Grrrrrrrrrr. You’re in growler country. If you don’t know what a growler is, you’ll soon figure it out when a growler fill station comes to your neighborhood, perhaps to your neighborhood Fred Meyer store. Then you too can buy a growler, which is basically a take-out container for lugging home a half-gallon of beer purchased at a brew pub, tavern or growler fill station. The price for 64 ounces of craft beer poured into a growler is a considerable savings over the per-bottle or per-can price.
This being Oregon, a growler is also a take-out container for wine (since last April, with the Oregon Legislature’s blessing), hard cider and kombucha. Also, this being Oregon, using a growler for purchasing beer, wine, cider and kombucha, then washing the empty container and reusing it to buy more beverages, is seen as doing your patriotic duty as a tree hugger, by conserving resources and keeping cans and bottles out of the landfills.
Since the beginning of January there’s been a growler station at my neighborhood Fred Meyer store, Burlingame. There’s also one at the Tualatin Freddy’s. Next up are growler stations at the Hawthorne and Hollywood stores. These aren’t self-service. The OLCC requires attendants to have server’s permits.
The attendant there told me that the growler station is immensely popular, as is the sale of Fred Meyer 64-ounce growlers. They’re a bargain — just $3.99. And 32-ounce growlers soon will also be for sale at Freddy’s, presumably for half that price.
When I stopped by on January 23, there were nine craft beers and one hard cider on tap, but the taps rotate. The attendant said most of the beverages are available by the keg only, so you won’t find bottles of these special beers in Freddy’s cooler. The highest priced drinks were Widmer’s O’Ryely Barrel Aged IPA and Atlas POM Cherry cider, both $14.99 for 64 ounces (about 23 cents an ounce). The cheapest beer Portland Pilsner from Alameda Brewing Co., just $7.99 for 64 ounces (about 12 cents an ounce). Once the supply of 32-ounce growlers hits the shelves at Freddy’s, you can fill one of those with Portland Pilsner for just $4.99.