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Beer to go craze hits Houston: New craft beer depot to give families & even Bud Light lovers options

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Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Rows of growlers ready to be filled
Rows of growlers ready to be filled Photo by Darla Guillen
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, A 32 oz. growler
A 32-ounce growler Photo by Darla Guillen
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Store in all of its upcoming glory
Premium Draught in all of its upcoming glory Photo by Darla Guillen
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Owner Orr and his rows of growlers
Owner Orr and his rows of growlers Photo by Darla Guillen
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Rows of growlers ready to be filled
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, A 32 oz. growler
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Store in all of its upcoming glory
Darla, Premium Draught, beer, October 2012, Owner Orr and his rows of growlers

If you’re still mourning the loss of Kaboom Books, you’ll soon be able to drown your sorrows in a jug of fresh craft beer in its old location.

A growler craze has hit Houston. These go-anywhere (OK, almost anywhere) containers of booze-y goodness are a blessing for the craft-beer-loving homebody or house partier. But starting in November, they no longer require standing in line at a crowded bar or grocery store to get your fill.

Johnny Orr, former manager of Little Woodrow’s in Rice Village, has created Premium Draught, a pour station where beer nerds and newbies alike can choose a draft beer to take home with them.

 “There are a lot of young families around here who don’t want to go to bars for good beer,” Orr says. 

After Orr’s plans to open a bar fell through (a setback for which he is now grateful), he took a vacation to Europe where he re-assessed his plans and decided on this concept. Orr admits that he wanted to create a place that he himself would want to frequent, and it’s no coincidence that he chose this Heights location to offer a take-home option for beer lovers.

“There are a lot of young families around here who don’t want to go to bars for good beer,” Orr says. “Couples with kids can come in and choose something to take back to their barbecue.”

Gone are the days of “Be kind, rewind,” but the new spot will offer a rental service where patrons can return their dirty growler and exchange it for a new, clean one. Premium Draught will wash growlers and change their stock regularly. (They will also offer a stainless steel option for you to take to your favorite non-glass-friendly hangouts.)

You don’t even have to commit to a size — 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers are a nominal $6 deposit each, plus the price of a fill from one of the 12 frequently rotating taps.  

“It was just a way to make sure that no one ran off with my inventory,” Orr says, while assuring that he will also be happy to fill growlers from other retailers, too.

“You can come in and tell me you like Bud Light, and I’ll point you to a craft beer alternative that you might like,” Orr says. 

Although many associate a certain “get thee behind me” arrogance with the craft beer community, Premium Draught is committed to putting its customers at ease. Don’t be embarrassed if your last pint was a Coors at a friend’s rager, Orr will recommend a brew style that you might like based on your current preference.

“You can come in and tell me you like Bud Light, and I’ll point you to a craft beer alternative that you might like,” Orr says.

With new microbreweries sprouting up every month, there is no shortage of fresh, local brews from which to choose. Orr had these businesses in mind when starting this venture. He says he is excited to offer these breweries a place where they can sell their product when they haven’t yet reached the bottling or canning level.

The large collection of seasonal and small batch beer on tap will ensure that there is a style for every palate. The quaint beer stop will also offer multiple double-door coolers stocked to the brim with a carefully chosen assortment of bombers, smaller bottles and cans to further ensure that you’ll find something you like, from saisons to double IPAs.

“My goal is to deliver a good selection, convenience and freshness to people who don’t want to navigate a crowd or wait in line at the bar,” Orr says. “I’m so stoked.”

We’re stoked and thirsty. Fortunately Premium Draught plans to start filling growlers in mid-November.

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