Petition for more on-the-go jugs of craft beer takes off

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COLUMBIA - A petition regarding sales of a certain kind of alcohol container in Missouri has only been up a short time but has already received a lot of attention.

The issue concerns growlers, glass jugs used to transport craft beer for home consumption. In Missouri you can fill up your growler at small local breweries that brew the beer on site. In some states you can fill up at any store that has a liquor license.

For example, in Missouri you can fill up on whatever specialty beer you choose at Flat Branch Pub and Brewing in Columbia, but you can't fill up down the street at International Tap House.

In 2009 Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) got a measure passed allowing bars that offer 45 beers or more on tap and derive at least half of their income from food sales to sell half-gallon growlers.

At the time, that only applied to one restaurant in St. Louis, Cicero's. Many claim this was passed because the owner of Cicero's was a family friend of Rep. Chappelle-Nadal. The law has even been coined "Cicero's law".  

With these regulations in Missouri, it is hard to enjoy the beer of your choice without sitting down at a bar.

Columbia resident Aaron Banks who has branded himself "The MidMo Beer Guy" says that was one of the big issues for him and he wants to change it.

"Often times small brewers sell their beers to the local bars also and that's how they get it, but if you're a family man like I am you're not gonna go hang out at the local bar and taste a new beer," Banks said.

So Banks decided to start a petition to change the law. He says he has been working on this for awhile and has yet to find a lawmaker against the idea. He says it has just been pushed aside and needs more attention for it to pass.

He stresses that this change will help Missouri's economy as well as the environment. 

"It would be a boost to the economy and I think the residents of Columbia would definitely be interested in the 'green' aspect of it because you're not gonna have all the cans and bottles," Banks said.

He added that if the petition is successful, he hopes to open a growler filling station in Columbia.

The petition currently available online has already reached more than half of its goal of 100 signatures.

KOMU 8 tried contacting legislators about the issue, but was unable to reach anyone.

 

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