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Growlers a green alternative to aluminum cans and glass bottles

Christopher Zacherl
Ode Brewery, located at 3233 N Mesa St., serves growlers which allow customers to purchase large amounts of beer to take home.

Many local breweries have started to use growlers, specialized jugs made for carrying 32 or 64 ounces of beer. Growlers allow customers to purchase large amounts of beer to take home. They are also an alternative to purchasing aluminum cans or glass bottles, which in turn helps the environment.

Growlers are airtight and can be made out of ceramic, glass or stainless steel. The idea of growlers is to be able to move draft beer from one place to another without worrying about the quality of the beer degrading. They also help the environment by helping reduce waste.

Craft & Social, a bar downtown, began selling beer in growlers to align with their unique business model. According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission website, those who obtain a liquor license are not permitted to sell alcohol for customers to take with them, but those who do not have a liquor license and brew their beer on-site are permitted to sell beer to go in containers such as growlers.

“We’re pretty much focused on craft beer, and we decided to implement growlers here because we can do beers to go, which a lot bars cannot do,” said Omar Vasquez, manager of Craft & Social.

Although growlers have made their mark in other cities, Vasquez waited to sell them at Craft & Social until the timing was right.

“If you go to any big city, growlers are established in the sense of everyone knows what they are, and it’s one of the things that’s opening up here for us, and it was kind of a no-brainer,” Vasquez said.

Since incorporating growlers into the menu options, Vasquez has seen a positive reaction from his customers. On the business side of things, Vasquez said growlers have helped save money in more ways than one.

“We definitely do make a profit, and it does save the consumer money as well,” Vasquez said. “Rather than buying a pint in-house for a certain amount, you can go ahead and take 64 ounces of this beer with you, so it does benefit the consumer for sure.”

Whether or not growlers are a good fit for everyone, Vasquez said it depends heavily on the person consuming the beer.

Another bar that serves growlers is Ode Brewery. Annabelle Ramirez, manager at Ode, said using growlers has given her customers a different way of consuming their beer, especially during the holidays where growlers helped accommodate her customer’s needs.

“It’s definitely a way to have people take the product to their homes,” Ramirez said. “Ode is here, but we have a lot of people buying growlers to take home for their family gatherings or parties.”

Josh Forester, a bartender at Ode Brewery, said the brewery will refill the growler containers for $10 regardless of where they are from.

Growlers also help Ode’s customers have better access to their products.

“We’re a microbrewery, and right now we haven’t really implemented a bottling system,” Ramirez said. “So you can’t find our stuff anywhere else unless you go to local restaurants, but you can’t take it home with you.”

Nestor Durán Nunguray, an avid beer drinker and graduate student in linguistics, said he uses growlers.   

“It’s a small price reduction, but it adds up,” Nunguray said. “It comes out to like 5.5 beers in the growler, so it lasts me a good while. Best part though is I get to take home seasonal brews that are only sold in the brewery.”

For more information about growlers, call Craft & Social at 219-7141 or Ode Brewery at 351-4377.

Julia Hettiger and Mike Vasquez may be reached at [email protected]

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Growlers a green alternative to aluminum cans and glass bottles