Tap of the Town
There is something special about craft beer and how it inspires people to come together. I think many find it odd when I talk about craft beer drinkers as a community. It can almost sound like and excuse for why I enjoy working at the Green Growler the way I do. I do enjoy drinking craft beer but I would not be a raving fan without the community. Here in our small town of Denison Texas there is no acceptation.
My early opinion of beer was not good. That is probably because of the American light lagers that I had subjected myself too. Over time, I began to see that not all beer was bad. Coming from the east coast I recall trying a Shiner Bock for the first time and before that a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat was what first caught my attention. But even then, I was not sold that beer was more than something I would drink on occasion.
Craft Beer has changed my perception of beer all together. It’s no longer just the drink for grill outs, parties, and camping trips. With over 100 active breweries in Texas, two of which are within 15 minutes of us (Say When Brewery, Denison Texas and 903, Sherman Texas) along with the beer wall inside our local Specs. Craft beer is available virtually everywhere. Deciding which brewery to try for the craft brew enthusiast can be a little daunting when we are 60 miles north of most of them in the DFW area. Which is why we rotate our taps as soon as a keg is empty to bring Texoma a wide variety of Local Texas Craft Brews to try. 34 of them in fact.
The word COMMUNITY- is what it’s all about.
For me, the community of craft beer enthusiasts are just as important to the craft beer world as the beer itself. Which is essentially what brought the Green Growler into existence. It’s an amazing community of people who drink and make craft beer. A perk of my job is that I also get to visit local breweries in the DFW area to try their latest beer. I get to interact and listen to the owners and Beer masters. As well as a few locals and sometimes their pet’s during my visits. I get to listen to their life stories. I get to listen to their passion and creativity that has led to the brews I serve my community on tap.
I am able to connect with others and that is truly why I enjoy Craft Beer so much. Truthfully I spend more time talking about beer than I actually do drinking it; so for me the community is what it is all about.
Something more than beer happens at the Railyard. Beer and good food alone doesn’t make 75-80 people show up on a Wednesday night for trivia, but community does. The Green Growler in a lot of ways has become a hub of the local neighborhood and it is our craft beer community that is attracting more and more people.
The craft beer industry would not be growing without the community coming together to get to know each other, finding common ground, making our neighborhoods better and enjoying quality brews.
As a guy who spent a lot of time in bars during my life, I always wanted to own a bar of my own. The cost of fees and permits in Dallas and Tarrant County are higher than any other county around them. A mixed Beverage permit was $6,600 plus and $6,600 to the city too for 2 years plus bonds and insurance. At that price I could not afford to open a bar.
So why could I open a Craft beer bar and not a regular full service bar. At the time I started this venture I was living in Dallas Texas and working for AlphaGraphics in Carrollton. We started doing printing for a new Brewery named Bitter Sisters. This was my introduction to craft beer. After visiting the brewery for a delivery and indulging myself in their tap room I became hooked on Craft beer and a regular at the brewery. Now my brother Danny and I were on the hunt for craft brewers in Dallas Fort Worth.
During that hunt I found Lakewood Growler in Dallas, a craft beer only bar. The cost of a beer and wine only permit is 1/3 the cost of a Mixed Beverage permit in Dallas County. The beer and wine permit was only $2,500 in Dallas County. WOW I could afford to open a Growler bar. So in 2015 I started my hunt for a location in Dallas. But as you can guess, a bar can be rather expensive venture to open and a bit tricky with local laws.
While looking for a location for my growler bar in Dallas, my brother and I came up to Sherman for 903s 3rd Anniversary party. We had a great time and met a lot of good people at the 903 Brewery. In most of the conversations I had at 903, the topic of opening a Craft beer bar almost always came up and most everyone ask me, “why don’t you open it up here, we would love to have in Sherman or Denison”. Both cities met the legal requirements for us to open a bar without having to have food service. We (my brother Danny and I) made many trips up here from Dallas looking for a location and stopping in at the 903 Brewery to drink beer and chat with Jeremy Roberts about our plans.
But what made the difference for us was William Meyers with the Denison Development Alliance.
Not only did he show us various location but he gave us different funding options and ideas. We met other small business owners and explore the various funding options from the city with William. We felt like the people and the city of Denison both wanted Green Growler to be a part of the community. Unlike in Dallas where I felt that they could care less about a new small business opening up. In the end William hooked us up with Josh Massey and the Rail Yard on Main Street in Denison. Josh was creating a space for new small restaurant owner to create successful and he let Green Growler be the first to sign a lease with the Rail Yard on the new space. If not for the City of Denison, Denison Chamber of Commerce, and Josh Massey Green Growler would not have made it through the Pandemic and for that we are forever grateful to be a part of this community. So Why Denison, because I was asked to open in Denison and be a part of the community. Then once opened the Denison Chamber of Comers held a ribbon cutting ate Green Growler to welcome us to the city. Also the permit was only $900 in Grayson County and that helped.
- Dennis McCabe