Mendez Fuel, the Coral Gables gas station with a growler-filling machine, now has a "crowler-filling" machine. The difference? The former fills bottles; the latter fills cans.
The crowler machine was invented by Oskar Blues Brewing Company in Colorado and the brewery sells the devices to other breweries. Basically, it is a miniature canning machine. The crowler fills and seals a can with beer for a one-time use. Oskar Blues has sold the machine to other breweries in Florida, such as Cigar City, Cycle, and Due South.
The crowler is just the latest addition to Andrew Mendez's gas station at SW 32nd and Coral Way. The cost for the can itself is $0.99 and the beer is retail price for a 32-ounce fill.
According to Mendez, his gas station is the first of what may become more common in Miami. "We are the first in Miami that's for sure," he says.
The cans are printed with a custom label that reads "Big Ass Can."
Earlier in the year, Mendez Fuel received a growler-filling station, or a draft beer system that fills 32- or 128-ounce glass jugs.
Crowler cans may be cheaper at only $0.99 per can, but compared to Mendez Fuel growler jugs at $7.99, the cans are more expensive over the long run. The cans are easily recyclable.
Draft beer systems are common at bars, restaurants, and breweries, but uncharacteristic for gas stations. Unlike a bar, consumption of alcoholic beverages at the gas station is against the law. Mendez believes his gas station was the first to have a growler station but thinks there may be another gas station in the north side of town getting one too.
So far, Mendez has the growler and crowler stations at his flagship store at 3201 Coral Way. Three other locations at 7490 Coral Way, 701 NW 72nd Ave., and 11870 Bird Road may be getting them sometime in the future, Mendez says.
Here is a short video of how a crowler machine works: