If you open a growler shop, they will come.
Way, way back before the start of life as we know it, sometime Pre-November 2010 times, there were no growler shops in Georgia. Fast forward six months, and now Athens, Georgia has it’s second growler shop. There are no others in the state due to some post Prohibition laws that says a growler is an open container. The guys over at The Beer Growler on Baxter Street did a demonstration for state law officials on how to seal a growler as a closed container. April 1, 2011 and arguably Athens best beer store opens a growler shop. But not only a growler shop, but also one that includes homebrew supplies. While I love the idea of homebrew supplies in a shop that also offers fresh draft beer for R & D purposes, my wife disagrees that I can homebrew or buy. I tend to remind her that I’m looking for a beer of the same style that I’m preparing to brew. It usually doesn’t go over well, but she succumbs and reminds me she has all I want and manages the check book. LOVE YA!
So on my first visit during a random day in the middle of the week, the guy working is nice and super informative. I know I’ve talked to him before at Trappeze Pub. We always talk good beer and I know he’s an all grain brewer. One thing that stood out just before he filled my growler was what I thought was a pre-rinse. Later I learned he was actually purging the growler with CO2 to keep the beer fresh. Nice addition. I could tell it helped on this visit. I’m not sure it helped on the next two trips after more head left the growler than beer that stayed in. I must say walking in to a chalkboard with 40 or so beers of all types is quite overwhelming. Anything from a Sam Adams to a Terrapin to a Petrus Aged Pale or a Mikkeller.
I must say though, their homebrew supplies are great for just starting out. Almost every type of malt imaginable. While I haven’t checked every single container to see what it is. It looks like plenty to keep me busy brewing for awhile. They have some day to day supplies that the average brewer may need. Like auto siphons, muslim bags or even dry malt extract. Dry malt extract, DME, is something the other homebrew store in town is lacking. It’s obviously stocked towards the all grain brewers, where as 5 Points Growler and Homebrew Supplies is stocked for most brewers. However, a few friends that are all grain guys have pointed out that three to four AG guys in a single day could easily wipe out their supply of base malt. I would concur as well. I haven’t looked in the hop freezer, but have noticed they are lacking in the liquid yeast choices.
My only complaint so far is how fast the growlers have been going flat. I’m suspecting the extreme amount of head, possibly due to too short of a filler hose. I like the hours, 10 – 10 Monday through Saturday, because we’re often pressed on Fridays and Saturdays for time as the day winds down. I’m sure I’m going to use them for a homebrew session in the very near future. As with many things, it takes time to find and fix the quirks that are associated with the opening of a new business. Looking forward to some rare taps and building a brew session from scratch.
Great job again by the Five Points Bottle Shop family.