Beer by bike upgrades to growlers

A Quickness courier out for delivery. (Courtesy Quickness)

A Quickness courier out for delivery. (Courtesy Quickness)

A local bike courier service now has 4 pounds more to contend with on two wheels.

Growlers to Go announced it is making its 50-plus draft beers available for delivery through Quickness RVA, a bike courier service that delivers restaurant orders, grocery items, flowers, documents and custom orders.

While Quickness already delivers bottled and canned beer and wine from local stores like Trolley Market and Branch & Vine in the Fan and Union Market in Union Hill, this is the first time the service has offered beer delivery via 64-ounce glass containers.

“It’s exciting,” said Jess Izen, sales director at Quickness RVA. “We’ve never been able to offer growlers before.”

Customers can choose among the 56 types of beer Growlers to Go carries at its Boulevard location. Quickness RVA will not deliver from Growlers to Go’s Short Pump store.

The company’s delivery zone spans from Rocketts Landing to the West End, and from Northside to Forest Hill.

Growlers to Go launched its Boulevard location in 2014.

Growlers to Go launched its Boulevard location in 2014.

Customers also can order beer in half-growlers and other smaller containers accepted at Growlers to Go’s stores. The company rotates its beer list regularly and will update it in real time on both companies’ websites.

“We’re excited to get them out there and have more people ordering,” said Growlers to Go’s Alyssa McCartney, store manager at its Boulevard location.

Costs vary by beer, but Izen said there’s no added fee for Growlers to Go deliveries. The growlers will be delivered using the same equipment Quickness currently uses.

While she acknowledged the weight of the new delivery items, Izen said Quickness cyclists are embracing the challenge of carrying gallons of beer around town.

“Any time there’s a new type of item to be delivered, it’s fun,” Izen said. “We take it as a challenge.”

Virginia ABC regulations require Quickness and Growlers to Go to have a contract that designates Quickness as an agent of Growlers to Go, and recipients of legal age are required to provide ID and a signature at the point of delivery.

The service is available through Quickness’ online ordering platform, which debuted in January.

In addition to its second location at 11341 W. Broad St. in the Short Pump Station shopping center, Growlers to Go is preparing to open its first location outside the Richmond area in Duck, North Carolina.

The two companies aren’t the only ones finding promise in the Richmond beer delivery market. Local startup Flight, which will deliver crowlers – cans half the size of growlers – directly from Richmond breweries, aims to launch at the end of this month.

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