Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In US
by Cassandra Profita
The next time you’re shopping for beer in Oregon, take a close look at the bottle. A select few will be thicker and heavier than usual with the word “refillable” stamped into the glass.

Thousands of refillable bottles from seven craft breweries are popping up on store shelves across the state as part of an effort to bring back a more sustainable way of drinking beer.

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At Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River, bottling machines are filling a long line of shiny brown refillable beer bottles with a new pale ale.

It’s a triumphant moment for brewery founder Matt Swihart. After six years of being the only brewery in Oregon running a refillable bottle system, Double Mountain finally has company.

“I felt like Don Quixote a little bit, just kind of racing uphill at windmills,” Swihart said. “I was called literally crazy and insane for even attempting it, and fellow brewers were speculating that it wouldn’t work.”

The system he was using was kind of working. He bought refillable bottles from Canada and asked customers to return them. But he was only getting 15 percent to 20 percent of those bottles back to be cleaned and refilled.

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