1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Growlers store in Houston

Discussion in 'US - Southwest' started by BruceBruce, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    I have been here twice now and have mixed feelings......

    Good:

    Cool growler fill system
    They do huge 1 Gallon (if I am not mistaken) growlers
    Clean, neat, nice updated website and really good prices

    Bad:

    These guys don't know anything about beer, I mean the two guys there tonight were nice, but were very clearly not big beer guys. The girl the other day behind the register knew nothing about any beers at all. When you are opening the first and only if I am not mistaken growler shop of its kind in our area, wouldn't you find some beer nerds to sell the stuff? I mean you can go to D&Q, Cottonwood, Petrol, even Shepherd Park and they know their stuff and will tell you all about the beers they offer (and they know about the ones they don't offer). Some would say employees at some of these places are "Beer Snobs" but aren't we all or we would just be on the forums talking about Natty Light and Keystone....

    Thoughts?
  2. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Advocate (505) Texas Apr 13, 2010

    Some times we talk about Natty Light and Keystone.
  3. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    lol, just because we had a bad paycheck or are rehabbing the liver
  4. haha bad paycheck=miller highlife 40
    BruceBruce likes this.
  5. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Advocate (505) Texas Apr 13, 2010

    Some times I don't want a bitter beer face :confused:
    Lare453 likes this.
  6. wsnich

    wsnich Savant (410) Texas Apr 26, 2010

    They have been pretty enthusiastic when I was in there. I'd just cut them some slack. I mean, they have only been open for 2 weeks...
  7. StArnoldFan

    StArnoldFan Advocate (575) Texas Dec 28, 2012

    Give it some time, its only been open a week or so. Gotta work out the kinks. If they were smart though, they would have someone behind the counter with knowledge.
  8. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    OE 40 oz
  9. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    They could have just offered us free beer for life and I would put in a few hours a day lol not that I know that much though
  10. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Advocate (505) Texas Apr 13, 2010

    8 BALL 4 LYFE OR UNTIL U DIE
    r0nburgundy69 likes this.
  11. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    The only place that can compare is Premium Draught just because of the type of store. With the ridiculous system they have, and they way they boast about how great it is, I would expect very intimate knowledge on how that counter pressure fill works. First there seems to be a lot of foam that gets into the growler. Maybe I miss understood, but that seems like the exact opposite of what they advertise. Second, and maybe this is just me, though I really don't understand why people need a growler that last up to a year? When I get a growler, it is instant gratification for something on tap that I want to drink at home.

    Again, another maybe, but this was not answered when I asked. They have 4 lines going into one tower, though one tap that dispenses beer. They could not answer how that one tap is cleaned between fills. Seems to me the tap line is a bit contaminated with the other beers going into the tower. Though, again maybe that just was not explained well enough to me.

    Also, just a side note. I love the Premium Draught growler exchange. You always get an incredibly clean growler when you bring in your old one. For me at least, I can never clean the growlers I have as good as I want. No worries with PD. Anyway, not that I don't like Growlers, I just don't see the need for the counter pressure fill and think PD hit a home run when they opened.

    Oh ya, John at PD is the furthest thing from a beer snob you will ever find.
  12. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    Obvious answer happened to me this week, pressure filled growler of seriously probably the best DIPA I have ever had (shout out to Boneyards Hop Venom DIPA) and after holding it for a week and a half after getting it in a trade I was just too nervous it would go bad to bring it to Sunday's tasting. Opened it Wed, was fresh as could be. So trading is the only honest reason for me other then wanting to hoard as much BBA Hellfighter Batch 1 that I possible could
  13. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    A properly filled growler that is unopened and properly cared for can last. Considering the two growlers I got from them, they had more foam than any fill I have had from PD, Hay Merchant, Petrol, or D&Q. Foam does not happen if there is no oxygen, which is what they claim to expel. I would not think their fills to last longer than any others you get around town.
  14. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    damn you champ, making me think about shit when I just want to drink my Hercules
  15. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    Enjoy Hercules, I like to bloviate especially after a bottle share :D
  16. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    Wish I could have stayed longer, the small ones are more fun, but lenzie caught me trying to sneak zoe and peeper ale out the door on my way to "pick up a beer from Kevin" and it didn't work out
  17. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013


    BruceBruce:

    Thanks for taking the time to post regarding your experience at Growler's Beer and Wine To Go. As others have pointed out, we've been open just a couple of weeks, and we opened before we were ready because people kept coming by the store asking us to open as soon as possible. One guy on Facebook said he didn't mind the dust and wet paint to get to great beer.

    I don't agree with you about the knowledge of the staff. One young lady was hired to work the register and has no knowledge of beer. I hired her because she was in a tight situation and needed a break. I gave it to her. The others all have extensive knowledge about craft beer, and have years of experience at places like Specs, The Flying Saucer and some of the other places mentioned on this forum. If you feel any of the others are not up to par, please come in and talk to me. My name is Doug, and I can be reached at 713-528-2922.

    Over the past few weeks, I've given away free growler fills to give the employees a chance to really learn the Craftap, and to thank the customers who have been very understanding while we get the store up and running. We're not at the level of service that is our very high standard, but we're getting there as fast as humanly possible.

    Again, feel free to come in and talk to me about your experience. I value your input on anything we can do to make the store better.

    Doug
  18. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    Champ103

    Thanks for your post!

    I'm sorry you feel the Craftap counter-pressure system is ridiculous. Counter-pressue in the Craftap is the same technology brewers use to bottle, can and keg their beer. They use it because it keeps beer fresher longer.

    Because this is the first Craftap in Texas, my employees have needed time to be trained on the system and to totally understand the mechanics. We did the free beer fills to give them that experience. Filling a growler with the Craftap is an art and not a science because you are mixing gas (CO2) with cold beer. If the person fills it too fast, there will be excess foam. If the growler is filled properly, there will be little to no foam when the growler is filled to capacity. Once the growler is filled, any remaining oxygen is purged by opening a valve. At that stage, the CO2 is turned back on removing any remnant oxygen in the growler. We cap it with a poly-seal cap to insure freshness.

    A good analogy as to how this affects the beer drinker would be if you went to the grocery store and bought two, one liters of Coke (or quart of beer). Open one and put the cap back on. In a week, open both. The one that was opened the previous week will be flat because of oxygen, the one that was not opened will still be fresh. Buying a growler that was not filled with a counter-pressure system is like buying any carbonated beverage that was opened and resealed.

    If you come in now and ask any of the beer geeks at the store about how the line is purged, they will now know the answer. A manifold controls the four lines going into the Craftap. There is a short line that goes from the manifold to the tap and the top. During each fill, the beer is turned off, and CO2 is pumped through the system. That purges the line from the manifold to the tap of any beer. We do a second purge prior to filling a new growler just to make sure.

    The employees that are knowledgeable about beer, have shirts that say "Beer Geek" on the back. This is a term of endearment, and is earned by employees who have a high level of knowledge about beer. My shirt and the shirt of a cashier do not have "Beer Geek" on the back. All of the other employees have "Beer Geek" on their shirts.

    I have not met John and Premium Draft, but everyone in the craft beer community speaks highly of him. I intend to go to his store in the future and introduce myself. In the meantime, when a customer comes into Growler's and requests a beer that we don't offer on our 32 taps, if we know John has it, we tell our customers they can get the beer at his store, and we give them directions.

    Next time you're in Growler's, please ask for me so I can introduce myself to you. My name is Doug.
    Clonies720, acbe and champ103 like this.
  19. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    Champ103:

    See my previous answer about foam.

    Let's do a test. Bring in a growler filled without a counter-pressure system and we'll fill the same beer with counter pressure. In a few weeks to a month, let's open them both and let our customers sample them in a blind taste test. If you're interested in being a part of this, call me at 713-528-2922. Like you, I'd like to see if our system delivers fresher beer than a filling system that doesn't use counter-pressure, and I'd like your help.

    Doug
  20. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    Thanks for the responses. I will have to make another visit soon.
  21. air

    air Savant (325) Texas Mar 28, 2007

    I'm still not clear on one point: what benefit does the Craftap system provide over the existing counter-pressure setups as seen in other stores?
  22. canadianghetto

    canadianghetto Savant (475) Texas Oct 15, 2011

    What other stores in TX have counter-pressure fills? A tube at the end of a tap is not counter-pressure.
  23. air

    air Savant (325) Texas Mar 28, 2007

  24. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    Look forward to seeing you. Please ask for me when you come in.
  25. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    I'm not familiar with it. Does it have an airtight seal? Are they sticking a tube into the growler? With the Craftap, there are no foriegn objects like a tube or barrel stuck into the growler.
  26. air

    air Savant (325) Texas Mar 28, 2007

    Negative on the airtight seal and yes, a beer gun goes into the growler.

    Here's more info.
    http://www.blichmannengineering.com/beergun/beergun.html

    Craft and Growler's owners claimed to have designed and built their own guns.
    A picture of some of C&G's beer guns:
    http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/GrowlerBeerGun.jpg

    I also do not have very much knowledge on all of this and this discussion has been really useful. I'll be sure to stop by your store next time I'm in Houston.
  27. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (375) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    You are correct, a beer gun is not the same as a counter pressure filler. Beer gun is better than out of the tap, but is not as good as counter pressure filled.

    One issue not yet mentioned is carbonation. You will invariably strip carbonation filling from the tap or a beer gun but not a counterpressurefiller.
  28. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    My name is Doug, ask for me when you come in!
  29. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    Doug, so if the system works the same as a hombrew or a bottle line, the most logical thing I can think of for you to do is sell empty bombers that get capped there after the fill... Is that possible and would it last as long? Think of it this way, if you could have a bottle of tree hugger or hefe (I am pretty sure you have had those already) that would be a really big deal. So what would stop you from selling non labeled bombers that are cap sealed?

    Also congrats for jumping on the forums JK is the only other local owner that does this regularly
    canadianghetto likes this.
  30. Growlers-Montrose

    Growlers-Montrose Zealot (90) Texas Jan 12, 2013

    Thanks, BruceBruce. We'll look into it.
  31. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Texas Dec 4, 2011

    My thoughts are that if I could have a 3 year old tree huger I would be real happy lol
  32. DanzBorin

    DanzBorin Initiate (0) Texas Apr 11, 2012

    Wasn't Tree Hugger made last in 2010?

Share This Page