Beer-friendly growlers to debut in Decatur

10:33 AM, Apr 8, 2011   |    comments
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A "growler" is a half-gallon jug for draft beer, shown here to the right of an "Ale Yeah" pint glass.

DECATUR, Ga. -- If beer has a mystique, then its delivery to the palate is part of it. In bars like Twain's, beer is freshly brewed on site and drawn into a glass from a tap.

"Most beer drinkers will tell you that the best way to consume a beer is straight from a tap," said Eddie Holley. He sells beer mostly in bottles from a store called Ale Yeah.

But Holley likes what he sees at Twain's, and yearns to incorporate its tap-drawn freshness into his package-store product. To do so, Holley showed us a glass vessel, which he hopes will broaden the limitations of his bottled product.

"This is a draft beer container to-go, affectionately known as a 'growler,'" said Holley.

The growler is a glass beer jug, into which draft beer is drawn. With it, the customer may leave the store with a half-gallon of draft beer -- a concept almost revolutionary in Georgia.

"It's come to our attention that it might be allowed in Georgia, so we're excited about the prospect," said Uri Wurtzel.  He owns Twain's, whose draft beer can only be consumed on site.  He was buoyed to learn that growlers are legal for sale at package stores like Ale Yeah. 

Decatur city manager Peggy Meriss tells 11Alive News in an e-mail that "Twain's would not be able to sell growlers because their license is for the retail sale for consumption on premises."   

Nonetheless, Wurtzel said, "We are exploring it. We're excited about it."

In this part of the beer world, growlers have captured the imagination, despite their limitations.

"Once you open it, you want to consume it that very day if you can," said Holley, who plans to add taps to his package store in order to sell growlers.

In fact, growlers hearken to the mid-twentieth century, when beer drinkers would take home draft beer in buckets. At that time, beer bottles were considered an advancement in packaging.

Now the packaging known as growlers represent another step, at least in Georgia -- in the ongoing mystique surrounding the frothy adult beverage.  


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