I randomly stumbled on the new Portland growler fill-station, The Tin Bucket, in the NE quadrant right off of the Fremont Bridge. The storefront is attractive and in a new-looking building. Walking in, the bartenders greeted me with bright smiles and a quick joke. Behind them sat brand-spankin-new space age-looking growler fill stations. It was quite the juxtaposition from the natural grain wood bar and exposed wooden beams. Overall, they stick to the contrasting theme and work it nicely.
The shop isn’t all aesthetics, though. It’s only the second day, and they already have almost 200 mostly local bottled beers ready to go. According to Jason Monge, one of the owners, they are preparing to bring in a couple more from out of the country to help diversify their selection.
But, where this shop really stands out is their keg-filling station. They installed state-of-the-art Growler Guys growler stations that purge growlers with CO2 before filling, promising to keep your choice of 40 beers they have on tap fresh up to a year. The process seems a bit tedious for someone filling the growler; there are about five knobs that all control separate things, not to mention two separate taps so pints can be filled without unnecessary purging. But, I was so curious that I had to try it.
My usual Stainless Steel growler from SS Growler was left at home for my first visit. I wasn’t sure if they could fill it up, considering they could not see through the steel to the fill line. So, I brought my glass growler just to test the waters. Jason let me know that it is considerably harder to fill up Stainless Steel Growlers, but they filled one up yesterday and they will do their best if one wanders into their shop.
But, for the time being, I had them fill up my glass growler with Georgetown’s Lucielle IPA out of Seattle, WA. Britt, the lovely self-described “Beer Maiden” behind the bar, let me know that the beer should stay fresh (because of the CO2 purge) for a year. I hope to try that kind of restraint out sometime, but for the time being I’ll leave it on the shelf until graduation—about one month from today. Usually by then, screw top growlers will have lost their pressure and spoiled. So, let the great experiment begin!
Overall, I had a great time today with my friends from the Tin Bucket. Whenever I’m looking for a great grower fill, whether it be for that night or to grab the last of a seasonal, I know where I’ll be heading. I envy those who live in that area.
Look for the follow-up to this post in about a month, when TBD will crack open the glass growler of Georgetown Lucille IPA after a month of sitting in the fridge. Will the Pegas CrafTap live up to the hype? Only time will tell…
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