Fifth Street Growlers: Brews to Go… Variety and Speed in the Local Beer Scene

Bob Van Vleet and Joe Fennimore. Photo by Bridget Olson.

Oregonians love their craft beer, but driving to a distant microbrewery to obtain a favorite drink can prove a hassle. Thanks to one new, local business, it will be much easier to sample craft brews from all over Oregon, right here in Corvallis. Fifth Street Growlers, located downtown on its namesake street, will be the city’s first-ever “brew-filling station,” featuring 31 taps of craft beer with everything from IPAs to ciders and everything in between.

The two men behind Fifth Street Growlers are Bob Van Vleet, owner of University Hero, and Joe Fennimore, currently a finance student at OSU.

“Our main focus is to be a growler fill station,” said Van Vleet. “We want it to be convenient and quick.”

Customers can sample beer by the pint on the premises, or they can purchase refillable growlers to take home.

One of Fifth Street’s most attractive elements is its variety of beers available in one location. In addition to the full gamut of beer styles, they will also offer sour beer, gluten-free beer, cider, and kombucha, or fermented tea. The varieties available will highly depend on customer demand and turnover. Some of the first breweries on tap will be: Rogue, Ninkasi, Boneyard, 10 Barrel, Good Life, Pelican, Hop Valley, Good Life, Crux, Two Towns Cider, and Russian River, just to name a few. Customers can easily find out what beers are on tap at any given moment by visiting Fifth Street Growlers’ Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

“We encourage people to give us beer suggestions on our Facebook page,” said Fennimore.

Fifth Street will have its own empty growlers (64 oz.) and growlettes (32 oz.) for sale, or customers can bring their own receptacles, as long as they are re-sealable. The price of a full growler varies from $8 to $23 depending on the beer. A growler is typically meant to be enjoyed within 24 hours, but can last up to a couple days depending on how much oxygen is let into the vessel.

“This method is also very green,” added Van Vleet. “Each customer is saving the production of about five bottles or cans per growler.”

Fifth Street Growlers is tentatively set to open mid-April. It is directly attached to University Hero, so patrons will be able to enjoy the subs, salads, and soups Van Vleet and his crew have been serving up since 1981.

“The great thing about our location is that there’s always available parking and you can get in and out quickly,” said Van Vleet. Fennimore added, “It’s also a great place for people to stop by before games; they can get their growler and then go tailgate.”

by Bridget Olsen