CRAFT ESSENTIALS: THE GROWLER
Maybe you’ve heard of it and maybe you haven’t, but if you’re ready to play the game of dashing to your latest pop-up microbrewery for a taste of their newest creation, you need a Growler. Many of the local craft breweries have taken to selling their version of the growler (with appropriate logos blazoned across them) and may even chip in a discount on the first filling. Sometimes glass, sometimes stainless steel, the Growler is your mobile craft beer friend — capable of carrying 64 oz. of beer in an air tight, opaque container.
WHY YOU SHOULD GET INTO GROWLERS
There are many reasons to have your very own jug for spiriting craft back to your home:
- Many small operation breweries have yet to make bottling or canning a common process, so it could be the only way to take a tasty discovery away with you;
- You don’t have to worry about the quality of the glass growler at a random microbrew;
- If it’s made of stainless you won’t have a heart attack when it slips from your barley wine softened clutches;
- And finally, you may find a delicious brew but don’t have your friends handy and you want to bring some of it to them.
BUYING A SWEET THUNDER JUG
If you’ve realized your life is empty without a growler, we can help. The first thing to really consider is what material you want to grasp in your mighty hand as you take a sip.
Nearly the origin of the idea, but carrying your beer in tin bucket probably isn’t as rad as it sounds. Glass is easy to clean (you can actually tell it’s clean), cools off quick and you look like a cartoon pirate (which is a plus). Available in clear or amber glass.
Don’t buy clear. It isn’t a guarantee but many horror stories exist of clear growlers and skunky beers. Tinted glass is used in almost all commonly sold beer to keep.
U.V. from acting on the acids in your beer and producing nasty, skunky results. Some microbrewers have said even crossing the street in daylight can change the taste of their beers. But that might be paranoia… why take the chance?
Glass is easier to fill and keep clean, as well as being cheaper, but it is more fragile in general and prone to chipping.
One of the most popular styles and showing up in a lot of craft breweries gift shops. Often made as double walled containers for insulating properties, far more rugged than their glass counter parts and overall they’re lighter.
The tricky part with the steel is that cleaning and filling them requires a deep faith in the Force – because you won’t have any visual cues.
You’ll see other options out there like ceramics, stoneware, plastic, two hands cupped together — most of them are either oddly pricey, hard to find or not as effective. For now we recommend sticking with the two common options.
Your very own jug can open up many opportunities for bringing craft magic around town but it does have a down-side. You now own something you will need to keep meticulously clean so as to avoid fouling the taste of golden nectar poured into it.
This means you have to scrub the thing wildly with hot water and baking soda (avoid oil based soaps unless you enjoy their flavour) and it’s not always easy to tell how well you’ve done it. You can also get “Growler Thirst” an affliction that befalls many craft enthusiasts, where you can’t stop buying them every time you see one.