Growlerz to Go

Growlers, growlers, and more growlers. They’re all the rage in North Carolina these days. Bottle shops, supermarkets, and other retailers are taking advantage of the new law that allows them to fill and sell growlers of craft beer on premise. Since the law passed in late 2013, savvy entrepreneurs like Karen Poulsen saw an opportunity. Poulsen is the founder and owner of  Growler Girlz, a Durham, NC growler-filling station exclusively focused on selling craft beer from the tap and into a sealed/reusable container.

We elevated the new craft beer business to must visit status. An astounding 42 rotating taps greeted us when we walked in the door. A vast, color-coded chalk board guides visitors through an array of craft beers by style. All beers are available in 16oz or 20oz pints, a tasting flight, and in both 32oz and a 64oz growlers. It’s a great opportunity to try before you buy.

The store’s layout is unique in its own right. The bar (made of reclaimed wood) isn’t overcrowded with stools or chairs. It encourages patrons to stand, socialize, and sample beers. Once you enjoy a pint or flight, you can purchase a growler (or bring your own for filling) and be on your way. I brought in my trusty Big Boss growler and walked out with 64oz of Fullsteam Cack-a-lacky.

It was a fun way to spend an hour. The “girlz” were friendly and Karen took the time to get to know us. She even asked what some of our favorite beers and breweries were. I hope to see them on the chalkboard during our next visit.

I’ve heard of several similar businesses popping up in the Triangle. Is this a trend in craft beer or simply individuals taking advantage of new beer laws?