Friday, March 11, 2016

The Thirsty Growler coming to The Colony

Image courtesy of The Thirsty Growler.
Given the uptick in growth currently going on in The Colony, it was probably only a matter of time before a few craft beer-related businesses looked to establish a presence in the Denton County community. At least two such entities, in Drunken Donkey and Rock & Brews, are already up and running, with a third on the way in the form of The Thirsty Growler.

Mike and Andrea Gillum are the husband-and-wife team behind The Thirsty Growler, which looks to become the first business to offer craft beer to go in the city. The taproom and growler station is being built as part of a retail center at 5733 State Highway 121, which puts it opposite Nebraska Furniture Mart and the ongoing Grandscape development. It's a spot with easy access that should provide ample visibility based on the high volume of traffic expected in the vicinity.

Choosing The Colony for the couple's new venture came down to a couple of key factors. One was the fact they have friends and family in the area, while another was the aforementioned climate of growth.

"My wife and I were drawn to The Colony due to the recent influx of new businesses that are moving into the area," Gillum said. "We see an unbelievable opportunity to serve not only craft beer drinkers from The Colony, Frisco, Plano and the surrounding areas, but to also provide an experience for others to learn what good beer is all about. I've had a passion for craft beer that has grown tremendously over the years, and my wife is no different. Our goal is to help others discover that passion as well."

The Thirsty Growler will occupy a little over 2200 square feet in a space Gillum describes as "cozy, but not cramped." Plans call for table, bar and booth seating, with added conveniences like USB plug-ins and Wi-Fi access. Gillum also intends to install a television or two for those wanting to watch a ball game, but he's quick to point out that he doesn't want The Thirsty Growler be seen as a sports bar. "Think of it as a mix between a coffee shop and taproom kind of place. We wanted to make sure there was enough room for people to stay and try out different beers in a cool and comfortable environment before deciding which beers they want to take to go. We'll even be dog-friendly, as long as your dog is friendly too."

As for how the taplist will be structured, craft beer, cider, kombucha and non-alcoholic root beer will be stocked to start, with other beverages added as demand dictates. Among the planned 50 taps, Gillum says the hope is to try and strike a balance across the board. "We want to serve the best of what there is locally, while also bringing in the national brands that everyone knows and enjoys. In regards to styles, we look forward to serving every style that we can get into the cooler."

Gillum suggests, though, that the ultimate approach will come down to how they connect with customers.

"We look forward to building relationships with the people that frequent our store. We've studied the reviews of places that paved the way for us, and we hope to adopt things that have proved successful, while improving on things that haven't according to the wishes of the craft beer community."

Based on the current state of construction, Gillum foresees The Thirsty Growler opening sometime in mid-to-late April. Once that happens, events like pint nights and tap takeovers will be a regular occurrence, as will the hosting of food trucks, either as a meal option for patrons or as part of on-site food pairings.

The Thirsty Growler
5733 State Highway 121 - Suite 230
The Colony

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