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MailTribune.com
  • Change is brewing at new Quality Market

    21-tap growler station among the additions made by new owners
  • Quality Market has reopened on East Jackson Street after a nearly two-year hiatus.
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  • Quality Market has reopened on East Jackson Street after a nearly two-year hiatus.
    The new owners have renovated the store and revamped its offerings, and the most noticeable change may be a 21-tap growler station, featuring beers from regional microbreweries.
    Owner Herb Miller, who operates a chain of convenience stores in Jackson County, said the growler station is the first one here — aside from bars.
    "It's very widespread in other parts of the country, but it's been slow to spread to Oregon," Miller said. "You are looking at $20,000 to $25,000 to set up a line like this by the time you add the cooler, taps and kegs. It takes a lot of room, but after we're up and running smoothly, I'll take a look at doing this at my other stores."
    Caldera, Deschutes, Southern Oregon Brewery and Standing Stone are among the breweries represented, he said.
    "As soon as a keg turns, we'll bring in something new."
    Growlers — named in centuries past for the sound emitted from containers of beer as patrons exited pubs — are available in 64-ounce bottles. A 32-ounce version is known as a growlette.
    "At this point, people are still learning about growlers," Miller said. "They're absolutely fascinated, and it's really eye-catching."
    Store clerks have gone through Oregon Liquor Control Commission training so they can dispense the brews.
    "Our license allows for people to drink on the premises, but our intention is to fill it, cap it and send them on their way," Miller said.
    Like corked wine bottles taken home from restaurants, growlers have to be kept out of the reach of drivers.
    At 4,000 square feet, Quality Market is larger than Miller's HAM Markets — ShortStop, Fair City and Woodland Heights — which are typically about 3,000 square feet.
    "People are shocked when they come in to see such a beautiful store," Miller said. "That's the first comment. The next is, 'Where's the meat?' "
    The meat counter, a key element in the original Quality Market, has been replaced by a deli, grill and ice cream/milk shake component. Miller is using roughly half of the 9,000-square-foot building and has drawn interest from two local butchers about locating in the other half.
    "We haven't dialed in all the specifics, but I think we'll have something in the works soon," Miller said.
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.
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