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Brew from a Different Point of View

Trending now....growler stores. You know what I am talking about. Dozens and dozens of taps to choose from, a person behind the counter, what was his name? I don't remember, it doesn't matter. You get a little description of the beer, maybe a taste, select, fill, leave and forget anything but the beer you are enjoying. Great right?

After speaking with Thomas Monti of Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing in Marietta, GA I found something more than the cookie cutter growler shop. Let me take you on a journey. It started with a physical science teacher and adjunct college professor that had a dream. Well lets say, more of a yearning. Finally after 15 years in the "normal" career,  he made the tough decision (after a leap of faith and lots of prayer) to quit the day to day norm and take a chance on his Dream.  Now six months and counting, that dream is becoming more than he could have imagined. His time as a professor is now growing into a senior level class in the culinary program of Kennesaw State University, where students will learn how to brew, the brewing industry and the art and history behind it all. And now the normal trendy growler shop is growing into a family and experience where beer is just a bonus, not the focus.

What was once planned as a 60 tap growler store has grown into a 20 tap and over 350 individual craft beer store that also provides an experience. When you walk in you are greeted like Norm from Cheers. They remember you, they know you, they ask you about your day, your kids, your life. They know what kinds of brews you like and which to avoid. The atmosphere is warm and inviting like a friends house with big comfy leather chairs to melt into while you enjoy of flight of the latest local and regional craft beers. Their sweet golden retriever Ben will nuzzle you for love and provide your kids with a distraction while you enjoy a little adult conversation. You can mix and match a 6 pack for later and walk out with a growler of your favorite pour. But it doesn't end there. You can also plan a brewing night with your friends or as a date. They have classes available where you can brew beer in house and they handle all of the preparation, sterilization, and cleanup.  You just come to brew, learn, and hang out.

Thomas believes that customer service and education are the most important. The beer, surprisingly is last. That is what sets them apart from the other growler shops. They focus on the local and the experience. I asked Thomas where he see's the shop going and his response was "We won't expand until it's truly an experience. We want people to come here for us, not because of the beer."  I think they are well on their way for that (if not already achieving that goal).  Grab a friend or significant other and head over for a tasting, but be prepared to walk out not only with a new craft beer, but also a new friendship.

Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing "Where Education Meets Recess"

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