Duane Reade's Beer Growlers: Miracle or Satanic Manifestation?

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Where am I? Blind Tiger? Rattle N Hum? D.b.a.? (Click on image to enlarge.)


It wasn't that long ago that if you wanted to get a six-pack (I'm talking beer, not abs) around Union Square, you had to make do with Bud Lite or Colt 45 in cans. Then the beer revolution occurred, and suddenly every bodega was selling Racer 5 in bottles and Sixpoint in tallboys. Now, beer is taking the next step. If you're like me, maybe you have some doubts. If great beer is available everywhere, where's the fun in it?


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Duane Reade makes it seem so simple. And without the use of capital letters!


Not long ago growlers of beer -- poured from taps into recyclable brown bottles -- were pioneered in Brooklyn as one of the best ways to take home beer. Now that same method is available in a drugstore -- Union Square's humongous new Duane Reade. Since when have drugstores started selling beer? Since when they became the de facto grocery stores for much of Manhattan, vending sandwiches, sushi, dairy products, fresh fruit, and prepared salads to customers who really don't give a shit where they buy things.

[Update: According to @brewyorkny, growlers were first offered in the city at Heartland in the mid-1990's. Take that, Brooklyn!]

This development is a little shocking, and a little annoying, too -- after all, who wants to buy everything from soup to nuts in a giant apothecary? But maybe it's a little wonderful, as well. Just think of how easy it will be to take your growler across the street into the park, and pour the beer into little cups. At least for now, the cops won't know what the hell it is.


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Here's the setup. But when I was there, no one seemed to be buying.


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15 comments
Jatomray
Jatomray

At $8 in WB it's a damn good deal. Most of the time Kelso, Sixpoint, Peak, Founders, etc are on tap. Sometimes it's crappy beer, but usually a couple good ones. Beats paying $13+ everywhere else in the hood. I mean, seriously, it's a keg and they aren't even paying for the containers. The prices should be much lower than six-packs, not higher. 

Eyespy_3001
Eyespy_3001

Pioneered in Brooklyn???

Are you kidding me? Go to ANY beer distributor or brewery ANYWHERE and you'll find growlers.

Pioneered in Brooklyn... Bah!

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Pretty sure the first place in the NYC area todo growlers was Bierkraft in the Slope. Here's a NY Times article that mentions2006: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01...

 

WholeFoods didn't start till 2007.

Alexander Wood
Alexander Wood

Whole Foods in Tribeca has the same type of set-up, although I have not made use of it. Sounds like an interesting trend, although I would probably always forget my 'growler' at home the way I always forget the recyclable shopping bags in the car or in my kitchen.

Greg
Greg

"Not long ago growlers of beer - poured from taps into recyclable brown bottles - were pioneered in Brooklyn as one of the best ways to take home beer."

Is this true?

Guest
Guest

"are there any other places in the vicinity that offer growlers? "

Whole Foods in Union Square has them. (BTW, the Duane Reade on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg has them too.)

Herbert
Herbert

Goose Island is now an Anheuser-Busch brand as well.

jmac
jmac

The tap handles don't match the beer menu.  Also, shock top is terrible, which is no surprise when you learn it is brewed by Anheuser-Busch.

JK
JK

Duane Reade at 72 & Broadway has the same thing.

egit
egit

And now Duane Reade has adopted the too-twee habit of not capitalizing anything?

outraged, i am.

geezer
geezer

50+ years ago in Rockaway Point Queens we bought growlers from bars or taverns in disposable cardboard pails with paper lids and I think wire bails, imprinted with Shaefers, Piels or Balentine logos.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Pretty sure the first place in the NYC area to do growlers was Bierkraft in the Slope. Here's a NY Times article that mentions 2006: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01...

Whole Foods didn't start till 2007.

Irwinsbrew
Irwinsbrew

It is true.  They were acquired by InBev earlier this year.  Word is they will be hands off and this might help distribution....kind of like what they did with Red Hook Brewery

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