Sunday, January 17, 2016

Asheville Breweries are being greedy

In my ongoing series exploring the state's growing beer scene, I head to Asheville.

Asheville's breweries are clearly basking in the glory of the nickname Beer City USA, but the fame has gone to their heads. Breweries are popping up in Asheville like kudzu, and so are arbitrary rules about refilling growlers.

Most breweries and at least one Asheville bottle shop that I visited this weekend would not refill my growlers. French Broad Brewing Company and Asheville Brewing Company were the exception.
My growler is adorned with the appropriate state labels. The brewery employees cited state law that prevented them refilling growlers. That's nonsense. The law changed two years ago. Read it here if you're interested.

Several Charlotte breweries also refuse to refill outside growlers, but Asheville breweries are taking it to another level. Not only are the AVL breweries refusing to refill outside growlers, but they also charge a $4 and $5 deposit to purchase a growler. That's greedy. Most of the people hanging in downtown Asheville are tourists like myself. I'm not going to return a growler.

When I was in Asheville this weekend, I met a group of guys from Wisconsin. They were visiting because they heard about Asheville's beer scene. At other breweries and bars, I met several people from Tennessee and others from Georgia. In all of my brewery-hopping,  I never talked to anyone from North Carolina, let alone Asheville (other than employees).

So, why charge a glass deposit on growlers? Greed.

Whatever happened to recycling? Requiring customers to buy a new growler at each new brewery is a waste. Plus, beer fans like myself are stuck with a gazillion empty growlers in my woman-cave.