Words & Deeds

Michael Deeds: Albertsons starts filling growlers with craft beer

Need to make a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk?

Might as well grab a half gallon of beer while you're there. Albertsons at 36th and State streets in Boise launched a Growler Station on Wednesday -- to the delight of customers, it would seem. There was at least one male standing in front of the Growler Station at all times when I stopped by to snap a couple of photos today. (The employee pouring beers ducked out of the frame.)

Growlers, or 64-ounce glass beer vessels, are all the rage. And California company The Growler Station makes it easy for businesses to hop on the bandwagon. In recent months, gas stations such as Fast Eddy's, Stinker and Chevron began filling growlers. M&W Markets does, too. And, of course, Whole Foods has been filling growlers since it opened in Boise. (Yo, Boise Co-op, are you going to get in on this game?)

Albertsons will feature eight beers that rotate periodically. The store will try to carry one or two local beers at all times, as well as one or two seasonals.

You'll find the list of initial beers to be carried here.

Prices of beers currently on tap range from $8.99 for a Mac and Jack's African Amber fill to $16.99 for Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. You also can get 32-ounce mini-growler fills for a little more than half that. Normally, I'd say, "Why would you want to get 32 ounces?" But since I didn't see anyone pouring complimentary tastes like you get in a brewery, it might make sense to go with 32 ounces if you're not sure about a beer.

Albertsons will sell you an empty 64-ounce growler for $4.99, but they're also offering a coupon for a freebie.

The best-selling beer so far? Mac and Jack's, I'm told.

Here's a list of Treasure Valley locations featuring The Growler Station:

Gem Stop, 1520 S. Middleton Road, Nampa; Jackson's, 3110 W. State St., Boise, M&W Markets, 1835 Warm Springs Ave., Boise; North End Chevron, 1470 W. State St, Boise; Stinker Stores, 7681 Lemhi, Boise; Beacon Light Chevron, 12795 Idaho 55, Garden City; Gowen Chevron, 6450 S. Eisenman Road, Boise; Fast Eddy's, 1725 East Overland, Meridian; Fast Eddy's, 750 N. Ten Mile, Meridian; Fast Eddy's, 770 West Ustick, Meridian; Albertsons, 3614 W. State St., Boise.