DES MOINES, Iowa — Move over slushy machines. Gas stations and convenience stores are making room for a more adult beverage dispenser.
Draft beer taps where customers can have 64-ounce growlers filled with beer to go have been installed in dozens of gas stations, grocery stores and other retailers around the country.
About 35 states allow retailers to sell the refillable, half-gallon glass jugs known as growlers, according to the Brewers Association, a national trade group, and several states, including Florida, Iowa and Missouri are considering laws to allow the practice.
“It’s definitely becoming more popular,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a national industry group. “The American public wants to be able to control their experience. They want to be able to take their beer home and pour as much or little as they want.”
Some brewers, though, are skeptical about putting their beer on tap in gas stations and corner stores, and wholesalers have voiced opposition to growler-friendly laws, which they say undermine tested alcohol distribution systems.
Still, retailers are eager to tap into the nation’s growing thirst for craft beer.
According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales grew 22% in 2014 to $19.6 billion, although a portion of the increase was due to a looser definition of craft breweries.