The Glass Jug will be expanding the reach of their craft beverage store by adding an on-site micro brewery and beer garden. To facilitate the expansion, The Glass Jug will be relocating into a larger space with a grassy back yard which will accommodate outdoor seating and regular food truck visits.
Charlotte, NC (April 20, 2016) – The Glass Jug of Durham was recognized as a 2016 Retailer of the Year, one of four leading retail businesses to receive the honor from the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA). The awards were presented during NCRMA’s Annual Retailer of Year awards luncheon at the Charlotte City Club. The Glass Jug, a retail craft beer store in Durham, is owned by Chris and Katy Creech. They were named as award winners in recognition of their role as not just part of the craft beer movement that’s taken North Carolina by storm in recent years, but for being at its forefront.
As long as beer has been made, there has likely been sour beer. Now, it probably wasn't all purposeful, but since beer was being brewed before we had microscopes or knew what yeast was and it's impact on fermentation, most beers would have some level of sourness imparted by wild bacteria that assisted in fermentation. Sour beer is created by bacteria consuming the sugar in the freshly brewed wort (what will eventually become beer). When it consumes the sugar, one of it's byproducts is acid. Depending on what bacteria, it could be lactic acid or acetic acid, or many other (often less desirable) acids. The acid lowers the pH of the beer, creating a tart, puckering flavor and mouthfeel.
Below is a press release that was sent to local news organizations regarding Governor Pat McCrory signing House Bill 909 into law, allowing retail stores, such as The Glass Jug, to begin filling growlers of both cider and unfortified wine.
"Do I get a discount if I buy a full six pack?" That's a question that we hear a lot, because just about every beer in the store is priced individually. It makes sense that if you buy more, you would get a discount, right?
I'd actually like to take a step back before we dive into that.
If you haven't yet heard, April is the official "NC Beer Month." It's a month to promote and support the beer industry right here in North Carolina. And that means a lot to us. I overheard a customer say, not more than a few months after we opened, that he didn't typically drink much local beer, but since we opened and have put so many unique and interesting (and delicious) local beers on draft, he's consumed more NC beer than he has ever before. That is more than a compliment to The Glass Jug and the curated selection we've put together - it's a compliment to the NC beer community and how the quality standards for NC beer have continued to rise over the years.
Our brewery of the month for December is going to be the new kids on the block, Haw River Farmhouse Ales. They just opened up in Saxapahaw (between Chapel Hill and Greensboro), and are already cranking out some delicious brews. To ring in the holiday month, we decided that we needed to really do something special, so what better way than to revive the Festivus celebration!?!
Given that the name of our store is "The Glass Jug," several people have asked us if we are focusing on growlers. Or, if we are only filling growlers. We are doing much more than filling growlers, but the idea of having a focus provokes some thought. Any specialty retail store needs to establish a niche. You need to give people a reason to walk into your store as opposed to the other specialty stores or the big box stores. Why go here as opposed to going there?
For beer bottle shops, it has always been about two things:
- Having a better selection of craft and local products than the big box stores
- Being located closer to your home/office than the other specialty bottle shops
That's it. Sure, there are some exceptions, but if you take a poll and ask people why they shop at the craft beer store they do, they will tell you these two things 90% of the time.
So, back to focus.
Why do we need to have a focus, if all we need to provide are the two items above? I can guarantee we will have a great selection of beer (and some wine and cider) that you can't find at Wal-Mart or Harris Teeter - our selection may not be as large as Total Wine, but it will be more unique. And our location is central to RTP, Durham, Cary, and Apex. This, in and of itself, should make us the beer store of choice for a lot of people in the area, right?
Right... for now.
But, as more breweries keep opening up (there are now over 3,000 breweries nationally, and over 100 in NC) and as more people become interested in craft beer, we are going to continue to see growth of independent craft beer stores opening up, along with existing shops opening up additional locations. So, 5 years down the road, that two-item list above will still be important, but there will likely be plenty of stores that fit that criteria. My guess is that we'll start to see new items added to that list of what people look for when choosing a bottle shop. Things like:
- Having all of the beer you need, and all of the different package types, in a single shop (so you can get beer for any occasion)
- Having an owner/manager who understands your specific taste and can recommend (or even hold) new beers for you to try
- Having an atmosphere that is generally welcoming and not overwhelming - a place where you genuinely enjoy spending time
So (for real this time), that brings us back to our focus.
Our focus, to put it as succinctly as possible, is to be your one-stop-shop for craft beverages. You can swing in for a pint on draft after work, while picking up a couple of six-packs for the weekend. While you're here, you may find something unique on tap that strikes your fancy, and you can fill a growler of it to share with some friends who are coming in town to visit in a couple weeks. You can also buy an affordable bottle of wine that you haven't seen at the grocery store, and snag a bottle of local craft cider for your gluten-sensitive neighbor. We want you to do all of this while building relationships with our team, while we work to provide you an atmosphere that makes you want to come back.
So yes, to do all of that, we have to focus on growlers, to some extent. We couldn't be your one-stop-shop if we didn't. Other beer stores aren't filling growlers. Or, if they are, they are being filled from the tap - often times not being properly purged with Co2 or filled under counter-pressure (here's more on why we think this is really important). Or, they don't provide the more limited and special-release beers for growler filling. Very few are offering the selection of beer in growlers that we will be offering, filled in a high-quality fashion. We will focus on growlers because we think that it is the missing piece from a lot of other stores in NC. And by having this focus, we can better do our job of making high-quality craft beverages available to you in your preferred package type, whether that be growlers, cans, bottles, or a freshly poured pint.