If you’re not familiar with the beer growler concept, now is a great time to catch up. A growler is a container that holds beer straight from the tap, so you can enjoy it at home or elsewhere.
The growler name has been in use since the 1800s when growlers were lidded pails city kids used to transport beer home to their parents or to local pubs to make some extra money.
The name originates from the sound the beer made as it sloshed around during the walk. Some legends believe growlers were named after the disgruntled customers who were unhappy with how little the bartender filled their large pails.
Growler Storage Time
If a growler is properly sealed and promptly chilled, you can expect your beer to remain fresh for several days. If the brewery or bar uses a carbon dioxide filling method, you can expect fresh beer for even longer.
When you get your growler home, put it in the refrigerator to keep the beer cold. You also want to avoid exposing the bottle to direct sunlight in the transportation process.
Using dark-colored glass growler bottles can also help protect beer from light exposure during the ride home.
Once you open a growler, you can enjoy fresh beer for up to 36 hours before it starts going flat and loses its flavor. It’s wise to delay opening your growler until you plan to drink it to prevent waste.
Refilling Your Growler
If you properly care for your growler, you can expect it to last for a long time.
Cleaning a growler is very simple. Use a hot water rinse as soon as your done with it.
If, over time, your growler becomes dingy or needs a good cleaning, you can use a small amount of white vinegar and hot water. Add to the growler and shake well before rinsing thoroughly.
It’s also okay to use dish soap to clean your beer growler, but there is a chance your next batch of beer will taste off if any soap residue remains in the bottle.
The Art of Proper Growler Bottling
Regardless of how good the growler quality is, the only true way to preserve the quality of beer in a growler is to ensure it’s bottled properly. Any contamination will make your beer go flat faster and take away from its taste.
If you’re on the filling end of a beer growler, make sure the draft line is always clean. You also need to make sure you’re pouring into a properly sanitized bottle. Not all customers stay on top of cleaning their own growler, so a sanitation system should always be in place.
Using CO2 to purge oxygen from the container will protect it from oxidation and keep your beer fresher.
Filling a beer growler from the bottom up using an attachment hose also introduces less oxygen into the beer. Keep the hose clean and well-sanitized between use.
If you do all the other work, it only makes sense that you seal the growler properly. Using old caps or not screwing the lid on correctly is a common growler mistake. A bad seal lets in oxygen and allows carbonation to escape, resulting in beer quickly going stale.
In some places, you’re required to add an extra covering around the cap, such as shrink wrap or durable tape. In fact, areas where this covering is a law, can consider an improperly sealed growler an open container, which can cost customers a fine and other legal complications.
Bringing back the growler experience to the beer industry certainly seems to have a positive impact on beer lovers and manufacturers alike. The lower bottle costs and the fresh beer taste is a trend likely to stick around.
If you need beer growlers for your own personal use or plan to offer the service at your craft brew business, talk with the bottle experts at BottleStore.com about your choices in durable, high-quality beer growlers.