Here’s something I never thought I’d say; I wish I lived in Buffalo, New York. Okay, so it’s not true – I’d kill myself in the winter – but life certainly just got a little more interesting for beer geeks in Western New York.
Twelve Sunoco gas stations in the region have been testing out growler filling stations at their APlus convenience stores. They call it the “Craft Beer Exchange,” and it’s been a hit so far, with one location selling over 30 growlers on the first day. One local summed it up well when first laying eyes on the Craft Beer Exchange, saying (with awe) “Woah, when did THAT happen?!” He may have later been quoted as saying “All right, Hamilton!“
Now you can now get your gas tank filled with premium and your growler filled with 64 ounces of Kona Longboard, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Dogfish Head 60, and a host of Western New York craft brews like Syracuse’s Middle Ages Brewing Co’s Wailing Wench and Buffalo’s Flying Bison Rusty Chain (the most popular selection on tap, which goes for $7.99 a growler). Once filled, the caps of the growlers get a sticker to “officially” seal them, making sure no one runs afoul of New York’s open container laws.
The growler bottles themselves will cost $3.99, but right now the stations are giving the bottles away for free when you fill up your tank. That has to be the best gas station promotion ever.
Sunoco says they will expand the program to other locations if it continues to be as popular as it has been in the early going. I say start planning now, boys and girls. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you can sell craft beer just about anywhere. If you build it, we will come.
Tip of the pint to John King for sharing this story with us.