Friday, July 4, 2014

Albertsons Gets Into The Growler Business

Posted By on Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 11:04 AM

click to enlarge Yea, beer! - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Yea, beer!

We’re going to try to contain our excitement when we write about this, but we have big news: the Albertsons on the corner of 36th and State streets now has its very own growler station, called (wait for it) The Growler Station. That’s right: While you wait for your prescription to be filled at the pharmacy or spend $7 on a box of cereal, you can get a growler of beer to go as well.

The filler station, a permanent addition in the middle of the store, has eight beers on tap, a few of which are local. It set up shop on June 24, and in the first two days sold more than 70 growlers. The store has sold well over 300 as of Independence Day. A growler, by the way, is a 64-ounce jug filled with draft beer usually only available at breweries.

This isn’t your typical growler station, though. A fancy futuristic-looking tube lined with LED lights first fills the empty growler with carbon dioxide, then pours in the beer at a slow pace. After that, a pourer seals the lid with plastic and a heat gun. That lets the growler be stored up to two months without the beer inside going flat, as long as it’s unopened. No more trying to drink half a gallon of beer in two days before it gets funky.

Beer selection includes the Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing, Mango Weizen from Northwest Brewing Company, Pedal Powered Pale from Crooked Fence Brewing, Mac and Jack’s African Amber, Cutthroat Porter from Odell Brewing Co., Organic Baba Black Lager from Ulnta Brewing, Imperial IPA from Worthy Brewing Company, and an Old Guardian barley wine. Prices range from $4.99 to $16.99 per growler. Albertsons hopes to incorporate more local kegs as time goes on and keep the taps rotating regularly. Click here to keep up on current taps.

There’s a science happening here, though. At the counter of the growler station, there’s a tablet called the Beer Wizard, which gives info on each beer on tap. It tells the ABV and IBU of each beer, and even the best kind of glass to serve it in. The tablet lets you pick any type of food to see which beer would pair best with it, and gives suggestions based on hop bitterness, color and alcohol content preferences. Woah.

Albertsons is offering promotions before July 22, like free growlers or T-shirts, and tastings will soon be available.

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