Moondog Growlers, Dunwoody’s new craft and draft beer merchant, is a testament to that.
“It’s just a cool, emerging market. It really is,” said co-owner Eleanor Benson.
Benson, an attorney, launched the expanding Moondog Growlers chain with longtime friend Scott Oder.
Moondog, billed as craft and draft-to-go, opened its doors here last month, making it the county’s second traditional growler venue. The Beer Growler in Avondale is the first.
Moondog’s liquid wares hail from breweries as close as local outfits, Wild Heaven in Decatur and Atlanta’s own Sweetwater, and as far away as Belgium.
“Beer people are reading, tasting and looking at what’s being brought out by various brewers across the nation and beyond,” Benson said.
Patrons, from novices to the connoisseurs, are in for quite an experience when visiting the Nandina Lane store.
Customers get the opportunity to sample up to six of the 40 beers — all styles of brew on hand — flowing from Moondog’s multichromatic decorative tap handles. Patrons are guided in the process by resident “beer geeks” on staff like Eric Thornton.
“I like helping people when they’re trying to do new stuff and branch out,” said Thornton. “It’s cool to see.”
In keeping with Moondog’s green mindset, their products are available for purchase in recyclable glass growlers and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers. Once considered solely a niche market, the craft beer industry has steadily increased its market share in recent years.
“[Breweries] are coming here to the Southeast now, which is nice,” Oder said. “It’s such an emerging market … it’s really exploding, which is nice to see and it’s nice to be a part of it.”
The Moondog venture marks a change in careers for both of its proprietors. Benson, an attorney, and Oder, in building and development, had been kicking around the idea of some form of craft beer endeavor since meeting a decade ago.
Whereas Benson is a Dunwoody resident, Oder hails from Marietta, the site of Moondog’s flagship operation launched earlier this year.
“We knew when we started we’d do it on our home turf,” Benson said. “I’ve been here 17 years and I think I know what people like.”
The pair are currently in the process of trying to take their show to Sandy Springs as well.
They warn not to group Moondog in the same class as your neighborhood watering hole, though.
“We really are trying to be a place that sells unique beers and educates consumers about what they’re purchasing before they buy,” said Benson. “We’re not trying to be a bar.”