This history of the Garden Home Growlers, located in the Lamb’s Thriftway (now the Garden Home Marketplace), was written by the owner Allen Tyler, 2018. The business was sold to Adam and Diana Martinez in 2018. A growler became popular as a large jug used to transport beer. They are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-out craft beer. By 2018, Portland had become notable as a city with more than 70 craft breweries, more than any city in the world. Ed: Elaine Shreve
Once upon a time, in the small neighborhood of Garden Home, there was a grocery store. And inside that grocery store, there was a small pizza restaurant that sold big pizzas. One day, the pizza restaurant closed and moved their equipment out.
Now, the owners of the grocery store still wanted to have a business in that space, so they put up a bright pink “For Rent” sign. And that is where our story really begins….
Not long after the bright pink sign was posted, a local resident (who loves craft beer) walked by the sign after buying milk at the grocery store. And a wee little thought emerged as a spark in that resident’s head and heart.
That spark was an idea to use the space to sell craft beer. Back then, craft beer was scarce in Garden Home, and residents had to venture far from home in search of beers that would make their taste buds dance.
So the resident started to think more seriously about the spark, and he talked to the grocery store manager about the bright pink sign. And the resident started to research and explore other craft beer bars (and of course to taste other craft beers).
Before long, a lease was drafted and signed by the resident and the landlord. Construction began, in order to prepare the space to serve craft beer.
First, there was plumbing to be done. Then, there was electrical work, as well as painting. And cleaning, always cleaning. A bar was installed. And then a walk-in cooler. And the brand new cooler had twenty holes drilled into the side, and twenty new taps were installed. The floor was polished, and polished again, until it shone brightly. And still more cleaning was done.
Many items had to be purchased as well. Tables, chairs, glasses, racks, towels, cleaning supplies, TVs, magnets, markers, bus tubs, and more than a few sticky notes. Paper towels, hand soap, paint, plastic cups, hoses, and lots of cups of coffee.
Contracts were entered, and subscriptions were initiated. TV, internet, phone, insurance, gas suppliers, bookkeepers, accountants, and line cleaners. A domain name was purchased, a website was created, and social media accounts were registered. Bank accounts were opened, and new checks printed.
Applications for licenses and permits were submitted. And there was much waiting, as the organizations processing those applications do not operate rapidly. But the resident remained patient and focused, confident that approval would be granted.
And then, when all the paperwork was processed, and all was approved (after some very big checks had been written), the resident met with beer sales representatives and ordered the first kegs. IPAs and Stouts! Porters and Orange Beers! Ciders and Lagers! So many tasty choices. The kegs arrived and were placed on tap. It has even been said that a tablet exists that has the names of the original twenty kegs etched into it, to be recorded and remembered for eternity.
So finally, on August 27th, 2014, after all the applications had been approved, purchases had been made, and equipment had been installed, the business called Garden Home Growlers officially opened for the first time. The business could not open its doors for the first time, because, you see, there are no doors. Instead, one might say, “on August 27th, 2014, Garden Home Growlers opened their taps for the first time!”
And the local resident and craft beer fan was happy, because now, other local residents and craft beer fans finally had a place to gather with tasty craft beer and wonderful good cheer amongst each other. And the Garden Home Community became a better place.
Cheers to you!