Growlers are a great asset to the craft beer world. It allows you to bring a refillable vessel to a brewery or store front and refill it with freshly tapped beer. It opens your world up to limited-released beers that are only available at breweries. I have a collection of growlers of my own for almost every brewery I’ve visited. I even keep some empty & clean growlers in the trunk of my car for just such an opportunity to fill them. It’s also going to be summer very soon, AKA the perfect growler weather! Growlers come in many sizes and shapes. My personal favorite is the non-conventional 2 liter growler. The only Maine brewers I know who offer these are Bunker Brewing & Run Of the Mill to my knowledge.

gi2 (24 of 29)

I noticed when searching through Active Beer Geek that I never once wrote a post of complete growler knowledge. I feel that my beer drinking readers know about growlers and drink from them regularly enough. I will do my best to completely sum up my growler knowledge in one post. Here goes nothing!

What Are Growlers?
Growlers are glass vessels that can come in 32 oz., 64 oz., 1 liter, and 2 liter respectively. You wont find them at every brewery you visit but most do offer them. Growlers are able to be purchased once and then able to be refilled without buying the glass again. This is very convenient thing for beer geeks. It allows you to visit the brewery, soak in the ambiance, and get your growler filled with their beer fresh on tap.

gi2 (23 of 29)

Why Use Growlers?
Growlers are amazing pieces of engineering and a staple to any craft beer geek! They are refillable and can save you money while buying fresh beer straight from the source (brewery). They are amazing party pieces too. Imagine bringing a huge glass vessel of awesome beer to your buddy’s festivities. Boom, now you’re the man of the hour because you brought awesome beer. Brewers will tell you to consume the newly filled growler within a day or two, and you should. The growler’s ability to make a perfect seal to preserve the beer pales in comparison to actual bottles or cork and cage. This is how and why you can refill them. If you drink them anytime after two days time than the beer is beyond the brewer’s perfect vision of that brew.

gi2 (25 of 29)

How To Care For Your Growler
Once consumed, your growler should be properly bathed. Some breweries will use your growler that you bring back and some will swap your growler for a fresh one of their own. Whatever the scenario is, cleaning your growler is very courteous to the brewery. It’s recommended to clean the growler immediately after consumption. Here is how to do it:

After emptying the growler into your stomach (hopefully), rinse the growler and cap a few time with HOT water.
Air dry both growler and cap completely
You can put the cap back on so dust won’t collect inside the growler
If you let the growler sit for sometime, than you can add soap to the HOT water when rinsing it out. The rest of the steps apply.

OK! So here are my take aways from this post:

Growlers are refillable & cheap way to get fresh beer
You can get rare beers from the breweries when refilling growlers
Growlers are great party favors
Be kind and clean the growler after using it.