The first Growler USA franchise in Arkansas opened Feb. 24 in The District at Pinnacle Hills mixed-use development on J.B. Hunt Drive in Rogers.
The pub and restaurant offers more than 100 U.S.-made craft beer selections, including local selections from regional breweries including Bike Rack Brewery and Bentonville Brewing Co. of Bentonville, New Province Co. and Ozark Beer Co. of Rogers and Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock, in addition to hard cider from Black Apple Crossing in Springdale. Growler USA also serves wine on tap, cold-pressed coffee and kombucha teas, according to its website.
Franchisees are given full discretion over which beverages to serve, said the owner of the Rogers store, Seth McDaniel of Bentonville, and some discretion over the dining menu. The Rogers location is the first one with a full kitchen, he said.
“People that enjoy craft beer are also often foodies as well,” McDaniel said. Menu items include beer-inspired food like Chorizo Stout gravy and the Nitro BBQ Cheddar Burger.
McDaniel said Growler USA is unique in that it requires its servers and bartenders to be Cicerone certified — the equivalent of sommelier credentials for beer, he said. The restaurant employs about 20.
McDaniel was a software consultant before opening the restaurant and pub. Married with two children, he said he was looking for work that didn’t require travel, he said. “Growler USA popped up on my radar, and I really liked the concept.”
McDaniel signed a five-year lease on the property, with the option to renew for three years, he said. Whisinvest Realty LLC of Little Rock is the owner.
Founded four years ago in Oregon, Growler USA has 13 locations in the U.S. and is growing quickly, with a number of franchises in development. Several Growler USA pubs will open soon, including five in Colorado, four in North Carolina and three in Texas.