Our pants, palates and cheery dispositions continue to expand to along with the local craft beer scene. And as more breweries continue to pop up across North Texas, finding a local beer at a local bar is no longer a matter of availability, rather choice.
Growler filling stations are a nice amenity to the local craft scene. Basically, these are spots where you can bring your own bottle -- a growler -- get it filled and take it home to drink. Also some brewers don't bottle or can their beers (yet) and so the only way to enjoy, say, Peticolas, in the comforts of your own abode is to get a keg or, perhaps more practical, a growler.
See Also: - A Beginner's Guide to Growlers
Growlers were born back in the late 1800s and just like
low high-waisted jeans, everything that comes around, goes away, then comes back around. Or something like that.
According to Texas state law, only restaurants and bars with beer and wine permits are allowed to fill growlers. Spots that sell hard liquor can't fill growlers. Also, breweries can't fill growlers, at say a brewery tour, because Texas law does not allow them to sell beer for off-site consumption.
Some filling stations top off each growler with a touch of CO2, basically preserving the beer for a longer amount of time -- up to two weeks. If beer is poured straight from the tap, then it usually needs to be consumed within a couple of days. So, ask your server about the CO2 situation to make sure you don't pour yourself a flat beer a week or two later.
Pricing Growlers are relatively inexpensive -- $5 or $6 for a 12-ounce bottle, up to $38 for stainless steel mini-keg growlers at Craft and Growler. Most places will fill a growler from anywhere else. For example, LUCK will fill a growler purchased at Craft & Growler.
After you've purchased yourself a growler, getting it filled is highly economical. Prices obviously vary, but you can get a 12-ounce fill of a local craft beer for $2.99 up to $20 for two-liters of beer.
Here's a list of Dallas spots that fill growlers:
Craft and Growler Dallas' original filling station, Craft and Growler, offers 42 beers on tap and has a boutique of growlers to choose from -- from small bottles to mini-kegs; glass to stainless steel to plastic. There are shapes, sizes and functionalities for everyone.
A popular scenario is to order a flight of four beers at the bar for $10 to assist the decision making process. Then, they'll wash your growler (because cleanliness sits to the right of craftiness) and top your beer of with a shot of CO2. However, many customers come in just for a growler fill and hang out at the side of the bar. You don't have to order drinks at the bar to get a growler filled.
C&G doesn't serve food, but a food truck often parks outside for special events.
Dallas Beer Kitchen Dallas Beer Kitchen opened this summer and carries a wide variety of beers from across the country. They have 30 beers on draught and also offer flights of four or eight beers if you want to try a few before you fill your growler. DBK is a restaurant and bar, but you could always stop in just for a growler fill. They don't actually sell growlers yet, so you'll need to purchase one prior to showing up.
LUCK This relatively new spot in the Trinity Groves focuses on both locally sourced craft beers and fare. Everything on LUCK is served straight from the tap, including wine, cold brewed coffee, and naturally, beer. There are 40 beers on tap to choose from, many born within 20 miles of the restaurant. Growler fills range from $9 to $23 depending on size and they sell them there ($8 to $20).
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The Bottle Shop on Greenville (World Beer Co.) One of the best little craft beer spots in North Texas, the Bottle Shop on Greenville will gladly fill your growler. They have special events, tappings, tastings and the like almost every day. You can buy a growler or bring one in from another spot.
Whole Foods You can also shop for groceries and get your growler filled at several Whole Foods in North Texas. The stores in Lakewood, Highland Park, Park Lane and Addison all sell growlers and will fill growlers.
Lakewood will get its own growler filling station soon. Lakewood Growler is under construction.
Also, if you're looking for the largest selection of growlers, check out Haus of Growlers, which has an on-line shop and can be found at several bars and stores around town.