GREENWICH VILLAGE — The new craft beer store Growler Station on West Eighth Street features two-dozen beers on tap and more than 200 varieties in bottles — but drinkers shouldn't feel overhwlemed by the vast selection.
While the brand-new store employs a staff knowledgable about beer, an electronic guide is also available for the more technologically inclined.
"It's possible that I may become homeless now that this place is open," said new customer Andrew Rohlin, 24, of Jersey City, "because I'll spend so much money here."
Growler Station, which opened last Friday afternoon, sells suds to go and accompanying snacks to let patrons enjoy the highest quality beer at their convenience, co-owner John O'Connell said during a tour of the store.
"You get the enjoyment of your favorite draft beer, right at home," the 47-year-old said.
At the new store, O'Connell and his staff fasten bottles to imported Russian taps, depress the tap handles and wait just one minute for the magic to happen.
The taps flow beer down the sides of the glass jugs, known as growlers, introducing carbon dioxide and removing the oxygen that causes beer to go flat, O'Connell explained.
"Oxygen is a killer of beer," he said. "We believe that with this technology, we can revolutionize the way beer is delivered to customers."
The specialty taps, which the store's owners read about online and believe are some of the only ones of their kind in the country, pour four European and 20 American beers now, but the selection will constantly rotate.
While the six men behind Growler Station take their beer seriously, there's plenty of room for laughs. They will soon introduce their own line of packaged nuts called G.S. Nutsack, O'Connell said.
"It's definitely a conversation piece," he laughed.
The shop's extensive snack department includes exotic-flavored potato chips, cheeses and pickles.
"We wanted to create a food offering that will complement beer," O'Connell said. "You can show up here and get a party in a bag,"
While West Eighth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues is lined with empty storefronts, O'Connell said he saw the vacancies as an indicator of possibility — not decline.
"This is a great up-and-coming street," he said. "There's space for so many new businesses to come here."
Growler Station, at 26 W. Eighth St., is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Prices range from $11.99 to $47.99 for a 64 oz. "Growler" and $12.99 to $51.99 for a 2-liter plastic "Beast."