A year after opening, Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room is morphing from a retail store to a pub with the introduction of food items.
“I am really excited about this,” owner Jeanne Dooley said of the menu, ranging from chili to mini German bratwurst, grilled cheese and Virginia ham, and a Kentucky hot brown sandwich.
The nine-item menu will be phased in gradually.
Food items were added in response to customers who wanted something to snack on with their craft beer.
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“Everything goes good with beer,” Dooley said. “You can get a little snack or something more substantial. When you have a beer, you want a little something to eat.”
Dooley, a 30-year teaching golf professional, reached out to Mark Caragiulo, owner of Owen’s Fish Camp and Shore Diner, to design the menu and to train the Craft Growler staff on the new offerings.
Everything goes good with beer. ... When you have a beer, you want a little something to eat.
Jeanne Dooley, owner of Craft Growlers To Go in Lakewood Ranch
Caragiulo said working with Dooley allows him to talk golf. And besides, when he has a beer, he likes to be chewing on something tasty.
“People perceive this as a pub, and the question is, ‘Where is the food?’ ” Dooley said of the change at Craft Growlers. “With Mark’s advice, we are warming up the space and making it cozier.”
Dooley is pleased with customer response to its offerings from 45 rotating beer taps – stouts, porters, IPAs, wheat beers, pilsners, Kolsch beers and more – and the opportunity to buy and fill 64- and 32-ounce growlers with their favorites.
Customers can buy a growler at Craft Growlers To Go or bring their own from home and have the staff fill it.
James Russell, who has been beer tender at Craft Growlers for nearly a year, said the establishment will be offering upscale bar food: “This is a great way to up our game.”
Craft Growlers is also popular for those who enjoy drinking a pint on the premises. When there is a major sporting event, such as this weekend’s Super Bowl, Dooley sees more customers coming in to fill a growler, which they can enjoy with their friends at home.
James Russell, who has been beer tender at Craft Growlers for nearly a year, said the establishment will offer upscale bar food.
“This is a great way to up our game,” Russell said.
Craft Growlers is located at 8141 Lakewood Main St., N103, and is open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12:30-6:30 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit craftgrowlerstogo.com.