Lone Star Taps & Caps Crowler

Lone Star Taps & Caps Crowler

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When entrepreneurs Sam and Rick Ali announced plans to expand their Lonestar Beverages retail brand to a second location in Lewisville, they promised it would be a unique destination. The new spot, Lone Star Taps & Caps, has 50 draft taps in addition to more than 300 cans and bottles. Not only are they filling growlers of beer, but they're also the first retail location in the country to fill crowlers.

A cousin of the growler, crowlers are empty 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with craft beer and sealed on the spot. They were invented by Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, a pioneer in beer canning. Crowlers are quickly gaining popularity because they keep beer fresh longer, are more easily transportable and are not as prone to contamination as their glass counterparts. Plus, advocates say, they're recyclable.

"As a craft beer enthusiast, I've always wanted to stay ahead of the curve," says Rick of Lone Star Taps & Caps. "Being the first retail shop in the U.S. to sell crowlers gives everyone a chance to get some really awesome local, out of state, or even import brews in a can."

New breweries opening in D-FW are also gravitating toward crowlers. Many new establishments, such as Fort Worth's Collective Brewing Project, are opening on a brewpub license, which means patrons can buy beer to take home with them directly from the source.

"The crowler is great because it has the same benefits of any other can of beer such as minimal head space and no light with the flexibility of putting anything we have on tap in it," says Collective founder/head brewer Ryan Deyo.

"Crowlers are also sanitized when they come to us, so the beer is more shelf stable than with a growler as there's no way of knowing how well a growler has been cared for/cleaned or how well it seals," he adds.

Noble Rey Brewing Co., which is currently under construction in Dallas' Design District, also recently unveiled plans for crowler fills. As with Collective, the business will be operating under a brewpub license. For Noble Rey, the decision to offer crowlers was a no brainer because, according to owner Chris Rigoulot, "it just makes sense with what we want to do at our brewery and our taproom."

Plus, the vessel is sure to be a talker.

"We plan to only fill them with our beer though, even though we will possibly have guest taps," Rigoulot says.

Matt Dixon co-founded Dallas Brew Scene in February 2012 on a mission to help cultivate and grow the craft beer scene in North Texas through interaction and education.

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