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Sunoco Gives Customers a Reason to Look Forward to Filling Up

As gas prices to continue to rise at the pump, one gas retailer has found a way for consumers to look forward to filling up.

Sunoco’s Craft Beer Exchange Program has been a hit with customers since it began as a pilot program in 12 locations in Western New York in July 2011.

The company expanded the program last fall across the state of New York and announced Friday it would be bringing the concept to South Carolina.

“We have decided to expand the Craft Beer Exchange based on the success we have had in multiple New York markets over the last six months,” said Wendy Lyman, Sunoco’s beverage category manager.

The Craft Beer Exchange allows customers to fill growlers of craft beer at the same place they fill up their gas tanks. Currently Sunoco has “beer-filling stations” (taps and Kegerators) at over 40 of its APlus convenience stores throughout New York state. Sunoco operates more than 600 APlus Convenience stores in 24 states along the east coast and as far west as Ohio.

The company says the program will now increase to include 13 locations across coastal South Carolina.

“The Charleston market presents an excellent platform to expand the Craft Beer Exchange at APlus because of our current assets, market density in the region, excellent employees, and a local customer base that enjoys craft beer.”

The typical Craft Beer Exchange offers as many as 12 rotating craft beers available to-go in 64-ounce growlers. Customers also have the option to create their own six packs from a selection of 12-ounce single bottles for $9.99. The selections change seasonally and include craft beers from well-known breweries such as Allagash, Abita, Dogfish Head, Victory and New Belgium.

While the Craft Beer Exchange may not lessen the pain at the pump, perhaps it might at least allow for some fun on the (beer) fill-up.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter @tomrotunno.

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