Yesterday was the Grand Opening of Growlers Hawthorne, the latest in a bazillion growler fill stations to open up in Oregon. Co-owner Jim Hillman is quick to point out, though, that Growlers Hawthorne is the only truly dedicated fill station; it doesn’t sell anything but growlers and has 40 beautiful taps of beer and cider, as well as another 6 for Brew Dr. Kombucha and Soda.
33rd and Hawthorne is a great location for a growler stop. There is tons of foot traffic and plenty of commuters coming from and going downtown. Growlers Hawthorne hopes to capitalize on all of the bicycle traffic with a future bike parking lot and growler carriers for bikes.
Growlers Hawthorne is truly dedicated to nothing but growler fills. There are no tables or chairs in the place, just a wall full of growlers for purchase and another wall of taps, topped by a line of gleaming digital tap boards from Digital Pour. The beer selection is pretty wide, with forty different choices that focus solely on the NW, and the last five taps are for gluten-free offerings–right now that’s one beer, Harvester IPA, and four ciders. The manager, Ruby, selects the beers to stock and told me she chose them from researching Beer Advocate and Rate Beer favorites from Oregon. Prices are pretty affordable, ranging from $9.99 to $16.99 for a 64oz fill, and a growlette is half that price plus fifty cents. One of the innovations Growlers Hawthorne has come up with to differentiate itself is a couple taps that just shoot out C02 to purge the growler container before filling it, which should help to keep oxygen out and the beer fresher. The staff is also all about keeping things clean; the filling hoses used to connect to the tap to go into the growlers are only used once for the day before going into a bucket to be fully cleaned later.