The Care and Feeding of Your Growler

Not the least of the reasons I like to drink beer from a growler is that carrying one around makes me feel like Otis from the Andy Griffith show. But I gotta tell you: I love these things. For those of you losers still drinking beer from 12-ounce bottles, growlers are half-gallon bottles (that’s 64 ounces for those of you keeping track at home) that allow brewpubs to sell fresh beer to-go to knuckleheads like you and me. Check with your favorite brewpub to see if they provide growlers for your enjoyment.

The growler: 64 ounces of beer goodness.

It is believed growlers got their name from the sound of CO2 escaping from them as they made the transition from the pub to home. For me, the growl represents the sound my tummy makes when I pop the lid on one of these babies.

However it got its name, here are some tips for maximizing the enjoyment of your giant jar o’ beer:

- Your first growler is always the most exciting. But once you’ve made your first purchase, cracked open the lid and drank your growler to the last drop…go to bed. You’ve just polished off a half-gallon of beer. No, seriously, do yourself a favor: keep your empty growler, and wash it out soon after you’ve finished it. You can take it back and get it refilled, and the price is usually cheaper than a new growler would be because you’re not paying for the bottle. Some brewpubs will even let you bring in growlers from other brewpubs to have them refilled. However, check with the pub beforehand as not all of them offer this.

- If you intend to reuse your growler, wash it out with hot water. Don’t use soap, unless you want your next batch of growler beer to taste a bit more “suddsy” than you anticipated. Leave the lid off for a few hours after washing to let the bottle air dry.

- Once you’ve got your growler, refrigerate it…and drink it within a week or so of purchase for maximum freshness. If you don’t drink it all in the first sitting, (cough) wimp (cough), screw the lid back on tight and put it back in the fridge for no longer than a couple days. For best results, however, drink it all the first time you open it…preferably with a friend so you can swap reviews.

- If you haven’t drank your growler within a week, what the hell’s the matter with you? You’ve got a large jug of fresh beer in your fridge. What, do I gotta spell it out for you?

That about covers it, folks. And now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the lame growler joke. Drink growlers, kids. They’re Grrrreeeeeaaattt!!


Beer Bob gives growlers a 4.5. More beer is more beer.

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