Total Wine is a sin of convenience (some call it sloth) and we are nothing if not sinful. Plus, Mrs. B’s Pinot Grigio? Not exactly available at your neighborhood bottle shop. So we swing by more frequently than we’d like.

Two surprises hit us in the mouth like Tyson on Tuesday at the TW North Hills.

1. Not Your Father’s Root Beer: Confirming a rumor CBR heard a few weeks ago, NYFRB is in North Carolina. We sampled some prior to hitting up Brewgaloo — its darn good. The 5.9% beer actually tastes like root beer. If you like the flavor of regular root beer, buy a six pack and tell your pallette to take its pants off.

Its darn tasty and has a sizable ABV. $10.99 for a six pack is no steal, but what cheap six pack of decent beer is loafing around on the shelf at $6 these days? Exactly.

2. Growler Time: Again, we prefer buying our beer in local shops. But Total Wine adding growler stations to stores? That’s just good business. There’s now one available at the North Hills store in Raleigh – we have no idea if this is a mandate for anything more than this one store that moves tons of quality craft beer.

Called “The Brewery District,” the TW growler station will push in-store pours to patrons. Given the ROI on a keg when you chop it into jugs and add grower deposits its a smart move.

To kick off the opening, TW North Hills had a keg of Grapefruit Sculpin and when we inquired about the station at checkout, we were asked if we’d like a growler to go.

The choices were hardly bad …

… but we passed. Ballast Point is coming to North Carolina with a fury right now. Would like to see a little more diversity here’s and less “on tap” quotations.
The problem for bottle shops is people often hit them up for options you can’t get at a local chain.

Adding a growler station with hard-to-find brews only makes TW more appealing.

Kudos to the marketing team for making the growlers “owned” by a “hidden” brand too. It doesn’t look like you bought a TW growler. They clearly understand their place in the craft beer stratosphere.