Local brews now available via growlers at convenience stores - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Local brews now available via growlers at convenience stores

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Americans love their beer, and it looks as though they cannot get enough.

The latest data shows that craft brewers sold more than 14 billion dollars worth of brew last year alone.

That's a 20 percent jump from 2012.

And for the 20th straight year the Boston beer company, the brewery behind Samuel Adams was listed as the number one craft brewer in the U.S.

And you get craft beers just about anywhere these days. Many are sold in big re-useable bottles called growlers.

They're exploding in popularity around the country, and you can now find craft beers on tap in some valley convenience stores.

It feels for a moment like you're in a pub serving an outstanding selection of craft beers.

Until you stand back a bit and turn around to check out the rows of snacks, and soft drinks, and stacks of Bud Light. The Four Sons convenience store at Alma School and Baseline in Mesa is one of eight around the valley now serving tap beer.
Craft beers with names like Piehole Porter, Two Hearted Ale, Orange Blossom, O'Dell's, Mudshark, Big Blue Van, Dogfish Head, and Kilt Lifter.

"I discovered it from the northwest they were doing it in convenience stores a year and a half ago, and when they changed the law here I thought let's give it a shot and so far the customers have really enjoyed it," said Eric Seitz.

The beer is sold in containers called growlers, big brown reuseable glass bottles that come in two sizes: 64 ounces and 32 ounces.

You just can't walk up to the tap at this four sons store and fill her up. There are some pretty elaborate rules and they follow them carefully.

"We have to fill it for you, it locks on each tap so you cannot get in, every time we re lock it you have to sanitize the hoses, every time you fill it the bottles are sanitized before you get here, and if you bring your bottle back we will re sanitize it for you," said Seitz.

Employees have got it down rolling out kegs and hooking them up like pros. To them, it does not even feel like work.

"It is actually kind of entertaining I have never seen before we just got it in I am getting a lot of practice at it, and I am getting really good at it," said Chase Fenwick.

What does it cost? Prices vary by brand, the least expensive on the day we visited: 12 dollars for 64 ounces and seven dollars for 32 ounces.

We met some happy customers purchasing brew at the market.

Kilt Lifter, one of the most popular craft beers sold on tap by Four Sons, it is brewed in Tempe by Four Peaks Brewery.

It's a Scottish style amber ale and Four Peaks' most famous beer.
"You know it is great. People want fresh craft beer. They want local craft beer and want it fresh, the growlers are great ways to take some fresh beer to your home or to a party," said Teddy Golden with Four Peaks Brewing Company.

So the next time you stop by to get a bag of chips and a tank of gas you can also pick up a growler of really good local brew.

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