Although rumours had been making the rounds on Twitter for several months, news broke yesterday that Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries would soon be experimenting with draught beer “growlers.”
The 64-ounce glass jugs (a little less than two litres) are common sights in other provinces, where consumers are accustomed to taking them to their favourite breweries or brewpubs where they can get them filled and take them home to drink later.
The jugs are filled from a tap, much like one would fill a pint glass, but then they are sealed. They can keep in your fridge at home for some time and they can be a popular, environmentally friendly way to serve beer to a group of people.
This is part of the agonizingly slow process of modernizing Manitoba’s liquor laws, which despite recent changes remain woefully out of date.
Alcohol, like all intoxicants, can have undesirable effects on behaviour, and we recognize that governments have a legitimate interest in regulating it.
But alcohol is also a popular social lubricant that has a history with humanity dating back thousands of years. And sometimes it seems that government attitudes toward it are just about as old.
However, growlers are a welcome change; we’ll drink to that.