Lakewood craft beer drinkers will soon have a place to fill up their growlers
BY JONATHAN RIENSTRA
http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/fo...as-craft-beer/

Craft beer enthusiasts in East Dallas soon won’t have to go far to fill up their growlers. Lakewood residents Stacie and Dale Czech intend to open a growler fill station in late December called Lakewood Growler.

Located at Mockingbird Lane and Abrams Road, the new spot will offer between 30 and 40 taps of Texas craft beers for growler filling and for enjoying a pint or two inside. The Czechs are currently renovating what used to be a Kindred Spirits liquor store to accommodate the kegs as well as give it a “Hill Country” aesthetic.

They looked at several places to open the growler station, but Lakewood seemed like the most natural choice for the East Dallas pair. “We like what’s going on in the Texas beer scene,” Dale says. “We’ve been in other areas in the country, and it’s just getting started here. We wanted to do growlers, because I like draft more than bottle. The location where we are fills a void.”

The 1,200-square-foot space will primarily focus on carry-out orders, but it will also seat around 20 people at a time. Stacie is creating the tables and bar top for the space herself.

“It’s not going to be a huge space,” Stacie says. “It’s more for tastings.”

Dale describes it as a wine bar for craft beer; in keeping with that, Lakewood Growler plans to close at 10 pm. The idea is that busy beer drinkers in East Dallas will be able to pick up a growler while running errands.

The selection will focus on Texas beers that can’t be found in bottles, as well as limited-run brews. Lakewood Growler also plans to carry a handful of kombucha teas, ciders and root beer for the kids. The Czechs are also bringing in other Texas products, including chips, salsa and olive oil to complete their devotion to the state.

Although they don’t have any prior experience in the beer game, the Czechs have run a successful resort in New Mexico as well as several franchises of Sport Clips in Wisconsin, where Dale is from originally. They decided to return to Stacie’s hometown several years ago. Dale’s home-brewing passion and the couple’s entrepreneurial spirit made a growler station a natural fit.

“Lakewood Growler allows us to merge our passions for beer — and in particular Texas beer — and, for me, building really cool furniture and décor for the place,” Stacie says.

The shop is clear on permits, and the Czechs say that the only thing to do now is to renovate the space. If everything goes smoothly, they expect Lakewood Growler to be open by mid- to late December.

They plan to offer multiple sizes of growlers as well as some growler accessories, and they will use a bottom-fill system. But they’re not going quite as crazy as Fair Park’s Craft and Growler, which features a dizzying array of growlers and a unique CO2 filling system.

“I think what they did at C&G is so smart,” Stacie says, “but he’s got a patent on those, and we didn’t want to imitate everything. The biggest complaint we’ve had is C&G is too far away. We’re in our 40s and have kids. We wanted to have that option to fill it closer to home.”