Twin Creeks Crowler cans customers’ favorite craft beers to take-home

Twin Creeks Brewing is the only craft brewery in the valley to offer Crowlers– a canning system which allows customers to take home 32 ounces of their favorite craft beer. Andy Bishop demonstrates the Crowler machinery.
Twin Creeks Brewing Company in Vinton has added a stage in the front window for their “Music on the Dock at Twin Creeks Music Series.”

Twin Creeks Brewing Company officially opened on December 2, 2016. Those passing by on Pollard Street in downtown Vinton notice a packed house virtually every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night when the brewery is open.

Andy Bishop, who co-owns the brewery with his brother Jason and friend Barry Robertson, says “We are very pleased with our progress so far in 2017 and we look forward to growing with Vinton.”

Their customers come from Vinton, the valley, the region, and even out of state.

Their popularity may be due in part to their local ties. The Bishops graduated from Lord Botetourt; Robertson from William Byrd. It may be due to their genuine enthusiasm for their hobby which turned into a business, but they also are unique in several ways.

Their intention is for the brewery to be a “social gathering place,” but one that is family-friendly.

“We even have games for kids to play and we gave each kid a little Christmas gift from under our tree throughout the Christmas season,” Bishop said.

Twin Creeks offers several main-stay “flagship” beers developed from their own recipes made in large tanks on premises and several rotating beers made in their smaller tanks. Occasionally, the rotating beers are so popular that they become mainstays.

However, something that is exclusive so far to Twin Creeks is its Crowler system which essentially cans a 32-ounce beer to take home (it cannot be consumed on the premises). It is the only brewery in the Roanoke Valley to offer the Crowlers, which have become very popular.

An empty aluminum can is filled with the customer’s choice of craft beer, and a lid is placed on top. The filled can is put into a “canning” machine which forms the lid, creating an airtight seal. It remains fresh for weeks, or even months.

Bishop says they average selling about 135 Crowlers per month. The most popular flavors so far have been the “Summerfield Blonde” and “All About That Amber.” A 32-ounce Crowler costs $9. Customers purchased them as gifts for the holidays and even as birthday presents. Sometimes they just run in for a Crowler when on their way elsewhere.

Before the Crowlers came along, the option for taking a favorite craft beer home was in a glass jug called a Growler. Bishop says that for the price of one 64-ounce Growler, which is often too much to drink in one sitting, you can buy two cans of two different flavors of Crowlers to take home and enjoy later.

If you don’t drink beer, they have canned sodas and coffee.  They team up with food vendors since a brewery typically doesn’t prepare food– vendors like Longfin Grill, Hamm’s Fine Foods, Fast Burgers, Dojo Grill, and Ken and Jayne’s Hot Dog Stand.

Twin Creeks has also become popular for its music, introducing a new venue to downtown Vinton. They have recently built a stage in the front window.

“Our stage is built to look like a dock and we have our ‘Music on the Dock at Twin Creeks Music Series,’” said Bishop.  “We can accommodate a small four- to five-member band.”

“We have put together a great music program showcasing local artists and artists from literally around the country,” he said..

The current entertainment schedule to date features:

  • March 17, Morgan Wade
  • March 18, Nick Andrew Staver
  • March 25, Daniell Pollock
  • April 1, Tim Pfeiffer
  • April 7, Josh Marlowe
  • April 8, Lee Crockett and guest percussionist
  • April 14, The Kombucha Trio
  • April 15, Marie Anderson Hall
  • April 22, The Freeloaders
  • April 29, Crawford & Power
  • May 6, Downtown Diversion
  • May 12, Ryan Greer
  • May 13, David Francisco
  • May 19, Ragtop
  • May 20, True North
  • May 26, Jared Stout
  • June 9, The Daniel Nickels Band
  • June 10, Father Chuck and the Backsliders
  • June 16, Seph Custer
  • June 17, Mason Creek
  • June 24, Crawford & Power

Bishop says that about every two weeks Twin Creeks will feature a live Facebook webcast music event on Thursdays called “Good Time Thursdays,” hosted by Shannon Wheeler from the bluegrass band Mason Creek.

“Shannon treats this like an old-time radio show and has guest musicians come in for an impromptu jam,” says Bishop. “Every time he has done this, it has been a huge success.’

Their Facebook page is packed with up-to-date information about new beers being introduced, the food vendor and menu for the day, and the musical acts appearing and the time of their performance, and the hours of operation for the date.

Currently Twin Creeks is open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until 9.

With warmer weather, they plan to announce expanded hours. They will also be upgrading their outdoor patio this spring.

“We will be improving our outdoor patio this spring to provide more seating,” added Bishop. “This will be a great place to listen to music at the Farmers’ Market during their events.”