BY WAYNE CHARGUALAF
Guam residents will have a new way to keep their drinks cold and carbonated anywhere they go, according to Charlie Hermosa, Guam Growlers owner.
Growlers are reusable containers traditionally used to transport beer for personal use and have become more prevalent as the microbrewery scene has grown in popularity in the mainland United States. Although breweries are among the local companies Guam Growlers has partnered with, Hermosa said he doesn’t want people to think they need to limit its use to beer.
“You can use it for soda, coffee, or anything where you want to maintain the temperature, especially if it’s something where you want to maintain the carbonization,” he said.
Where most growlers are simply air-tight containers such as bottles, Guam Growlers have a pressurized system with a spigot on top to dispense your beverage of choice.
“It will all depend on the pour you like,” Hermosa said. “Wine is very soft; soft drinks tend to be sort of medium. With beer it depends on the kind of beer; if it’s light or dark, how you like your beer, etc. Each growler will come with instructions and we’ll have instructional videos online, but it’s pretty straight forward.”
The growlers will come in 64-ounce and one-gallon sizes and the pressurized dispenser system — which is located at the top of the growler — can be removed, stored and replaced with a conventional cover for transport. They will be available for purchase online or at partner establishments such as Carabao Brewery and Slippery fish. They will also be available for rent on Guam only. Customers will be able to pick them up from and drop them off at partner establishments, and renting and tracking of growlers will be done through a mobile app.
“We’re following the model of companies in the states that allow you to rent bikes or car rental companies like Zipcar,” Hermosa said.
Guam Growlers officially began operating in early 2019, although the entire time has been spent in development. Price points are still being determined, but Hermosa said he intends to make them affordable and that they’re close to making a decision. Prices for growlers online can range from about $20 for simple designs to more than $100 for high end models. Hermosa looks to officially launch Guam Growlers in late January.
The growlers for Guam Growlers are imported from Asia but will use local talent to engrave and personalize them.
Guam Growlers and its sister company, Guam Gift Baskets, operate under Hermosa Ventures. Both companies are part of Hermosa’s plan to develop more Guam products for export. Hermosa is also general manager for Guam and Micronesia of APL.
The next phase of Hermosa’s plan — which he aims to roll out in four to five months — will involve developing work opportunities for Guam veterans — many of which will allow a great deal of flexibility, since many veterans are disabled or continue having difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. To this end, Hermosa a been consulting with the Guam Vet Center on a regular basis.
“It’s amazing, working with veterans,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding.”
Ultimately, Hermosa said his goal is social entrepreneurship. By developing products for export, he hopes to help open up markets for local businesses and create more jobs and opportunities for the local community.
“Basically, Guam Growlers is phase two of the initiative we started with Guam Gift Baskets,” he said. “Guam Gift Baskets was phase one, where we were trying to really reach out to the community to find local products that we can include in the gift basket and distribute off-island and somewhat create an export type of industry that supports local vendors. Phase three will be our work with our island’s veterans. What we want to do is be able to create jobs.” mbj