Berman was the state inspector who cited Victoria Gastro Pub. He said that though the local liquor board had created a license to sell beer to go, the pub "was bottling beer" by filling growlers, which would require a different kind of license.

Ferguson said he considered a bill that would change the law throughout the state, but decided to start in the city and let other counties follow.

"A lot of places just don't address it," he said.

Baltimore City and Howard County growler proposals:

•License issued to Class B establishments (restaurants, not bars).

•The refillable container must be at least 32 ounces but no more than 128 ounces.

•Restaurants must only sell to customers who buy food or an alcoholic beverage from the restaurant.

•The refillable container cannot be opened inside the restaurant.

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