In a town with countless bars and package stores, The Beer Growler has set itself apart. Opening on December 11, 2010, by Paul Sanders, Denny Young, and Sean Galvin, this is the first place in the city, and the state for that matter, to offer customers a chance to take draft beer home with them.
A growler, the container for which the store is named, is a 64 oz. jug (most commonly, and in this case, glass) with a resealable lid. These may be purchased at the store and brought back to be refilled from any of the 20 different beers on tap. The rotating beer lineup features a handful of local offerings from Terrapin Beer Company along with some of the best craft beers from across the country. Since a single fill provides four pints of beer, a growler is perfect for sharing a beer with friends, whether it’s a new beer or an old favorite. No friends? Don’t worry, once opened a growler should stay fresh in the fridge for a couple days (oxidation is the enemy here). In addition to the draft beers offered, there is also a nice selection of bottled craft beers (no macro beers here, although Billy Dee Williams looks down over the store from a Colt 45 sign).
So why is The Beer Growler the first in Georgia to sell draft beer to-go? Georgia has been quite infamous for its unfriendly beer and alcohol regulations. Recently, however, it was discovered that the sale of growlers for off-premise consumption (once thought impossible) was not explicitly prohibited by state law [see Reid Ramsay’s post about the legislation here]. Since Athens law does not prohibit the sale of growlers, the business was a go. Currently, Atlanta laws seem to currently prohibit a store like The Beer Growler from opening within the city, so Athens could be the only home to growlers in Georgia for the foreseeable future.
Still in its first week of business, there are undoubtedly more things to come for The Beer Growler. The opportunities for this unique store to enrich the local craft beer community are abundant. Many rare beers are either not bottled at all or the bottles don’t reach Georgia. The chance to get a growler fill may be one of the only ways for many Georgia craft beer enthusiasts to taste a rare or limited release beer. Additionally, since state laws do not permit growler fills or any beer sales from breweries, The Beer Growler could offer an opportunity for Athens’ own Terrapin Beer Company to feature experimental batches of brew directly to the local community.
Check out this new beer store and take home a growler today!
1059 Baxter St. Athens, GA 30606