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Jun 08

Impatient? Consider prepackaged beer.

Man and woman walk into a beer store, walk up to the counter. Beer clerk greets them, takes their growler order. The clerk writes up the order for the man (Ward) and says, “It’ll be a few minutes; I’ll shout out your name when the growler is ready.”

A second Beer Clerk is filling growlers, in order the orders are placed. The first beer clerk returns to stocking, helping and checking out other customers.

(Washington State Law says “growler must filled at time of purchase;” we take the order, complete the fill, then cash out the customer once the jug is filled. This allows us to prorate the cost of beer should the beer remaining in the keg be insufficient to completely fill the growler jug. Every growler leaving the shop is heat-sealed, assuring the jug is a “closed container” should the customer get stopped by the police on the way home. Looking out for safety, it’s what we do.)

Several customers are in-store, shopping and getting assistance from the clerks. A keg on fill station runs out, so the clerk doing the filling grabs a replacement keg (same beer) from the cooler, swaps out the keg, and finishes the fill. He continues to complete each fill in the order they were placed, while answering customers’ questions.

Manager (me) is in the office working on admin/office tasks. I’ve got to step onto the floor to grab papers off the printer. I see the couple standing with impatient demeanor at front of shop. Say hello, nod and smile. The pair appear to ignore me, staring intently at the clerk at the fill station. About 30 seconds later, I see them turn and storm out.

A minute later, beer clerk sets filled growler at checkout, calling out, “Growler up for Ward!”

The couple never returned.

Cost me $10 in beer and a jug cleaning.


I went back and checked the video feed. The couple was clearly greeted, had their order taken, and the order was handed off to the fill station. Their wait from start-to-finish would’ve been six minutes, which included a keg change-out and one fill ahead of theirs. They left around the five-minute mark. Weird. It’s possible they could leave bad review on Yelp; I wonder what they’ll say?

It takes about 3 minutes to fill a 64-ounce growler, start-to-finish. On systems like the Pegas Craftap multiple keg lines are attached to each filler, so if there’s are growler(s) in line ahead of you there may be a little wait. The cool thing about the Pegas Craftap is they fill under Carbon Dioxide (CO2) pressure, so the beer in your growler will stay fresh longer than a traditional oxygen-hose fill. CO2 filled growlers have a typical shelf life of four-to-six weeks, when still sealed and stored under refrigeration. Much better than the three-to-five days for gravity filled jugs.

If you’re getting growler fills, be patient my little grasshopper.

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