While Growler USA is a Colorado-based company with more than 30 franchise locations, Greg Brown, owner of the Jeffersonville location opening sometime in early December, assured Insider that the craft beer pub and restaurant is no cookie-cutter locale.
In fact, he said, the corporate direction was to create a unique space using the logo, brand, some signature food items and not much else.
“You’re expected to customize it and regionalize it,” Brown said of the 4,000-square-foot space that will house a 43-foot bar, 100 taps, seating for about 150 inside and a patio with two fire pits that will seat another 60-plus. He said the company hopes the local version might provide a template for future locations.
Brown noted that the franchise business began four years ago as little more than a place for people to stop off for a growler fill — which explains the name — and evolved organically as customers more and more asked to sit and enjoy a pint and a snack.
The Jeffersonville location, located at 3010 Gottbrath Parkway, will have an emphasis on the food just as much as the beer, he said.
Brown is no stranger to the area. He relocated to Southern Indiana from his native East Tennessee to open Towboat Annie’s Riverside Café in 1988 and later was involved in the opening of Horseshoe Southern Indiana, then-Caesar’s, casino west of New Albany.
He and his wife, Laura, currently live in Charlestown, Ind.
Brown’s new venture will be part of an ongoing development in Jeffersonville called Bridgeport Commons, which ultimately will include other retail businesses, a movie theater, residential areas and more. The expected growth will, he hopes, fuel a longterm rise in clientele.
A pair of bay doors will create an indoor/outdoor feel during warm weather months at Growler USA. Customers can get “pre-packaged” or custom beer flights, and the goal is to please beer aficionados and beginners alike. The beer selection will be divided between local selections, regional selections and “the best of the rest.”
The impressive beer cooler features a material handling system to make moving kegs in and out easier, and it even has a window at one end, Brown said, “so people can see what 100 kegs of beer looks like.”
Brown said there won’t be any draft lines taken up by mass-market light beers, but there will be beers available that will please palates of those uninitiated to craft beer.
“We’re looking for great transitional beers for people,” he said. “This is beer university — this is a no-judgment zone.”
A customized tap system by Micro Matic also will afford plenty of flexibility with the kind of beverages that can be served. Calling it a “dial-a-tap” system, Brown said a single tap could conceivably be serving a nitro stout one minute and after a blown keg could be switched to pouring a kombucha or white wine after a cleaning.
The food will be classic pub fare, focusing on appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, street tacos, soups and salads. Brown said much of the menu will be Growler USA dishes that are common to all the franchises, but roughly 10 menu items will be unique to Jeffersonville. Those will sometimes rotate based on the season.
In the meantime, construction continues.
Brown expects Growler USA to employ about 17 people; a kitchen manager and general manager have already been hired. The restaurant will likely soft open before having a grand opening on an early December date yet to be determined.