Strange as it may sound, for the last two weeks, the buzz around the South Lake Union bar scene has been about the new Bartell drug store at 1001 Mercer Street. That’s because the store has beers on tap, where customers can get their growlers filled. It’s like bringing your jug to the grocery store to fill up on filtered water. Only better.
About 45 customers lined up when the growler station debuted on August 2, a Bartell spokeswoman said.
And to answer the most asked question: No, you can’t drink in the store.
Selling beers on tap at a market or convenience store isn’t new, but it is for Bartell.
The spokeswoman said the local chain has no plans to add growler stations at other stores, but will consider it for new store openings if the demographic is right. In this case — with the store being on the Amazon campus, located in affluent South Lake Union — the move made sense.
These European-style markets have become trendy in the craftbeer movement. Already there’s Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood and Super Deli Mart in West Seattle. And outside of the city, there’s Finholm Market and Grocery in Gig Harbor, Whistle Stop Grocery in Everett, Norm’s Market in Lake Stevens, 56th Avenue Market in Mountlake Terrace, Bryant General Store in Arlington and Elizabeth Station in Bellingham.
Among the beer fanatics, one of the most anticipated openings is a second Chuck’s Hop Shop in the Central District (2001 East Union St), which will have 50 beers on tap along with 1,000 different bottles of beers. It’s scheduled to open in late September. The original Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood has 38 taps and about 1,300 beers.
In West Seattle, Super Deli Mart not only sells $3 pints but also hosts beer events in between the grocery aisles. It has hosted some of the most talked about events including samplings of the cult beer Pliny the Younger and the country’s most expensive beer Utopia.