As a college town, Oxford has never lacked for a place to drink, even back when it was not legal to do so. There are all manner of student bars, sports bars, and music bars, where the common theme is large crowds, loud noise, and good times–some of which might even be remembered the next day.
But one thing Oxford had been lacking was a quiet place to enjoy a drink–a place where you could go to have a civilized conversation with friends or even relax by yourself to contemplate life and what it has to offer. No longer. Since September of 2014, Oxford is now home to the Growler, a craft beer bar for those of us who are looking for high quality beers and ales and a pleasant place in which to enjoy them.
Business is growing by leaps and bounds at Growler, showing that the bar has fulfilled a long-time need in Oxford, and it’s no surprise. Their taps dispense beer of the highest craftsmanship, and, what’s more, they have a commitment to highlighting Mississippi beers. Mississippi beers? Absolutely! The craft brew movement has really taken off in the Magnolia State, and you can now find as good a beer produced here as anywhere else in the country. Brewers such as Yalobusha (located just down the road in Water Valley), Lucky Town (Jackson), Lazy Magnolia (Kiln), Southern Prohibition (Hattiesburg), and Crooked Letter (Ocean Springs) are all featured at the Growler, which typically dedicates between one-third and one-half its taps to Mississippi beers.
The rest of the taps are mostly filled with other regional brews, such as Abita, Wiseacre, Yazoo, and Sweetwater, but these rotate more regularly. Some of the more popular national craft beers, such as Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada, are also often available. Not a beer drinker? Don’t worry. The Growler is now carrying Memphis’ own Smith and Forge cider. For the designated drivers and teetotalers among you, they have Abita’s very fine root beer on draught. For solid sustenance, the Growler features an ever-changing menu of food items, ranging from sandwiches (using Oxford’s own Honeybee Bakery breads) to various types of bar foods.
New events are in the works for the Growler. They’ve recently acquired a dual-chamber infusion system for flavoring beer and plan on holding weekly events where they pair a particular brew with a flavoring agent to provide completely new taste experiences – think white chocolate with chocolate stout, or, even more daringly, cheesecake with Abita strawberry ale. In addition to this, Monday nights are soon to be “Cards Against Humanity” nights, where the popular party game will be played with prizes given to winners.
The Growler is located at 265 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite Y (behind Highpoint Coffee) and is open Monday through Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4:00 p.m. They are also open to hosting group events (such as private tastings); just drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you can’t get enough of the wonderful beers while there, true to their name, they have “growlers” available – half gallon jugs for transporting beer. Buy a growler and select your favorite brew to fill it; you’ll have it to enjoy at home for the times you just can’t make it downtown.
About Danny Toma:
After spending time exploring Italy, Ireland, Poland, Israel, Iraq, Germany, and, perhaps most exotically, Washington, Danny Toma is now back in Oxford to stay after a 22-year career with the U.S. Department of State. He enjoys dining out, as well as cooking in, and contributes to EatingOxford.com on a regular basis.