Trying the Growler Station at Price Chopper

growler station price chopper slingerlands

Tucked between the rotisserie and the deli.

By Casey Normile

With a new ShopRite right across the street, the Slingerlands Price Chopper has upped its game. Among the upgrades at the remodeled store: a Growler Station Express.

It's pretty much what it sounds like -- a counter in the prepared foods section for getting growlers filled with craft beer. And it's the Chopper's first test of the concept.

So how does it work?

First, you have to find it. The station is inconspicuously located between the rotisserie and the deli. It's easy to miss in a busy store.

Once you find it, you choose your growler size, either 32 oz. or 64 oz. You then choose your brew from the eight available. This week the selection ranged from Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale, to Adirondack Brewery Bear Naked Ale, to Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

Then you get to watch as a Price Chopper employee fills your growler using an impressive-looking glowing contraption. They hook the growler up to a tap at the top of a glass chamber, close a door, and turn some things. The machine then fills the growler from the tap while adding pressure, which -- if everything works as it should -- fills the growler quickly and without foam. This method is said to be able to deliver beer with fresh-from-the-tap flavor at home. It's all fun to watch.

The growlers themselves -- the actual amber-colored glass bottles -- cost $4.99 for the 32 oz and $6.99 for the 64 oz. There's also a "Beast" size that's 2 liters. The price for the beer ranges from $4.50 for 32 oz to $12.00 for the "Beast." So the first time is about $10 for 32 oz. of beer. But the growlers are reusable and you can bring them back to be refilled (you just have to wash it thoroughly). And that's the beauty of a growler, you pay for the jug itself once and then you only have to pay for refills.

The downside for beer lovers is that the people working the station are supermarket employees, not necessarily beer connoisseurs. I wasn't able to get a suggestion out of them, they didn't know the name of one of the breweries they offered, and when I asked him how his amazing glowing filling contraption worked, he said he "wasn't really sure." That might have been the reason I ended up with a growler half-full of foam.

But if you know your brews and don't need much help choosing or pairing it with dinner that night -- and the person who's working the Growler Station has a little more practice -- it could be good quick stop on your way home. But if you're unsure of what you want to try, have questions about what to buy, or want a larger selection to choose from, I would stick to a beverage center or brewery visit for a growler.

Price Chopper's senior category manager of beer and wine recently said on the company's Facebook page that the Growler Station at the Slingerlands store is a test, so if it works out there, maybe it will pop up at more locations around town.

Find It

Growler Station at Price Chopper Slingerlands
1395 New Scotland Ave.
Slingerlands, NY 12159

Comments

Thank you for pointing out where the station is.. I kept wondering when it was going in.

The "Beast" is basically the same size as the 64oz growler if it is in fact 2 liters.

The "Party Zone" balloon was an excellent addition.

So, Wednesday is ladies night at the Slingerlands Price Chopper - I love beer and all that it creates.

Great! I'll just hang out there with my pint glass while my wife does the shopping!

So...did you have them repour your growler half-full of foam, because I would not have been OK with that....

I'll have to try this.

However, I gotta say I'm not happy with the "build your own six pack" stations they've set up at some stores. I love the idea, but they charge $9.99 -- and many of the beers stocked are not $9.99 beers.

As long as Price Chopper keeps vowing to tear down historic landmarks to build mega stores, I will never shop there. I'd rather get my beer at the tried and true Brew Crew.

I was at the gas station on Washington Ave. (the one right across from SUNY) and looked twice as I walked out because they have a growler station there, too! So random.

hmmm..maybe growler stations are the new macarons. which were the new cupcake...etc...

maybe i don't get it, but the only time i fill a "growla" is with something "unusual" or a local brewery's seasonal that isn't sold in stores. the offerings seem all to "common"

Great idea and also a FAIR PRICE. I've avoided the growlers at Whole Foods and Oliver's because the pricing is higher (MUCH higher, at WF) compared equivalent brews sold in bottles.

Sounds like PC is closer to what I pay up at EBI in Saratoga where a growler starts at $8.99 and usually peaks at $11.99 except for rare cask-conditioned specials. I will need to remember to tuck my growler in the trunk next time I head down Slingerlands way.

Bought a Growler here for the first time last weekend. I used the IPAD at the front of the counter to decide what to buy. The app is pretty cool to play with at home too.

I buy growlers there once a week. The beers they have on tap are sick and they actually stay fresh for a long time (for growlers any way). The iPad is cool too for basic info about the beers. The station is pretty cool too and when I go back to refills growler it is super cheap. Plus they have switchback on tap... So I am def going back.

The growler station at Slingerlands is great, wish there was one at a Schenectady area Price Chopper

Price Chopper also has this set up in the Malta, Saratoga, amd now the Latham store

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