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New Beer Room Redeems Bowery Whole Foods

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There may just be a light at the end of the tunnel for Bowery Whole Foods. The chain, which has taken to weird gimmicky marketing schemes of late (a dating night? blogger parties?) has finally unveiled a cool new thing that is worth getting excited about. We're talking about the Bowery beer room, opening for business tomorrow, which will offer more than 200 types of bottled beer as well as local brews like Brooklyn Brewery's Blanche de Brooklyn, Kelso's Hop Lager and Blue Point's No Apologies Double IPA on tap. You can't drink in the store, but you can fill up a glass jug (aka a growler) or two to purchase and take home. Of course, nothing is more impressive than the sushi-laden conveyor belt on the second floor of the store, but this comes close.

New York City, NY (August 24, 2007) - Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, will open a new pub-style beer room within its largest location in New York City tomorrow, Saturday August 25 at 8 a.m.

The new venue, located at the Whole Foods Market Bowery store, will not sell alcohol for immediate consumption on store premises, but it will feature Whole Foods Market’s top picks from local breweries in New York and around the world. Shoppers can choose from several selections on tap, as well as an extensive collection of bottled beers. The assortment will continually be updated with seasonal selections and original brews.

To capture the just-from-the-tap flavor for its shoppers, Whole Foods Market looked to the past when beer drinkers took their favorite beverage home from their local pub in a reusable Growler. First introduced in the late 1800’s, these half-gallon (64oz) glass jugs can keep the beer fresh for up to a week. At $2.99, the Whole Foods Market Growler can be purchased and reused indefinitely. Shoppers who bring back their Growlers need only pay for the cost of beer. Available at only a small selection of breweries and brewpubs across the country, Whole Foods Market is the first supermarket in New York City to offer these glass jugs as an eco-conscious item.

“Whole Foods Market prides itself on knowing what is ‘next’ when it comes to grocery trends, and this is another example of how we have taken just a simple retail experience and made it more entertaining and more exciting to be a part of,” said Christopher Manca, specialty coordinator for the Whole Foods Market Northeast Region.

Resembling your favorite neighborhood watering hole, the 1,600 square foot space is situated at the corner of Houston and Chrystie. The space features a long mahogany table where “beer keeps” can answer questions, make recommendations and offer expert tips on which brew is perfect to bring to a party or will pair precisely with a meal. Bottled beers can be found in the large, refrigerated cases at the back of the room. In keeping with the community-themed murals in the Bowery store, the space will be decorated with a swappable collage of Lower East Side residents, each part of the Whole Foods Market family.

For the opening, six New York ales and lagers will be on tap, ready to be filled in the reusable Growlers. Blanche de Brooklyn (Brooklyn Brewery), Brownstone Ale (Sixpoint, Brooklyn), Kelso Saison (Kelso of Brooklyn), Liquid Gold (Captain Lawrence, Pleasantville), Ommegeddon (Ommegang, Cooperstown) and No Apologies Double IPA (Bluepoint, Patchogue) will be available from August through September. These beers will only be available for sale in the Growler. Many great imported beers will also be available in bottles, including Chimay Red, Unibroue La Fin du Monde, Lindemans Framboise and Cidre Dupont Brut.

“No matter what product we are looking to sell, we first look to our own neighborhoods and communities to find a source. We are very lucky that the Bowery store has so many great brewmasters in its own backyard,” said Manca.

· Whole Foods Market Beer Room [Official Site]
· It's Time To Start Worrying About Bowery Whole Foods [Racked]