Sometimes South Burlington's loss is the Queen City's gain. After an "amicable" parting-of-ways with former business partner Brian Stone last summer, Growler Garage owner Liam O'Farrell shuttered his Dorset Street brew shop this spring.
But the closure wasn't permanent. In fact, O'Farrell had just signed a lease for the airy corner storefront at 30 Main Street in Burlington, most recently home to Noonie's Deli, which closed in March.
At its new location, Growler Garage will offer 24 local, national and imported draft beers, with two lines dedicated to nitro pours. All will be available for on-site sipping (indoors or out), and drinkers will be able to take most home in growlers, crowlers and 32-ounce "howlers."
GG's beers will flow through a high-tech draft system (similar to the one at Beverage Warehouse's newly minted filling bar in Winooski), which operates much like a brewery bottling line and fills bottles without exposing the beer to air. The setup increases growler shelf life from five to 10 days to two weeks or more.
But the real fun will happen on-site. In addition to offering full pints and flights, the new shop will feature a handful of games, including a 22-foot shuffleboard, Ping-Pong table, dartboards and a cornhole set.
O'Farrell is working on permitting for live music, and plans to get a pub-food program up and running later this summer. "Our No. 1 complaint in South Burlington was that we didn't have food," the owner says, though he's keeping mum on menu details for now. "We want to get open and get the beer flowing," O'Farrell says.
Pending final permitting, a soft opening could come as early as this weekend, and O'Farrell says he's ready to bring something fresh to Burlington's downtown and waterfront districts. "There's so much fun stuff that goes on at the waterfront in summer," the owner notes. "And we're one street away."