By James Atkinson

Woolworths has earmarked up to 30 Dan Murphy's stores for a roll-out of draught beer dispensary units that will enable consumers to purchase takeaway "growlers" of craft beer and cider.

Woolworths category lead – beer, Ian Kingham confirmed Dan Murphy's is currently trialling 'Dan's Growler Station' – which utilises the Pegas dispensary system – at two Melbourne stores, Prahran and Alphington.

"We've seen growlers as being very successful in the US and also in New Zealand, and we thought it's a good opportunity to bring some theatre to some of our stores," he told TheShout.

"It also gives us a chance to showcase some beers that otherwise aren't available to the general public."

Microbreweries set to benefit

In a boost for some of the country's smaller brewers, Kingham said the primary focus will be Australian-made seasonal and other one-off craft beers and ciders, with imported products also set to feature on occasion. 

"It also allows us to do some localised ranging of products – we can work with a lot of smaller brewers who haven't yet made the big leap into commercially packaging their products," he said.

Through offering growlers, Kingham said Dan Murphy's can "flip or alternate products quite quickly without having to worry about the whole supply chain side of things".

"With packaged products you have to find pick slots in a warehouse and then there's quite a long cumbersome process for bringing product through," he said. 

He said the Prahran store was chosen as ideal for a larger scale "pressure test" because it has adequate space to accommodate the growler station, and also because of its local demographic of craft beer drinkers.

"We won't be going into every Dan Murphy's, we've earmarked probably 30 sites," he said.

"What we're going to look at is for the right stores that have got the right demographic with the right space."

Three different types of growlers

The system allows for three different types of growlers: refillable glass in 1.89 litre and one litre sizes, and a disposable PET 1.89 litre.

"We don't want to fill other people's bottles because we can't be guaranteed of what their calibrations are," Kingham said.

A Dan Murphy's staff member will fill the bottle for the customer, who will be responsible for cleaning it themselves prior to bringing it back in for a refill.

Kingham said Dan Murphy's will be providing plenty of training for staff on product knowledge, how to use the dispensary units as well as keg management.

Dan's Growler Station is currently pouring beers and ciders including:
Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout
Burleigh Brewing Hassle Hop Pale Ale 
Gage Roads New World Kellerbier
Barossa Valley Cider Co. Squashed Apple Cider

Click 'play' on the video below to see Dan's Growler Station in action

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation


  1. Does Dan’s use 50L kegs or smaller versions to avoid the issues with excise and transfer to a smaller vessel?

  2. I’ve opened a shop that sells a lot of craft beer, and I’m interested in the idea of takeaway craft beer. Can you please tell me where I find it in Hong Kong so that I can supply my customers with craft beer from tap.

    Many thanks

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