My local brewery fills growlers and just adds a twist-off cap to the top. They do not place any kind of seal or sticker on the cap to prove it hasn't been opened.

So if I get pulled over for whatever reason and the cop sees the growler, in say, the backseat, is this considered a crime? Even if the growler hasn't been opened since it was filled and no beer was removed?

What makes this different than a six pack with twist off caps?

I live in Pennsylvania, so answers from a PA perspective will be most useful, but even just a general feel from law enforcement's view would be helpful.

  • Also, from what I've read, I should be more worried if my growler is empty. This makes no sense to me if I'm not being pulled over for a suspected DUI. If I'm sober as a nun, to me the growler is just some glass jug.
    – CKrug
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 14:02
  • My local pub adds a heat-shrink wrapping around the screw-on top. I'm assuming that passes the test...
    – gstar
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


Here is what the PA Liquor Control Board has to say: PA LCB answer to legality of selling growlers

In a nutshell, a growler is an open container, but it is up to the local police or state police to decide whether or not to enforce the law. My guess is that if the growler is full and out of your easy reach, you are probably OK unless you have given the cop some reason to hassle you. As I read the law, you are 100% legal if the growler is in the trunk of the car.

If the growler is empty and clean (at least rinsed out), I think they would have a hard time pressing a case. If there is any beer or residue in it, then keep it in the trunk.

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