Thirsty Thursday Throwback with The BOB at Taps Growler House
It’s time for a Thirsty Thursday Throwback edition.
The year was 2018, the month January. My wife Angie, the kids, and I were driving on 162nd our way to a friend’s house. We came to the stop light on NE 18th street, when Angie asked, “Has that tap house always been there or is it new?” her finger gently pressing against the passenger door window.
“I don’t know.” I responded. “Should we go by there, and see what’s up?” Angie nodded and I immediately turned my right blinker on.
After my awesome U-turn and a couple of muffled choice words from Angie, we drove into the parking lot and pulled right in front of the building space with a sign that read: Taps Growler House – Now Open.
“I’ll be right back.” Angie said, opening the car door. She pulled the door open and walked in. I saw her talking to someone as they both nodded. Angie spoke a little bit more, waved her hands goodbye and was out the tap house door in less than a minute.
She opened the passenger door, hopped in, looked at me and the kids and said, “They’ve been open for just over a month, have 50 beers on tap, have wine, serve food, open until 11pm, and are family friendly.”
“You were in there for, like, thirty seconds how did you find all that out?” I asked with genuine shock in my voice.
“It’s what Mommy does.” My daughter said, from the back seat, sporting a grin on her face. I gave an all too familiar capitulatory nod, put the car in reverse, and we were off to our friends digs.
The next day was a Saturday and it was cold, cloudy and the rain was doing its Pacific Northwest drizzling thing. The lazy bone’s bug bit the entire family, as we sat around watching movies all morning into early afternoon. “Do you feel like going somewhere?” Angie asked us all as she was drying her hair.
“Can beer be involved wherever we go?” I asked.
Angie finished drying her hair with the towel and said, “We should go to that Taps Growler House place.”
“Yessss.” I whispered with an internal fist pump.
When we got to Taps, I remember thinking to myself how clean, bright and new everything looked. I was also impressed on how we were greeted by everyone like we were old friends.
The owner, Kevin wasted no time grabbing us a table and asking if it was ok for the kiddos to have a Root Beer. Xander and Paul, the beertenders for the night, were busy serving other customers at the bar so Kevin personally grabbed the root beers. When he came back, he asked Angie and I what we like to drink. Kevin suggested the Imaginary Friends from Everybody’s Brewing for me, and the Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter from Caldera Brewing Company for Angie – which was also the very first Angie’s Mystery Beer I might add.
We got our brews, ordered us all some Panini’s and continued to chat with Kevin and the Crew. We learned a lot about him and his passion not just for beer, but for customer service. Angie and I mentioned that we are originally from Wisconsin and worked at a Five Diamond resort and how refreshing it is to hear that Customer Service is a passion for a small business owner. I know it seems nuts, but many small business owners have an “I built this myself, so I deserve respect and if you don’t like it you can leave” mentality. When it should be, “welcome to what I’ve built and I appreciate you for choosing my establishment.” That hospitality passion spills over on the entire staff and you can feel it every time you visit.
The other thing that resonated with me was the fact that they are big supporters of Hilinski’s Hope, an organization that helps educate, advocate, and destigmatize mental illness, something that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve actually been lucky enough to be a part of the “Tailgating For Hilinski’s Hope”, an even Kevin and the gang put on to raise money to help that wonderful organization.
After the meals and beers were done, it was time to take our leave, but after the awesome first impression we knew we would be back again, and often!
I’m so glad to share this story for this week’s Thirsty Thursday Spotlight. If you’re looking for some great pizza, some “Big Ass Cans” of beer to take home with you, and great conversation with great people, Taps Growler House should be near the top of your list. Like always, tell them the BOB sent you.