This chain out of Centennial, Colorado, might fool you. Located across from Mercer University and next door to a hotel and a sandwich shop, Growler USA looks like it might be a place to fill up your beer growler or get some beer-making supplies. Instead, you’ll step into a hopping modern pub, with a wall of 100 taps behind the bar on your left and tables full of families and students on your right.
If it’s a Mercer football game day, be prepared for revelry and loud music. If it’s happy hour (4-6 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday) it might be a bit crowded. Otherwise, it’s pretty sedate. We came on a game day and it started out crazy before the game but calmed down once the game began.
We started with the Sidewinders, which is their Americanized version of poutine, with peppered white cheddar sauce, bacon and avocado chunks on top of thick, beer-battered fries. If you can still move after reading that sentence, you might then try the buffalo chicken dip with roasted chicken, cream cheese and warm naan bread. We had the chicken wings with a sweet Thai chili sauce, but they come hotter with Nitro BBQ or Dreaded Death sauce as well.
You might feel the need for salad as a palate cleanser after those appetizers, so they offer several tasty ones. We had the Paradise Chicken with julienne red peppers and candied walnuts in a vinaigrette as well as the Pilsner chicken Cobb with bleu cheese and grape tomatoes. There’s also a pub salad and a traditional Caesar.
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Their burgers are your best bet for an entree, with choices such as the Home-Sweet-Home burger with ale-infused red onion marmalade, Swiss cheese, and avocado aioli on a brioche bun. The Sunrise burger is topped with a sunny-side up egg, bacon and tater tots, and the Inferno burger has roasted green chili and jalapeno relish with a spicy aioli.
If you’re not in the mood for a burger, we liked the chicken and waffles and skillet mac and cheese, but the ahi tuna wrap needed a fresher tortilla to take top scores. Overall, it’s a great experience in a lively place with excellent service and fun company.
Address: 1530 Mercer University Drive, Macon
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday
Payment: Credit card, cash
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Medium to high
Health Rating: 84
Price range: $8-$16
Restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at Telegraph expense. New restaurants must be open at least two months before a review. Reviews are not related to advertising.