not, but it’s not entirely clear. Otherwise, it’s a loophole to backdoor beer sales (growlers) in grocery stores (like Whole Foods does here)!

    1. Yeah, I didn’t think DE would let grocery stores backdoor through this bill, since at the moment beer is not allowed to normally be sold in grocery stores like in some states. We do have a restaurant near us that used to have an attached liquor store, however, and when he closed the store he kept the license as is, so he can still sell “off premise”. I’ll be interested to see if that comes into play.

      But I’ll be interested to see who all takes advantage of this. A few years back, when DE was trying to get rid of the “No Sales on Sunday” law, it really was only a few big chains (Liquor World) who were really pushing for it. Mom-and-Pops weren’t all that intersted. I think the same will apply here.

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