Last fall we heard rumors about a second growler filling station/bar opening in Dallas to serve the citizens of Lakewood. After a few unexpected delays that pushed the opening back a few months, Lakewood Growler finally opened last Friday, delighting those poor, environmentally conscious Lakewood-ites who wanted a place within cycling distance to fill their glass potables with beer. Craft & Growler -- Dallas' first growler station -- has done steady business since opening in November 2012, but who has time to go south of Interstate 30 these days?
Lakewood Growler is a product of Stacie and Dale Czech, who renovated a liquor store in the strip mall at the southeast corner of Mockingbird and Abrams, to focus on bringing local brews to your fridge in a fresh, economic way. I ventured in on Friday around 5:30 p.m. and the line already stretched to the door.
It has 36 taps along the back wall, each numbered to correspond with the digital menu above. While most of our area's craft brew establishments have done well to embrace the booming North Texas brew scene, Lakewood Growler goes all the way (at least when I was there) and offers beer exclusively from the Lone Star State.
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Standing in line, I busied myself staring at their digital menu board, which is also available online. It lists each available beer, color-coded by style, city of origin and ABV. Colorful images of a keg appear by each listing, showing how much beer is left so that a discriminating patron can efficiently plan to get a fill of a hard-to-find brew before the keg blows. At the bottom, a cable-news-style scroll lists the upcoming kegs that will be put on to replace the ones that blow, as well as any upcoming events.
The prices seemed to be about average; I filled up my old Whole Foods 64-ounce growler with Peticolas' Great Scot for $12. Pints to consume on-site are also available, so long as you can find an empty seat at one of the five tables and didn't mind drinking next to a long line of people or sharing table space with a stranger. I expected a few hiccups on opening day, but the gentleman behind the bar expertly filled my potable and let the foam dribble off the side, ensuring that I wound up with 64 oz of beer and not a 3/4-full container. (I have personal experience filling growlers, which means I've pissed off many people with 3/4-full pours. That little hose is tricky to operate.)
If beer is not your scene, but you still want the pleasure of filling a 64-ounce glass jar with delicious liquid, Lakewood Growler has devoted the end of their wall to cold brew coffee (from the recently-opened Full City Rooster in Dallas), HolyKombucha (Mansfield), and FireWheel Brewing Company's very pleasant Roady Root Beer (Rowlett).
The owners consider the next few weeks to be a "soft" opening, and I could tell that some kinks in the flow were still to be worked out. Overall, though, Lakewood Growler is an excellent addition to Dallas' beer world.