Buying A Growler of Craft Beer … at the Pharmacy?

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At one Manhattan pharmacy, you can buy more than just cold medicine.  DNAinfo reports that at one Upper West Side Duane Reade, “[y]ou can also replenish your beer supply at the pharmacy’s Brew York City, a service counter that pours out ‘growlers’ of beer, 64-ounce screw-top glass jugs.”  Brew York City stocks various hard-to-find craft beers like Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Ithaca Apricot Wheat and Sixpoint Sweet Action.  “It’s a pharmacy, so this is interesting,” said Clinton Bright, a visitor to the store. “You can buy beer here, but this is even better.”

Andrew Paul Browne

There are two experimental DR stores. I frequent the location in Williamsburg (!/brewyorkcity). The price to fill up my growler is $8.90 w/ tax. This is significantly better than the other beer filling stations I used to frequent where the price would range from $12-18. Beyond economically pleasant this transaction is also ecologically sound and makes me feel chivalrous.

The size of this growler jug is just right to share and often encourages its owner to 1. call someone over to share libations or 2. give the whole thing away as a gift. A gift that is expendable and refillable. Bowerij Lane in Greenpoint, Brooklyn ( has a painted label that exclaims "Fill Me Up!".

Along with the above benefits the growler lends itself to local and fresh brew. Lets hope its use becomes more common.


New York also has weird laws about liquor sales. You can't sell hard liquor and beer in the same store. So most liquor stores sell just wine and liquor while groceries and pharmacies sell beer.


I first encountered the concept of a growler at this site:

I think growlers are in violation of open container laws in most states, but in Oregon you can drive home with one of these in your car.