You can fit beer into any container

A recent study conducted by some smart people in England found that those with higher IQs tend to drink more as adults than those on the "very dull" intelligence spectrum.

Way to go science!

The study was reported on Discovery News and spread over the past week like a pint of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum IPA spilled on a table across the media.

I've been preaching this gospel for years, so it's doubly rewarding to be validated by a team of Ph.D.'s, who were no doubt swilled on Newcastle when conducting their research.

The study ranked subjects on a spectrum of brainpower ranging from "very bright" to "very dull" and charted their drinking habits over the course of their lives. The dullards tended to drink less, while the smarty-pants folks, such as, ahem, yours truly, saw no issues in having that third glass of wine after dinner.

You have to love the British. When they're not watching soccer, drinking or passed out from drinking while watching soccer, they tend to tell it like it is.

Fortunately for the "very bright" folks living in Medford, a week-long celebration of drinking continues this weekend. Medford Beer Week seems to be here to stay, which is good for the city and good for intelligent people who lead productive lives and read my column religiously.

Aside from Beer Week, I've noticed a spike in interest in Growler Culture taking hold around these parts.

Breweries are making a point of advertising growler services, which allow you to bring in a large bottle and pack out gallons of beer. Many of the local breweries are pushing growlers, and beer consumers, i.e. the "very bright," are happy to oblige.

I'm new to Growler Culture. I've always gone the old-fashioned route and packed beer home in wee bottles. I like a beer or two after work and figured it would take too long to polish off a chunky bottle of brew before it became flat.

However, curiosity got the best of me, and I recently pedaled out to Growler King on East Jackson Street in Medford. I was pleased with what I discovered.

Growler King is housed in the corpse of the old Quality Market. If you still miss the market's meat counter, you're not alone. But you could do worse than to replace it with 20 or so taps of quality brew at more-than-reasonable prices.

Don't be fooled after walking into this place, the beer selection is great. It does look like a million other Minute Markets dotting the landscape. There are coffee/espresso machines, creamer pumps filled with fake cow juice, beef jerky in large plastic cases, etc.

I'll admit, upon entering my heart sank.

Yet, at the left corner of the floor a marquee caught my attention. It showed a list of brews that I rarely find around these parts. Underneath was a line of taps of impressive pedigree.

My eye zeroed in on Amnesia Brewing's tap. The only times I've enjoyed Amnesia's pale ales are at its pub in Portland.

The dude working the tap counter was friendly and treated me to several tastes. The Amnesia keg blew as he filled my growler, so he poured the leftover into a pint and allowed me to kill it for free as I chose another beer.

As he worked, I took my pint and made a loop around the market, admiring the selection of Doritos and $3-a-jug bum wines on display.

The growler costs around $5, but you get to keep it. Growler King will then refill it with any of their taps upon return visits. The prices are genuinely impressive. The beers run from $9.99 to around $12.99 for a growler fill.

I settled on a growler of Oakshire Perfect Storm Double IPA. What a beer.

Growler King seems to be doing well for itself. As I was served, a steady stream of intelligent people with empty growlers thumped them on the counter to be re-energized.

I'm not sure what's inspiring the growler fad. I suppose it's eco-friendly to reuse bottles, and the price point might prove more economical. I'm not going to do the math, but I suspect the price difference between growler refills and picking up a six- or 12-pack is minimal in the long run. Some studies show growlers are a cheaper way to enjoy craft brews, while others suggest that you pay more when filling a growler.

One of the obvious positives about growlers is that you can take home 64 ounces of rare, unbottled beers. I can't tell you how many times I've had tap-only specials at pubs and wished I could enjoy a pint at home after a long work day. Growlers fill this need.

Also, the growler bottle is easier to pack home on a bicycle than a six- or 12-pack of bottles. I threw my growler in my bike trunk and cruised home without a collection of bottles banging into each other in my backpack.

If you're kicking it on East Jackson Street and have a need for Doritos and a quality craft beer, stop at Growler King. You might be a little confused upon walking through the door, but you won't be disappointed by the beer.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or

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