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Growler shop hopes to open in Macon

If you don't know what a growler is, get ready!

Because soon, you might be able to fill up a jug of your favorite craft beer straight from the tap and take it to-go.

It's the latest trend that's making its way to Macon.

"I'm excited to have this," Jay Patel, owner of Growler Spot, said.

For Patel, the dream is two years in the making.

He hopes to open Macon's first beer growler shop.

"A lot of stores in Atlanta have growlers. We've just never had it in Macon," he said.

Patel says more than 40 different kinds of craft beer would funnel from taps into a reusable 32-oz. or 64-oz. glass jug, called a growler.

He says they'd also have a few taps open for non-alcoholic beverages like root beer and cream soda.

Beer can't be consumed inside the store, except for three pint-size sample cups.

When you're done drinking the jug, you can bring it back for sanitation and a re-fill.

Patel says the cost will depend on the size of your growler and the brand of beer, but a jug could cost anywhere from $3 to $25 and up.

Cities like Milledgeville and Warner Robins are already quenching the thirst for growlers.

But Patel is taking a chance setting up shop in Macon.

Although Patel has all of the necessary licenses to sell packaged beverages, under the current alcohol sales code, growlers are illegal in Macon, according to county attorney Judd Drake,

"We are ready to go, we already have everything in here. We are just waiting for them to get it approved," Patel said.

A Macon-Bibb committee unanimously approved a change to the ordinance last week.

Rabbi Larry Schlesinger, who chairs the Economic and Community Development committee, says changing the ordinance to allow growler sales is good for the economy and a way for Macon to keep up with a growing trend.

"We've got to move forward with the times," Schlesinger said. "If growlers are coming to Macon, Georgia, that's a good thing."

But the decision isn't final just yet.

Macon-Bibb's Commission is expected to vote on the ordinance change on May 6.

"That's the bottom line," Patel said. "If they say I can't, then I can't."

All he can do is wait and hope his hard work mixed with the Commission's choice will brew a new way to get beer in Macon.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh and on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.

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