Green Growler Is Croton’s Punk Rock Answer to ‘Cheers’

‘There aren’t a lot of places for unknown, underground local bands to do their thing’ – Green Growler Owner Evan Perdomo-Cohen

For years, Croton-on-Hudson kid Evan Perdomo-Cohen toured the country in a van playing bass guitar with high-energy punk and metalcore bands. During down times, he took on freelance video editing gigs for such marquee TV brands as Viacom, Discovery and TLC.  

Then, he and his wife opted to leave Brooklyn for a slower lifestyle and bought a house in Peekskill. He liked video editing, but loves music, which he still plays for fun. 

Perdomo-Cohen also loves craft beer, but didn’t know much about it other than pop a top and bottoms up. So he got a job working from the bottom up at the Green Growler in Croton, one of the first craft beer shops in the lower Hudson Valley. 

A bright guy, he learned fast and told his boss, Seana O’Callaghan, that he planned to open his own shop. She just happened to be seeking a buyer and the deal got sealed in 2019. 

What started as a homebrew supply store has evolved into a place offering “over 150 varieties of craft beer, all small independent breweries, many of them local,” he said.   

The draft lines pour a rotating grab bag of styles, from standard IPAs and pilsners to a German smoked beer and a Baltic porter aged in barrels along with cocoa, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and chili peppers. Cider and mead, a honey-based drink enjoyed in Ancient Greece, might also be on tap. 

Eclectic and exotic brews you might find on tap include German smoked beer, Baltic porter, and even mead, a honey-based drink enjoyed in ancient Greece.

“Even if you’re not a craft beer drinker, we can find something for you,” he said. “If you can’t drink regular beer, we have gluten-free options.” And, there’s a wide selection of soft drinks and seven types of wine. 

This expansive approach to the brewer’s art is also reflected in the unusually eclectic live music acts that play the place. The lineup offers mostly original bands.  

Performers range from jazz to techno, folk to hardcore punk, bluegrass to stoner metal. Risk-taking acts include Mutant Jazz and Blue Alien Mystic.  

“No genre is out of reach for us,” said Perdomo-Cohen. “Growing up in Croton, I played many venues that are long gone. There aren’t a lot of places for unknown, underground local bands to do their thing.” 

Musicians get paid and the shows are almost always free and all-ages, provided that underage attendees are accompanied by a guardian and stay away from the bar area. “That young kid listening and absorbing was me at 14 or 15 going to punk shows,” he said.  

Other musical events include a weekly jazz jam, a monthly open mic night and the monthly Babies + Beer series, which features children’s music and starts at 11 am on select Sundays. They also host old school dance parties featuring myriad eras.  

Beyond the tunes, there’s trivia night, a grown-up game night and fundraisers galore. The place also functions as a funky, avant-garde art gallery that includes the upstairs nook. Look up to admire the two dozen individually decorated ceiling tiles, including an ambiguous gathering of upside-down Barbie dolls (and Ken, still in his box). 

With such a whirlwind of activities and endeavors, the Growler is greater than the sum of its parts, like a cross between an artsy clubhouse and a punk rock Cheers, where everyone is accepted (except for jerks). 

“I’m trying to foster a community center, like an old-time tavern, where people with different tastes and experiences come together to find common ground over a pint, a soda or a glass of wine.” 

Photos by Marc Ferris

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About the Author: Marc Ferris