Picking up a growler while grocery shopping is about to get easier --in some states.
Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain by revenue, is expanding its in-store beer tap stations to drive customer traffic and bring more beer lovers into its stores.
This fall, the company is expanding its beer program to Cincinnati, Georgia, and Virginia stores. Customers will be able to buy or bring their own 32-ounce or 64-ounce growlers to fill with local and national craft beer brands. The grocery retailer also says it will offer wine at the beer tap stations. Pints and flights for tastings will also be available for select brands.
The grocery retailer already offers beer stations at its Pacific Northwest chains, Fred Meyer and QFC, and select stores in Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; Richmond, Virginia; and Los Alamos, New Mexico, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer.
“Wine and growler bars are a natural evolution for our adult beverage departments — by adding growlers, we are able to introduce our customers to new and emerging breweries that are only available on draft,” Jason Milburn, Kroger’s national beer coordinator, told the Enquirer. “It gives our customers a great experience in store and offers them more variety, hard to find beer items, and the ability to support local breweries in an entirely new way.”
Kroger, which operates over 3,700 grocery stores, is keeping pace with competition from Whole Foods Market and Wegmans grocery stores that have also been adding in-store beer taps.
About one out of every 10 beers sold in the U.S. is now made by a craft brewery. These breweries generate about 19 percent of the entire U.S. beer market’s $101.5 billion in annual sales— and grocers want in.
But not every grocery store in the country is legally able to sell wine, beer or spirits. Check out these handy infographics to see if beer-on-tap will be could be coming to a Kroger near you.