growler fills

April Beer Friday at Devil's Canyon Brewery with Off the Grid

April Beer Friday at Devil’s Canyon Brewery with Off the Grid

Enjoy a family friendly, admission-free evening of live music, rotating food trucks and our award winning selection of sustainably handcrafted beer and root beer. Friday April 24th from 4pm-11pm

We have a Monthly Beer Friday Mailing List you can subscribe to so you’ll receive an email update.

Beer Friday Food Trucks

4pm – 11pm

Gold Rush Eatery

Serving gourmet burgers, specialty sandwiches…

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I’m not a fan of being wrong. But there are two recent incidents in which I’ve been wrong, and I’m kind of okay with it:

  • Keeping Roethlisberger in my fantasy lineup this week was not a mistake.
  • My post about growler fill laws is woefully inaccurate. And the parts that are right aren’t right for good reasons.

Nathan of The Beer Spy – who you should be reading, by the way – just wrote this great post: Why Stores Won’t Fill Your Growler in Anne Arundel County (Spoiler: someone forgot to tell the county it’s now legal).

If you’re a lazy schmo who can’t take two seconds to click on that link and be informed (for shame), and/or the term “license holder” makes you want to rip your hair out, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: The new law does not state that you can only fill a Fishpaws growler at Fishpaws. It actually states that you can fill an Annebeth’s growler at Fishpaws, and vice versa. The law does in fact promote the free-flowing of awesome beer with the use of a growler from any “license holder.”

But here’s the part where you shake your head and go LOLGOVERNMENT: The Liquor Board wasn’t told about the changes so they kept charging ahead, rule-making while using the language with old growler limits.

Because communication is a top priority.

Thankfully Nathan also had good news for us beer drinkers:

But don’t worry, Senator Reilly told me that he and some of his colleagues will be meeting with the Liquor Board soon to workout changes to the regulations so that growler usage is implemented in AA County as intended. I will stay on top of this an keep all two of my readers updated.

This is obviously fantastic news, because I really don’t want our apartment to turn into a dope, but also dangerous, fort made of thousands of growlers that I’ve been forced to buy to be a compliant, law-abiding beer lover.

But when I met with Lindsey and Keith for drinks at 1747 Pub last week, we talked at length at how frustrated we feel as beer lovers by the confusing, often-conflicting rules and regulations that govern counties across the state.

Admittedly, I am new to the area, and historically I’m used to fewer restrictions when it comes to my beer purchasing behavior, particularly as it pertains to growlers. But I’m amazed at how confusing things are here, leaving people understandably feeling like they’re fighting an uphill battle just to be able to drink good beer.

It shouldn’t take so much effort to figure out what all of these laws mean. Because right now it feels like a game of Where’s Waldo? where everyone is dressed up like Waldo. For example, why can’t I buy beer in a grocery store, but I can promote a healthy lifestyle at the freaking Rite Aid next to Naval Bagels by picking up some trash bags and oh, some Jameson, because that location has a FULL SERVICE LIQUOR STORE INSIDE OF IT?

Also? Apparently this Rite Aid has the lowest Flying Dog prices in town. True story.

I know there are laws upon laws out there that explain how something this illogical makes “perfect sense,” but I don’t care. It’s dumb to the point where it feels like I’m getting dumber the more I think about it.

Does the state of Maryland think we’re one legislative clause away from turning from reasonable, responsible beer drinkers into Drunk Hulk, hulk-smashing our way down West Street, swinging a growler in the air? Newsflash, Maryland: I can buy beer at the Whole Foods in Alexandria, Va. They even have a bar inside where you can sit and drink really good beer. And guess what? The citizens of Alexandria are just fine – the lax laws there have not resulted in the streets running red with blood. No soccer moms are beating each other to death with yoga mats.

Anyway, I digress. Basically reading that post today made me incredibly happy.

We should be more pro-beer in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, and this is a step in the right direction. Don’t make those of us who really love beer feel like we’re being forced to wear a chest leash and a helmet every time we want to go out and fill up a growler. We’re not children. Without these ridiculous restrictions, I’d absolutely buy more beer, as I wouldn’t be constantly fretting over whether or not I had a growler from the right license holder – and this would support small businesses and craft breweries alike.

And isn’t that really what we all want? I mean, aside from more tasty beer in our bellies of course.


A friend and I were plotting and scheming yesterday regarding an upcoming growler release of Crown Valley’s nearly impossible to get Imperial Pumpkin Smash at Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Md. This is a big deal because I consider myself to be in a deeply emotional and fully-committed relationship with this beer. Like, if this were the 50s, I’d absolutely give this beer my letter jacket and ask it to go steady.

Anyway, while we were chatting, my friend asked: “Can I bring my own growler to get filled, or do I need to buy a growler at Fishpaws?”

This is a great question, especially since I have spent the majority of my beer-drinking career in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia, where many places will fill up any growler I bring, as long as it meets certain requirements – having a screw-top, as an example.

Well, this question prompted me to do some research on the topic, because I had absolutely no clue what the answer was. So I queued up the Unsolved Mysteries theme song, rolled up my sleeves and got ready for some serious investigative journalism… by opening up Google.

Here’s what I found out:

As some of you may or may not know, the answer in Anne Arundel County is pretty simple: No, you may not bring your own growlers in to be filled. The law says that retailers who have a “Refillable Container License” must provide containers that are not only sealable and between 32 and 182 ounces, but also “branded with the identifying mark of the license holder.” Meaning Fishpaws can only fill and refill Fishpaws growlers.

I heard some speculation that, because Annapolis has its own liquor board, it’d be different here… but still no. Maryland’s state capital also passed law basically saying the same thing.

So there you have it, folks! The more you know, etc.

Update: Apparently, there might be a widespread case of misinterpretation regarding this issue – brought to my attention by the fabulous Nathan of the Annapolis Homebrew Club. Look for an update soon, as I do a bit more research and chat with the bill sponsor in Annapolis. I may have some good news for you all!


My wife and I felt like BBQ for date night after another really bustin’ week at our respective jobs.  Yes I know - I’m old fashioned.  I still like spending time with my wife.  We popped over to the Breckenridge Brewery tasting room.  They have really great slow smoked meats and yummy sides.  They also happen to have some tasty brews.  We split the pig out platter, and before you ask, it is as bad (you mean GOOD) as it sounds. 

My wife had the Breck Lager and I had the 72 Imperial Chocolate Stout to go with the food.  I liked the stout so much I had my growler filled (be prepared for a review in the next couple of days - you have been warned).  I can’t say that I’m sorry that Denver has so many great breweries.  Having tasty food to go with it; well that is just a bonus.

New Equipment, Yay!

Alright, wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sorry, even though I know none of you are upset (or care). This on again off again blogging is my style, what can I say. So much beer stuff has happened.

I kind of took some time off from homebrewing because I’ve been brewing at my work, I got to release my own recipe there and that was really, really, cool. Then I took another job at a different brewery, but I couldn’t really reconcile my two schedules, plus it was a 45 minute drive to the new job, plus I was doing all the crappy work at the new brewery (filling growlers, scrubbing trench drains, cleaning and hauling kegs, shoveling grain, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, I know that in this industry you have to start on the bottom to work up, but I don’t really want to be a brewer for the rest of my life, so it’s not really worth it to me to do that hard manual labor. So I quit the new brewery job, and I’ve kind of decided that I want brewing to be my hobby, not my job. 

Anyway, I’ve still been putting off homebrewing because up until now, I’ve been doing split boils (mash half my grain, boil 3 gallons, mash the other half, boil those 3 gallons, mix together, ferment) and really, that has gotten to be a really long day and kind of a chore. So I decided I would get a burner, larger pot and a new, larger mash tun. But I really don’t make a lot of money, so that was also a challenge.

But, my dad has had an old turkey fryer sitting in the back of his garage collecting dust for years. He hasn’t fried a turkey in probably 10 years, so I don’t really understand why he still has it, but it worked out for me. He was willing to donate it, and I was more than willing to take it. As you can see, it isn’t in prime shape, and these pictures were taken after already spending about an hour or so scrubbing the pot and the burner. But I think it should still work fine (after another hour or so of cleaning).

Of course, the pot is just barely big enough (the picture below shows the pot with six gallons of water in it) so I’ll have to watch for boil overs, but at least I’ll be brewing outside.

I also recently built a new mash tun! I had a couple stuck mashes with my old tun, plus I only was using a five gallon cooler for my last one, which was fine for split boils, since I was only mashing half the grain at a time anyway, but it would have been tight to do a full batch in there.

So, with this new tun, I decided to build a CPVC manifold. Seemed to me to be one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to build a mash tun. I also liked this method because I will be able to easily disassemble my mash tun for cleaning. I fear I wasn’t getting a solid clean on my last tun ( I went with the braided mesh steel hose for my first mash tun). I also chose a rectangular cooler this time around. I like using the cylindrical coolers, as I think they are more heat efficient, but they are much more expensive, and I didn’t think the extra cost was worth it.

Cost of materials for my new mash tun:

50 qt cooler: $27.00

10 feet of 1/2″ CPVC tubing + all fittings: $4.99

Stainless steel ball valve, two hose barbs, washers, nipple, etc: $25.00

So all together I spent less than sixty dollars on this mash tun, which I think is a little less than my last one, but this one is much better constructed and hopefully more efficient. In test runs, I think my heat loss is going to be greater (lost about three degrees over an hour with just water - it should do better with some grain in there), but I’m really not too concerned about it. Modern grains are so processed and refined that I’m almost certain most conversion happens in the first 20-30 minutes anyway (this is where someone will send me a link to some experiment proving me wrong). I won’t go into details or instruction, because there are at least a few dozen tutorials telling you how to build one of these online, all done by people far more capable and handy with a saw than I, But here’s a semi-complete montage of photos showing the construction of the cooler:

The innocent cooler, moments before it was violated.

Me, struggling to do the most basic of maths.

Through a barrage of cusses and a multitude of mistakes, a crude rendition of a manifold is born.

So many goddamn holes to drill (360 holes, to be exact!)

It works, holy shit!

And even retains water! (sorry this picture is kind of steamy - hot water test)

I’m actually pretty proud of how this mash tun turned out. I’m not the most mechanically inclined, but I can pretend to be in a pinch, and I usually hold a drill the right way two out of three tries, so I think this will work pretty well. I’m really excited to use this, and probably will sometime later this week. I’m planning on doing a Golden Promise malt/Nelson Sauvin hop SMaSH that will hopefully turn out as a super drinkable but unique pale ale for the summer. (recipe/brew day post soon - I mean, I guess the recipe is right there. golden promise and nelson sauvin. Done.)

Also shout out to The first mash tun I built I think I paid nearly double for the stainless steel parts. And to get them I had to drive to three or four different hardware stores, and they were kind of piecemealed together. I found, and their prices are super cheap and their package deals make it easy to get everything on the first try with no headaches. If you’re building your own tun or tricking out your kettle or whatever I strongly recommend checking them out. 

It’s good to be back to writing long ass posts about beer online. I’ll try to keep doing it.

Oh yeah I am saving up to build a kegerator this summer. If anyone has tips on where to get affordable parts/kegs for that, send info my way. Much appreciated.

celebrate the CRAFT with us all week long during American Craft Beer Week May 11-17 #ACBW

today we’re featuring our Session Amarillo IPA, on tap @ both locations

Monday all day #happyhour :: $1 off pints & 25% off growler fills

stay tuned, we’re featuring a different beer everyday this week through sunday #celebratethecraft

Nice little trip to the Saltaire Brewery yesterday. Sampled a South Island Pale whilst the growler was being filled with Kala Black IPA. And there were cyclists everywhere, they love a little drink and ride! #craftbeer #craftbeerporn #beergeek #beergasm #beersnob #beerstagram #instabeer #beerlover #beerporn #beer #beerlife #beernerd #beerkive #beerphoto #lager #beernation #cerveza #cerveja #beerkulture #beer #ale #beerlove #craftbrew #beerme

Enjoy this #VABeer pic via Instagram by oldbusthead - THIS SATURDAY in the Taproom, we’re having a raffle for the Preakness! Every time you purchase a 16oz beer or flight, you get a chance to enter the raffle by betting on one of the eight horses. The band will take a quick break around 6:15 to watch the race, and 1st place gets an OBH Polar Bear Cooler and 2 six packs of your choice. 2nd place (who must be present to win) gets an OBH german growler and growler fill.

Saturday is also Armed Forces Day - show your military ID for 30% off in the Taproom. Spread the word! #oldbusthead #ACBW2015 #preakness #raffle #craftbeer #vabeer #vinthill #virginia #vinthill #instabeer via Instagram at

@barleythebrewpup looks even cooler with B Cups!
After a long play date with my Corgi buds this morning, I was parched!😛 I told my subservient humans to take me down to the local pub for a pint. Lucky for us, our local pub is now our fridge and backyard!
Today we are breaking in our new @ManCanBeer system. Last night, we gout our 64oz growler filled at a local pub and put it in the fridge. After we got home from my play date, Pops grabbed his @FermentedReality B Cup and poured a wonderful fresh pint of perfectly carbonated Pilsner.
Now that we got the 64oz growler filled and working, it’s time to get the 128oz Big Dog filled!🍻
🔹If you’re interested in having your very own, fresh carbonated, beer dispensing unit, check out Man Can on KickStarter.
🔹If you’d like your very own reusable, stackable, recyclable plastic, bomb ass IPA glass, check out Fermented Reality.
#ShamelessPlugSaturday #ManCan #FermentedReality #BCup #IndestructibleGrowler #ILoveHavingFreshBeer #LetsGetToDrinking #HappySaturday #CorgiPlayDatesAreTheBest

Good Bike Co. Your Oregon Outback Refueling Station. Be sure to stop by our shop once you arrive in Prineville, 1 block East of Main St. We’re stocked up on energy food, Tubes, maps, and offer beer on tap as well as a growler fill station. We’ll be open Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday and Monday free coffee from 8am-11am and available evenings if needed, Tuesday 9am-6pm, and Wednesday 9am-6pm. I also recommend Ochoco Brewing Co., Tastee Treat (lunch/dinner), Dad’s (breakfast), Sons of Beer, and IGA (groceries) for all your other needs. #goodbikeco #oregonoutback #oregonoutback2015 #bikepacking #bike #bicycletouring #prineville #oregon #oregonexplored #exploreoregon #ochocos #refuel @traveloregon @oregonexplored @oregon_bikepacking @velodirt @velograph @limberlostco (at Good Bike Co.)