Seattle is undergoing a craft brewing renaissance, with small beer makers such as Reuben’s, Populuxe and Schooner Exact expanding faster than yeast on a warm summer day.
There are so many amazing choices, what’s a beer connoisseur to do?
Brewtown — a new membership club set to begin in January — wants to help. The startup plans to deliver a fresh growler of beer from a local brewery every Friday or Saturday, delivering to addresses within a 25-mile radius of downtown Seattle.
Memberships cost $60 per month, or $15 per growler, with beer lovers able to choose two different “tasting tracks” and pick from three different delivery windows.
Like Uber, Lyft or Postmates, the growler club will be accompanied by a mobile app designed to make it easy to get an assortment of IPAs, porters or ales.
Ryan Miller and Ian Duncan, two programmers who met at a software company in Bellingham, are behind the hop-heavy project.
“We’re trying to find awesome ways to bring beer to people, simple as that,” Miller said. Duncan, who currently lives in South Carolina, handles most of the technical side of the business while Miller oversees operations in Seattle. Both shared a passion for beer and a desire to build products that people love. Growler delivery seemed like a natural fit.
Though the concept of a monthly beer club is nothing new, most clubs ship bottled beer through the mail. Brewtown wants to stand apart by offering fresh, local beer straight from the keg each week.
This is made possible by the growler, a glass or ceramic beer jug that typically contains 64 ounces — about four pints.
Pike Brewing founder Charles Finkel says the growler may be the biggest phenomenon in beer after craft brewing itself.
“Growlers are hugely popular, because essentially you drink draft beer at home,” he said.
Miller and Duncan hope to capitalize on the growing craft beer industry, which is thriving in the Northwest, by providing a way for people to navigate the myriad of options.
Estimated to be worth roughly $4.3 billion to the state’s economy, craft beer is growing at a rapid pace. But the sheer number of options can be overwhelming.
Brewtown members will be able to select from various types of beer that cater to their preferences. So someone who loves lighter beers won’t end up with 64 ounces of something too dark for their tastes.
Brewtown still has liquor licensing hoops to go through, logistics to solve, capital to raise and partnerships to solidify before the deliveries begin in January.