April is North Carolina Beer month, and The Glass Jug is a craft beer store and growler station announcing plans to open in the South Durham / RTP area! NC Law & the evolving beer scene: Last July, The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law allowing retail stores to fill growlers (64- and 32-ounce reusable jugs) with draft beer for customers. This legislation could have a significant impact on the way local and craft beer is enjoyed in the state. Other states with similar regulations (including South Carolina and Virginia) are seeing a surge in the amount of craft beer consumed in growlers. Today, Triangle residents buying beer to drink at home are usually limited to the selection of brews packaged and sold in bottles or cans. There is a large (and growing) selection of craft beer consumers are missing out on.
Because the equipment and labor needed to package beer in bottles or cans is expensive for breweries, the larger craft breweries are able to bottle or can their best-sellers or year-round offerings, but the smaller craft breweries can’t afford to bottle or can at all, distributing only draft beer. Allowing retail shops to fill growlers opens up the local beer market to consumers, enabling them to bring home beer that could previously only be consumed on-site at a restaurant or bar.
“The issue most impacting NC brewers and beer drinkers is the change to state laws last June pertaining to 64 oz containers (“growlers”) for beer,” said John Szymankiewicz of the Beer Law Center. “This change has opened the doors for breweries, bars, and restaurants to start filing consumer’s growlers, increasing the convenience factor for the consumer significantly.”
Why are we different from other craft beer stores? While other retail beer stores are beginning to fill growlers from their taps, no other Durham store is utilizing counter-pressure filling technology. This technology is typically only utilized by breweries, even though it is now available for retail stores and restaurants to purchase. This is of huge significance because when you fill a growler directly from a draft beer faucet, the customer must drink it within a day or two, otherwise the beer will lose carbonation and begin to go stale due to oxidation. Counter-pressure filling growlers allows the beer to store for longer periods of time and at a consistently high quality, comparable to a brewery-filled bottled beer. Once opened, however, all growlers must be consumed within a day or two.
“Think of it this way - you wouldn’t pour yourself a glass of beer and put some saran wrap over the top, set it in your fridge for a few days, then come back to drink it later, would you? When you fill growlers directly from the tap, this is basically what you’re doing, and we don’t want to be part of that,” said Chris Creech, co-founder of The Glass Jug. “We want to make sure consumers have the best possible experience with their craft beer, and the only way to ensure that level of quality is to fill growlers using counter-pressure.”
This is huge for consumers, because counter-pressure filled growlers are a much more consistent and high-quality option when purchasing beer. It is also important to local breweries, all of whom value counter-pressure filling as the only sure way to fill growlers and ensure consistent quality for customers drinking their beer.
The rejuvenation of South Durham The revitalization of downtown Durham has received a great deal of attention in recent years, but not everyone realizes the major changes going on in South Durham. The largely residential area between Southpoint and RTP is becoming a popular destination for local families and young professionals. Katy and Chris Creech, co-founders of the Glass Jug, are excited to bring more people to the area.
Greenwood Commons, where The Glass Jug is set to open in August, is on Hwy 55 a mile south of I-40. The bustling shopping center is full of local restaurants including Indian, Thai, Bolivian and Greek cuisine, in addition to Papa Mojos, a Cajun restaurant that has won several local awards and provides a venue for live music. The South Durham Farmers’ Market also provides an outlet for fresh meats, cheese, and vegetables every Saturday morning in the Greenwood Commons parking lot.
“We are really looking forward to becoming part of this growing South Durham community and showing off this exciting neighborhood to area craft beer drinkers,” said Katy Creech. “With so many great places to eat and shop, we feel a place to buy excellent local and craft beer will bring a lot to this area.”
About The Glass Jug The Glass Jug is a craft beer store and growler filling station planning to open on Hwy 55 in South Durham in August 2014. With the use of counter-pressure growler filling technology, extending draft beer freshness and maintaining consistently high quality, The Glass Jug plans to lead North Carolina in allowing all local and craft beer to be enjoyed at home.