A new pub refurbished from an old gas station on Lithia Way is open and throbbing as Growler Guys, with 46 kinds of beer, 13 kinds of kombucha, six ciders, a range of espresso drinks, root beer floats and shakes, plus pizza, wings and breadsticks of all sorts.
Patrons can sit at tables or low block walls inside at will or wander out on the patio to converse with friends next to gas-fed fires. The “community hangout model” is new for Growler Guys, which started in Bend and expanded to Eugene, Portland and other spots in Washington and Idaho. Before the Ashland store, the company had focused on the growler-filling-station model, with tiny shops in strip malls, says manager Emily Jablonski.
The Ashland store is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Growler Guys has retained the double garage doors of the old filling station. The big doors are pulled closed when it gets cold, but Jablonski says people still love to go outside.
This is not a brewery nor a wine bar, says Jablonski, an environmental education graduate of Southern Oregon University, with experience at Evo’s, Greensprings Inn, Café 116 and the National Park Service. Only two wines are served now, but Jablonski says she plans to expand the offerings.
A Stone Ridge coffee bar, run by the owner’s sons off to the left of Growler Guys, serves organic Equator coffee roasted in Eugene. An 8-ounce coffee is $1.50. The 16-ounce is $2, prices not seen in Ashland for years. A 12-ounce latte or cappuccino is $3.
The coffee bar serves granola with yogurt and fruit, as well as pastries from the local Four & 20 Blackbirds bakery. Patrons can fill their growlers with the increasingly popular kombucha, starting at $10. Refilling of beer growlers (take-out only) starts at $11.
An illuminated line of taps invites patrons to explore and sample Growler Guys' offerings, which include sangria flavored with pineapple-mango. See the beer menu at bit.ly/1ijMynt.
John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.