A couple weeks ago, as some of you may recall, there was a pretty fricken amazing picture of a Bitch Beer growler floating around to promote our April Time of the Month happy hour. The lovely folks at The Growler Room totally hooked us up, but while we were getting our swag engraved, we got the dish on what The Growler Room is all about.
Dean Schlett, owner and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, always knew he wanted to explore the world of entrepreneurship. His father owned several businesses, including a little neighborhood beer joint and Dean has a knack for finding ways to make people happy. So when he came across the idea of selling cool drinkware while searching for badass pewter tankards for his groomsmen in the late 1990’s, it felt like a natural fit.
“I always had an affinity for cool drink ware,” he explained. At the Draught House, Dean’s local haunt, there was a competition called the “Einstein Club” where you could win a personal Spaten stoneware mug that would hang in the bar for you. After owning the competition and earning the mug, Dean would find it so cool when people asked “how do I get one” to answer with “you don’t.” But, he saw these awesome tankards he could buy wholesale and thought “I could sell these.” So he ordered a couple thousand dollars worth of product and started up his online business.
The business was a resounding success, but when Dean started engraving, it took things “in a whole other direction.” Other competitors had 5 or 6 glasses and minimums ranging between 8 and 12 engraved glasses per order. He had an inventory of over 75 styles of glass and was willing to engrave just one glass for a client. This openness to working with his customers, regardless of their requests, set Dean apart, and in no time, he was upgrading to a bigger space for production and bringing in the namesake growlers for personalization.
In 2012, when Craft and Growler contacted him to get some growlers for the storefront in Dallas, Dean became familiar with the concept of a growler bar. “For years, I told people ‘I sell you everything but the beer.'” This was his opportunity to bring the process full circle. On March 1st, 2013, Dean and his team opened the taps and began pouring beer to the community.
The standout characteristic about Dean is his genuine passion for making his customers happy. He drove to Houston to pick up several kegs of Karbach Brewing (making the Growler Room the only place in Austin to have it) while still stocking plenty of local brews. He and his staff are knowledgable and very much interested in pairing clients up with beers they will enjoy drinking and everything has a personal touch, down to the laser-engraved gift certificates and his business cards printed on coasters. “These things I’m making and putting people’s names on are going to be things that live on long after I’m gone.” With service and a selection like Dean’s, though, The Growler Room is at no risk of getting gone anytime soon.
Make it a point to get to The Growler Room. There are always great beers on tap and excellent tasting events coming up, like today! Christine Celis is going to lead a Belgian tasting starting at 3:00 until 8:00 this evening.