Ahead of her move to Colorado, the general manager shares memorable moments
General Manager Cindy Grote has seen it all. She remembers when the Daily Growler only had one location in Upper Arlington with bare walls and customers who were primarily men between the ages of 40 and 60.
Now, more than five years after opening, the Daily Growler has added bars in Powell and German Village, with 160 taps between all locations. The Upper Arlington establishment's walls are decorated with colorful, locally made posters, and the now-diverse clientele has become a community.
“They've recognized each other from just coming in here so much and now they hang out,” said Grote, who is leaving the Daily Growler this month. She is moving to Colorado to be closer to family.
“I'm sad to leave, but my friends are all like, ‘Columbus will always be here, so if you want to come back, just come back,'” Grote said.
Grote started with the Daily Growler as a part-time bartender who'd previously frequented World of Beer in Easton.
“[The owner John Blakely], I think, was hesitant to hire me because I had zero experience,” Grote said. “And I was like, ‘Even if this dude doesn't hire me, I'm going to come here all the time.' It's basically like a beer fest every day.”
Grote was promoted in 2014. She helped open the Powell location, and highlights her part in building the German Village cooler as a point of pride. She currently spends most of her time at the Upper Arlington location, and meets with six to 20 beer representatives each Tuesday to order product.
“Sometimes it gets a little hectic,” Grote said. “We've thought about getting numbers like at the BMV to call people over.”
Grote said she'll miss the people and special trips, like visiting BrewDog for a behind-the-scenes tour. “People have just given us a lot of opportunities to see cool things that nobody really gets to see,” she said.
And she'll no longer experience Blakely's quirky events, like the time he invited the Hoof Hearted Brewery and Kitchen staff to the Powell location for a hot tub party.
“We had an inflatable hot tub on the Powell patio, which three people got in,” Grote recalled. “I don't know if Powell people were feeling it or not, but we had fun.”
Grote will also be leaving behind a growing community of women in the local craft beer industry. “A ton of new breweries have opened, and each time I go to beer meetings you see more and more women,” she said. “That's really exciting.”