Warning— Growlers are filled under pressure. Non-pressurized, weak glass is susceptible to damage when Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is introduced during the fill process. Should your jug break during this process, 99 Bottles will replace it with a new 99 Bottles branded 64-ounce or 32-ounce growler jug. Present special jugs for fill at your own risk; 99 Bottles will not be held responsible for monetary, replicate, or other demands.
How do I order a growler?
Upon arrival at 99 Bottles, step up to the “ORDER GROWLERS” counterside. Review the whiteboard for Growler Fill Choices, let us know which beer you’d like, and which size growler you want to buy — or present your clean, dry glass growler. We’ll write your name on a growler I.D. slip, and give you a shout-out when your fill is complete. Shop or browse while we fill; checkout once the fill is done.
Growler orders placed at checkout require additional wait time. All bottle orders will be checked out before we return to filling, so last-minute decisions for fills won’t backup the line for others. We ask that growler fills be paid for upon completion just in case the keg empties and gives a partial fill. If the keg emptied on your fill, you can either pay for underfill or choose a different beer.
How frequently does the selection change?
That depends on how quickly you and others come in for fills. Many kegs on our fill station are just over 5 gallons (about 20 32-ounce fills), so super popular beers may sell out within hours, while others may be on for several days. If you want a growler of a posted beer, come in once you see it’s available — or watch for its return. Keep in mind that some are rare/limited and may only appear once! We try to always keep on the most popular beers: Mac & Jack’s African Amber, Georgetown Manny’s and Lucille, and Boneyard RPM.
Will you fill my growler with… (widely available bottled beer)?
It’s unlikely that you’ll see that favorite year-round bottled beer on our fill station. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of beers that are never bottled, available only in kegs, such as beers from Mac & Jack’s and Georgetown. There are also loads of breweries that don’t bottle, only offering kegs to beer stores, pubs, and taverns. Thus, 99 Bottles focuses on bringing these, plus rarities and occasionals, in to fill your growlers. Afterall, bottled selections are already within your reach.
Will you fill my growler with cider?
Sorry, no. Cider residue coats the lines and would cross-contaminate the beer, giving every beer on that filler a “cidery flavor.” Thus, to preserve quality of beer, we don’t offer cider fills. 99 Bottles does offer over 100 varieties of cider that’s packaged at its source, and fortunately, nearly all ciders are available in bottles (few are draft only).
Will you fill my jug?
Yes, if it’s a clean, ready-to-fill glass beer growler. To be filled at 99 Bottles, your jug must be a semi-transparent glass beer jug in one of the following sizes or styles: 32-ounce (quart) EZ swing-top, screw-top, or Boston Round beer growler; 64-ounce (1/2 gallon) screw-top or swing-top beer growler; 128-ounce (gallon) screw-top beer growler; 2L Palla growler, or 2L German-style growler, as pictured below.
Why don’t you fill other containers?
Plastic and cardboard containers are porous and harbor bacteria. Cornies and party pigs aren’t growlers; order kegs if you need that much beer. Dark vessels (i.e., metal, painted glass) don’t allow us to monitor the beer flow — we must see through the container to assure both a smooth fill and that the jug is clean and ready for fills. And some glass receptacles (e.g., apple juice jugs) just aren’t tempered for filling under pressure. For pictures of what we do and don’t fill and more detailed information, check out our Q&A: Growler Fills at 99 Bottles.
Will you wash my jug?
Sorry, no, we have no cleaning station. Be sure to clean and dry your growler in advance. 99 Bottles doesn’t fill wet, dirty growlers. For more info, check out our Q&A: Growler Fills at 99 Bottles. Always make sure your growler is DRY before capping it. Sealing a wet growler causes bacterial growth with foul & funky stench…it’s not pleasant when opening, and such growlers aren’t ready for fills of delicious craft beer.
Why must the growler be clean and dry?
Our focus is on fresh, delicious product and we hope to get other craft beer drinkers thinking the same way! The makers of the Growler Collar say it well, “No craft brewery wants their favorite suds to blend with the bacteria and other funk that thrives in a moist, warm growler for a few days between fill-ups.”
You may want us to put delicious craft beer into your dirty growler. Sorry, we won’t. Not only is that gross, but Washington State law states the growler you provide for fills must be “sanitary.“
We say “we’ll fill clean, dry glass beer growlers” to encourage folks to bring in beer-ready jugs. A thorough wash followed by immediately capping does little good. When a clean, wet growler is sealed and not allowed to dry, bacteria can start growing and funking up your jug. Always make sure your growler is thoroughly dry before sealing. Yes, this may sound like common sense, but several times a week smelly bacteria-harboring jugs are handed to us for fills. In fact, we’ve even been presented with terrariums of mold for fills! Please obey the law and make sure your growler is clean and dry prior to bringing them in for fresh craft beer fills. Make sure your growler jug is clean in advance. Save us — and you — the embarrassment of fill refusal.
How much does it cost?
Cost of fill depends on the beer. The fill price is color-coded on the whiteboard. Red always indicates $5 for 32-ounce fill or $10 for 64-ounce fill (plus tax). Other colors/prices are indicated on the board.
If you bring a clean, dry glass growler, you pay the price of the beer fill + tax.
If you don’t have a growler or if yours is not clean, simply add on the cost of the growler; 99 Bottles branded jugs are available for $7 (64-ounce screw top) or $6 (32-ounce swing-top). Thus, your cost would be: growler jug price + beer fill + tax.
Is there a jug deposit?
No. Any growler jugs you buy to have filled are yours. Thus, there is no deposit.
I no longer want my jug. Will you take it back or offer an exchange?
Sorry, no. We do not accept exchanges or returns on glassware as it cannot be resold. Consider giving it to a friend, selling it at a garage sale, or recycling it.
What are the growler fill hours?
The growler fill station closes promptly at 15 minutes to the store’s closing hour. We fill clean growler jugs from noon to 4:45 p.m. on Sundays, from noon to 7:45 p.m. on Mondays, and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesdays thru Saturdays. Sorry, we are unable to fill growlers after station closing time. Please arrive with plenty of time for fills.
How long will the beer remain fresh?
When kept under refrigeration, the beer in your sealed growler from 99 Bottles should have a shelf life of four weeks or longer. The shots of carbon dioxide (CO2) at beginning and end of the fill process gives the growler-filled beer this extra-long shelf-life. Once you crack open the growler oxygen begins to interact with the beer, causing loss of carbonation and oxidation, so serve it immediately. If you don’t mind decreased carbonation, some folks have reported life of one to three days on opened growlers.
Can I taste what’s on tap?
Yes. Just purchase a “Growler Taste Card” and you can sample what’s on tap. Please note the Washington State laws that we must be in compliance with when pouring samples. By purchasing the card, you agree to those terms.
Do you offer pre-filled growlers from your tap list? Can I call ahead to order a fill?
Sorry, no. Washington State Liquor Laws state that “growlers must be filled at time of sale.” This means you must be present when ordering the growler. You are welcome to come in, place your growler order and visit a neighboring restaurant while we fill. If you’re unable to wait for a fill, consider purchasing a brewery-filled growler, such as those from Schooner EXACT.
Tell me about your growler fill stations.
99 Bottles has two Pegas® CrafTap systems for filling growlers. We have four channels on each CrafTap; each tower is connected to four kegs. If the fill requires a change of the dial, we give it a quick purge into our growler. Next we position your growler in the CrafTap, give a shot of carbon dioxide (CO2), start and control the fill (speed/foam), and give it another shot of CO2. Finally, we depressurize, remove and seal the growler. A seal is applied so you’re legal to travel with your growler in-car, so there’s no need to worry about open container laws.
Watch the CrafTap in action:
I thought the fillers would be faster.
Using the CrafTap system for fills isn’t about speeding up the process of filling growlers.
It’s about keeping the beer fresher, longer. Traditional pub fills include no counter-pressure; there’s no additional carbon dioxide (CO2) added during the fill. Thus, oxidation immediately begins to take hold, resulting in typical (unopened) shelf life of around three days. Filled with the CrafTap, sealed beer remains viable for four weeks — or longer! This allows you to plan ahead for gatherings and parties, stopping in for growler fills days-to-weeks in advance.
It’s also about wasting less beer. The CrafTap prevents excess foaming, so less beer is wasted during the fill. There’s no need to wait for foam to settle for a top-off. However, with four beers per fill station, so there may be some wait time for growler fill, with other fills ahead of yours. (Our busiest fill time is the after-work drive hour, plus periodic opening rushes.) Beers 1, 2, 3, 4 are on the left fill station; beers 5, 6, 7, 8 are on the right fill station.