Bethesda Favorite Celebrates New Beer Growler Law

Charleen Merkel, co-owner of Bradley Food and Beverage, with Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control division chief Kathie Durbin Charleen and Tom Merkel, owners of Bradley Food and Beverage

Bradley Food and Beverage (6904 Arlington Rd.) this week celebrated a new beer growler law it helped initiate last year.

Until Monday, Montgomery County didn’t license anybody to sell beer growlers, the refillable glass jars larger than a typical beer bottle that have become increasingly popular with the explosion of craft beers. Less than 10 stores in the state could sell growlers before legislation was adopted in Baltimore and Howard Counties.

The husband and wife ownership team at Bradley Food and Beverage went to State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Dist. 16). Kathie Durbin, from the county’s Department of Liquor Control, wrote legislation that would allow Montgomery County beer and wine sellers to stock growlers and Frosh agreed to sponsor it in January’s State Special Assembly.

The law went into effect Monday and store owners Charleen and Tom Merkel celebrated with Durbin by introducing the product and a few draft beer taps available in the store. Beers include La Fin Du Monde and a Flying Dog IPA.

The license regulates the size of the growlers between 32 ounces and 128 ounces. The annual licensing fee is $400.

In November, Charleen Merkel said she and her husband decided to pursue the legislation because of the growing popularity of craft beers that aren’t released in bottles. She said nobody had really challenged the lack of a growler license recently in Montgomery County.

Photos via Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control

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