Downtown Eugene isn’t the only urban core in the area experiencing a revival — downtown Springfield is undergoing a resurgence as well.
“I’ve been a craft beer aficionado for a long time,” says David Platt, owner and founder of Growler Underground located at 521 Main St.
“I was watching what was happening downtown,” Platt adds. “With both downtown [Springfield] on the rise and this sort of business on the rise, I thought the two would work well together.”
Open since June 2014, Platt says Growler Underground is a pub and growler fill station. “We have food,” Platt continues, “and we concentrate on having a smaller menu of really high-quality food.”
“We make everything in-house,” Platt explains, such as the delicious Bahn Mi Slider (spicy Vietnamese shredded pork, house honey ginger shredded pork, do chua and pickled jalepeño).
“We also allow you to bring in outside food,” Platt says, but the business is about beer. “The idea is to be a place where people want to come and hang out, to be a focal point for the neighborhood, focused on the beer and beverages.”
Growler Underground also serves wine, kombucha, ciders and a rotating soda selection.
“Our goal in our beer selection is to have a wide selection, but also to have things that are a little more unique or a little more difficult to find,” such as brews from Uinta Brewing out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Filling a growler is better than getting bottles for a lot of reasons,” Platt explains. “Growlers are 64-ounce jugs. You can get one from us or bring in your own.”
Platt says it can sometimes be more expensive to buy beer in a growler, but you get to sample flavors and converse with a beer expert, and using a growler is also greener. Growler Underground offers one free growler with a fill-up in order to make choosing a growler more economical.
“You’re reusing the same bottle over and over again,” Platt says. “Even if you’re recycling — that takes a lot of energy.”
“Once [the growler] is sealed you have about a week to drink it,” Platt says. “Once you open it, it’s recommended you drink it in a couple days.” Platt says he also feels there’s a flavor advantage to letting beer age awhile in an open growler.
“If you think about a bottle of wine, the flavor changes,” Platt points out. “It doesn’t necessarily get worse. You get a whole lot more of the floral aromas from the hops,” he adds, referencing the changes that can occur to an IPA in a growler.
Growler Underground is open Monday through Thursday 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to midnight and Sunday noon to 8 pm. For more information and a complete menu, check out Growler Underground on Facebook.