Dallas seems to be a few years behind in the beer scene, and certainly that holds true when it comes to Growlers. Growlers are those large brown bottles used to store fresh poured beer that usually have a refrigeration life of just less than a week. The TABC mandates that bars are not allowed to pour growlers for roadie purposes, but they give special dispensation to pubs which hold a single beer and wine permit. Whole Foods has been a leader in the Dallas market for growlers, and today there is a special bar opening that focuses on the growler
The new Craft and Growler is owned by husband and wife attorneys Kevin Afghani and Catherine Kinslow who also operate a patent firm just to the rear of the Craft and Growler building located at 1601 Parry which is just in view of where Big Tex should be standing at Fair Park. The couple are soft opening Craft and Growler today at 3pm and close at 9. The shortened hours are just for this week and will expand starting after Thanksgiving.
So why would you even want a growler? I sat with Kevin this morning to find the answer to that and more.
Craft and Growler is not a pub in any sense of the word. How would you describe your new venture?
We like to call it a beer filling station. We specialize in filling growlers, but you do have the ability to taste the beer here. We have thirty beers on draft where you can fill your growlers and enjoy local beers that you would not normally be able to take home.
I notice you do not really have taps, what is that system?
That is called a Blichmann Beer Gun and to our knowledge it has never been done and we have a patent filed on this system.
What they do is make a growler last longer and taste better by having two triggers. One injects CO2 into the growler in order to evacuate it from air, then you inject the beer from under the CO2 layer. Then you add the air tight seal and you have a growler that lasts much longer.
How many growlers do you sell here?
Right now we have about a dozen, but there are a few more coming that didn’t make it for the soft opening that are on the way.
How did you come up with the concept?
We were formerly investors in the Deep Ellum Brewing Company. As the growing beer scene began growing, one of the things we lamented was that we didn’t have these beers at home because they weren’t being bottled. There are these up and coming breweries that do not have bottling facilities yet. We were asking how to get the Deep Ellum IPA or the Peticolas Velvet Hammer at home, and growlers were the answer because you could have it filled up and take it home.
What are some of the beers you have on your system?
More than half of our beers are from the North Texas area. The most important thing of all is that we have something here for everybody.
What beer is in your refrigerator at home right now?
Right now I have the Deep Ellum Farm House Wit and I have the Real Ale Oktoberfest.
What seasonal beers do we have to look forward to?
Deep Ellum just came out with their anniversary beer called the Pollinator which is made with local honey. As far as seasonal the Lakewood Punkel is the one of the most asked about beers. It has been infused with pumpkin in a darker ale.
Are you serving any food?
No food. We will never personally cook food here on premises, but we have talked about a partnership with the Meridian Room so they can bring their food over here. We are also open to food trucks and barbecue guys wanting to bring their smoker out who want to do a beer and barbecue event. We have all sorts of these things planned but we will not personally ever cook here.