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Kroger Tests Crowlers in Tennessee

Craft beer in a can is being tested at one of the grocery store’s 12-tap growler stations.
January 5, 2017

​MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kroger is testing beer crowlers in Memphis, Tennessee, at one store’s 12-tap growler station, reports The Commercial Appeal. The 32-ounce, aluminum cans are filled and sealed on the spot for one-time use.

So far, the news source notes that the Crowler, a trademarked name by a Colorado craft brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, has been resonating with customers. Rachel Booker, adult beverage specialist for the Memphis-based Kroger Delta Division, told the news source that the investment has been worth it.

Less than a mile down the street from the Memphis Kroger store is Joe’s Wines & Liquor, which has been offering Crowlers for a few years, according to owner Brad Larson, who added the craft beer can option to his 30-tap system. His store fills up 135 to 200 Crowlers a week and the cans keep beer fresher for longer than glass growlers, he says. “These will last—we've taken them up to three, four, five, six months,” Larson told the news source. “Beer's been good, so it's a great way to do it."

Both Kroger and Joe's use the Crowlers developed at Oskar Blues Brewery. "We're in almost every state in the U.S., and if we're not in that state it's just due to laws and regulations, and then I believe we're in about seven different countries now," Jason Dan, spokesman at Oskar Blues, told the news source. He added that the brewery began distributing its Crowlers in 2014 and has sold nearly 1,000 of the $3,900 machines that do the canning. Oskar Blues supplies "cans, lids, labels, machines, everything but the beer—but we can do the beer too if you need it," he said.

Dan noted that Tennessee "has been a very large, emerging market for us," with about 25 machines at work statewide.