The Growler bringing beer-to-go to Memphis

A century ago, before beer was mass produced and sold in supermarket coolers, folks could swing by their neighborhood pub and pick up beer to go in a metal pail called — for reasons now obscure — a growler.

Today the craft beer trend has brought the growler back into vogue and a pair of beer-loving entrepreneurs is bringing The Growler to Cooper-Young.

“It’s wonderful that craft beer is growing as quickly as it is and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon,” said David Smith, who is renovating an 1,100-square foot space at 921 S. Cooper as a “craft beer haven” where beer lovers can stop in for a drink or two, then take a few home. “People are choosing quality over quantity.”

The Growler’s 24 taps will rotate a selection of regional and hard-to-find craft beers, probably including Memphis Made, Ghost River, Wiseacre, High Cotton, Yazoo and Lazy Magnolia. Bottles and cans will also be available. It’s not a bar or restaurant, Smith cautioned, but some munchies will be available.

For now, their selections are limited to beers under 6.3 percent alcohol, Smith said. They’ll sell glass growlers printed with their logo for take-home consumption, but will also fill growlers from breweries and bars such as Boscos, which has offered growler sales for several years.

Opening date is planned in early November, though Smith hopes it could be earlier.

Smith, the owner of David Perry Smith Gallery on New York Street just north of Central, was looking for a new venture with his Nashville business partner Anthony Bond, and said he and Bond were inspired by a similar concept in Nashville called the Filling Station.

“Anthony and I have known each other 25-plus years and we’ve both really gotten into, over the past five years or so, craft beers and home brewing. We like good beers,” Smith said.

When they began looking for a location, the beer community told them Nashville’s market was tapped out, and suggested they look in Memphis.

“It is one of the largest — no pun intended — underserved markets in the whole country,” Smith said.

Cooper-Young was on Smith’s radar from the beginning, he said, and the Cooper-Young Business Association helped link him up with the owners of Bratton Construction, who are leasing their former CY home to the business.

The Memphis location of The Growler will be the second for the pair; Bond opened a smaller store in Chattanooga this summer, where business has been good so far, Smith said.

Follow them on Twitter, @memphisgrowler.

By David Royer

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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