Yesterday Growlers Hawthorne officially opened their doors for business. Bottle shops, taprooms and growler filling locations have been popping up even more quickly than new breweries are being opened, which is saying a lot. The model of GH is one that is new to me but one that the owners put much thought into.
One can have their growler filled at a multitude of locations and often also buy some bottles or cans to go, sit down for a pint, or even have a bite to eat. Owners Lucy Park and Jim Hillman opted for a streamlined model for their shop, located on foot traffic heavy SE Hawthorne at 33rd Avenue. They have 40 tap lines and while you are welcome to sample as many of the beers as you would like, in miniature 1-oz compostable cups, their license allows for to-go beer only. On top of that they wanted to focus just on filling growlers, or 32-oz growlettes, so you won't find any coolers stocked with bottles or cans.
This is an interesting model in my mind and one that I'll be keeping an eye on. Generally I like to enjoy a pint while getting a growler filled however the key to their success could be in this distinction. There are a multitude of businesses along Hawthorne where you CAN have a pint AND get a growler filled. If getting your growler filled is one item on a long to-do list you might prefer a quick in and out. In addition, minors and dogs are both welcome, as are bikes. So whether you're solo or have all three in tow, you can spend a few minutes sampling and deciding what to take home and then be on your way.
Speaking of deciding on what beer to take home, GH went with an electronic tap list from Digital Pour that displays an image (brewery logo or beer label), beer and brewery name, beer style, IBUs, price and shows the approximate level of the keg. If you've been to Bailey's Taproom downtown you'll be familiar with the Digital Pour display.
Having met Lucy and Jim on a couple of occasions I wish them all the best. They are nice folks who seem sincere in wanting to provide a variety of great beer (oh yes, also cider, mead, gluten-free and kombucha) for the to-go crowd.