OLYMPIA, Wash. — St. Patrick’s Day is more of a beer drinker’s holiday, but state wineries and their patrons are celebrating today as Gov. Jay Inslee signs into law a bill allowing for the sale of wine in growlers statewide.
Despite the popularity and wide availability of beer sold in growlers — reusable glass containers that usually hold 64 ounces — state law only allows wine to be sold in a growler from the winery where it was made. Now growlers of wine can be purchased at a winery’s off-site tasting rooms.
As the Tri-City Herald reported last year, the law change isn’t just about meeting customer demand but reducing a winery’s carbon footprint. About 65 percent of a winery’s carbon footprint is glass, the newspaper reported, and this law cuts down on that by allowing customers to return for a refill instead of throwing away old bottles.
The bill was approved without opposition in the House of Representatives and received only six “no” votes in the Senate. It’s good news for wineries in Washington state and in particular for those in the Yakima Valley, which has dozens of wineries, most of which are small family operations.
The bill is one of 18 that Inslee is scheduled to sign into law at a 3 p.m. ceremony in Olympia today.
• This article has been updated to correct where growlers of wine can be sold.