REVIEW: Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle and Beer Growler

 

Quick facts

  • Double wall vacuum insulation keeps beer and water cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours
  • Premium grade 18/8 Stainless Steel BPA free Water Bottle and Beer Growler
  • Colorful powder-coated matte finish exterior that never sweats
  • Lifetime Warranty

Fast review

The Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle and Beer Growler is a fantastic growler for taking to the great outdoors with you. It comes in bright colors, which makes finding it in dim light much easier, and has plenty of bells and whistles to make this one of the best beer growlers for camping on the market.

Full Review

The Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle and Beer Growler has a lot going for it that makes it one of the best beer growlers for camping, fishing and hiking.

The dual insulation keeps liquids cold for 24 hours, which is perfect for when you’re schlepping through the woods trying to find a place to pitch a tent. The last thing you want to do is get somewhere perfect and then have to drink warm craft beer.

The Hydro Flask growler weighs 1.8lbs, which is slightly less than beergrowler.net’s go to camping beer growler, the Miir Stanless Steel Insulated Growler Bottle  (read the review for that here). This is a positive, as anything that weighs less is far easier to lug around the wilderness, but the 0.2lbs isn’t a game changer for us.

Unlike the Miir effort, the Hydro Flask doesn’t come stamped with the government verbiage needed to rock up to any beer growler filling station in the land, so you’ll need a sticker like this if you want to get this over the Miir.

The bottle comes with a screw top. Some people say these let out carbonation more than flip tops, but we at beergrowler.net disagree – if the construction is robust, as it is with the Hydro Flask, then the lid will be fine.

The main issue with do have with non-flip tops is they’re so easy to lose!

At a little under US$50, its cheaper than the Miir beer growler, but we prefer the Miir, if only for the lid.

Get it here.

REVIEW: MiiR Stainless Steel Insulated Growler Bottle, 64-Ounce

Quick Facts

  • Double insulated
  • Weight: 2lbs
  • Can keep beer cold for 24 hours
  • One of best camping growlers on market
  • Proceeds go towards good causes

Fast Review

The Miir Stanless Steel Insulated Growler Bottle is not just any homebrew glass or craft beer growler. This is beergrowler.net’s go-to growler for outdoor pursuits like camping or fishing. It is reliable, lightweight and keeps your beer cool – the ultimate refreshment after a long day’s walking.

 

 

Full Review 

The Miir Stanless Steel Insulated Growler Bottle  is one of the most functionally useful growlers on the market today, combining a robust design while keeping the weight down in order to make this one of the strongest contenders for your ‘fancy’ growler choice.

At 2lbs unfilled, it is one of the lighter growlers you can buy. It doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of some other stainless steel growlers, but that makes it feel much more rugged and less delicate – essential for when you’re pushing through a forrest trying to find a good clearing for your tent.

The growler is double walled, meaning no condensation on the outside of your container and that means it won’t get your beer all skunked if you leave it out in the sun (within a reasonable time anyway. We’d suggest a max of an hour in direct sunlight.)

The lid is a clamp-style system, which Miir says keeps cold things cold for more than a day and hot things hot for more than eight hours.  Remember, you’ll want to take this thing camping so a brew of coffee first thing in the morning after drinking four pints of beer might be a good shout.

That being said, we at beergrowler.net prefer screw lids. Yes, they are more fiddly and have an annoying habit of getting lost, but we find they tend to keep carbonation where it should be – in your beer. Not everyone agrees, but that’s out experience from years of beer growler experience.

The growler is stamped at the bottom with the government verbiage, so you don’t need to buy a sticker to get it filled up legally in some states.

It comes in black, silver and baby (sky?) blue.

As an added perk, the company gives some of its proceeds to a good cause. In its own words:

“Miir invests proceeds from every growler to provide one person in need with access to clean water. To prove their impact they include a coded bracelet that unveils GPS coordinates and photos of the well project you help build.”

We highly recommend this growler. It’s not a day-to-day one, but its robust design makes it absolutely perfect for taking your craft beer or real ale with you outdoors.

It’s around US$50 on Amazon now depending on the color you want, which for something of this build, seems cheap at twice the price.

Get it here.

REVIEW: Stone Brewing Co. Swing Top 2 Liter Beer Growler

Quick facts

  • Made of glass
  • 2 litre (67oz) capacity
  • Comes with government spiel – no stickers needed
  • Classic old-timey growler look

Fast review

The official Stone Brewing Co. Swing Top 2 liter beer growler  ticks a lot of boxes. It is on the larger size, though at around 10 inches tall will still fit under a tap if it’s tilted. It has the government verbiage printed on it, meaning you can walk into any US growler-friendly bar right out the box. It has a classic old-time look that harks back to memories of warm summers and boozy nights.

 

 

Full Review

This growler is a real peach. It’s big 2 liter size means you can cram a decent amount of craft beer in there, making it perfect to have for a solid weekend session or BBQ.

The circular handle is wide enough to get a good grip in the neck – something that some manufacturers seem to forget is important despite these things typically weighing the same as a small sedan by the time they’re full.

Like all glass growlers, this one comes in at the heavy side at just over 8lbs empty, so you’ll be glad you can wrap your fingers around this growler’s throat properly.

The cap is made up of ceramic and rubber. We like these almost as much as screw tops, but feel that your precious craft beer bubbles will be better preserved if you get a screw top over a flip cap. But this can be safely ignored if you’re planning on buying your craft beer and drinking it within the next few days as it really won’t make too much of a difference.

The benefit of a flip cap over a screw is, of course, you won’t lose the flip cap. Depends how much you trust yourself to put things back where they belong after you’ve drunk 2 liters of 8% beer.  (We don’t trust ourselves one bit).

Real ale would find a good place in this growler, as it there would be no worries about carbonation wearing off.

Stone Brewing Co. have gone back to the old days with the design of this growler, and it has a very pleasing aesthetic that reminds us of warm summer days and relaxing with friends at picnics. It won’t get huge gasps like some of the other more fancy growlers available to buy now, but it comes with its own sense of self assured confidence in design. This is not a beer growler that needs the bell and whistles.

At US$23.99, we’d say this is well worth investing in.

One important notice: this same growler is available on Amazon for US$23.99 and US$75, so make sure you click this link to go through to the right one.

That is, unless you like paying fifty bucks more than you need to?

Here’s the link for the US$23.99 one again, just to be sure.

 

Four best ways to keep your beer growler clean

What is the best way to clean a beer growler?

The Stella Artois glasses are being packed away, the champagne flutes are being carefully washed up, the wine glasses are clinking as they are stacked.

So what the hell do you do with your big beer growler?

Like everything, it needs to be cleaned. But don’t panic, as it’s an easy process that can take no time at all.

1.Put that bad boy on ice

The best thing you can do for your Beer Growler is to clean it as soon as it’s empty. Of course, this matches the timing perfectly for when you will have just drunk a beer growler full of high strength real ale, so it doesn’t always happen.

Don’t worry. Whack the beer growler in a coolbox or a fridge. We’re trying to stop the bugs and bacteria breeding in there.

 

Trust us, you don’t wanna drink this guy

2. Get some heat on it

Now that your head has started to clear and you’re ready to start cleaning up properly, get your beer growler and run it under hot water. The hotter the better.

We know some friends who shrug off the pain of hot water so well it’s like they have asbestos for hands. We are not those people, but if you know someone like that, then get them to hold your beer growler under the hot tap.

Fully rinse your growler out at least twice, though do it more if you can. You’re trying to dislodge any beer remains that are clinging in inside there.

DO NOT USE SOAP

Getting beer out of your growler is one thing, but trying to force sticky soap out is nearly impossible.

If you absolutely must use chemicals (like if the smell is getting a bit funky) then beergrowler.net recommends using tablets like these which are designed to wash away easily with warm water and will get rid of any beer residue.

You can always use a cheap growler brush like this one if you want to make sure your beer growler is sparkling. We here at beergrowler.net generally use a brush just for good measure, though it isn’t essential.

3. Air dry

Let mother nature do the hard work and leave your beer growler to dry on its own. Don’t blast it with a hairdryer or anything else, that’ll just aggravate the bacteria you’ve worked so hard to get rid of.

Best thing you can do, is balance it upside down against the wall with cushions either side in case it falls. Balance it at an angle so air can get in and out of the neck.  Leave the cap off.

Last thing you want is gross dead air stank the next time you get ready for a refill.

 

4. Sniff and stare before refilling

Before you whack another round of delicious craft beer or real ale into your beloved beer growler, make sure you sniff around the neck and check for obvious signs of horridness like mould. If mould is present, it’s not the end of the world.

Your growler is made of wipeable surfaces like class, stainless steel or ceramic. A bit of mould will wash right off with scalding hot water. (Get your asbestos-handed friend over again).

 

And there you have it. Four simple steps to keeping your beer growler clean as a whistle and ready to fill up again with some of your favorite brew.

If you haven’t already, check out our guide on the five things you need to know before picking a beer growler, and whether you should go stainless steel or glass.

Three reasons you should start homebrewing today

There is nothing more satisfying to put in your brand new beer growler than some of your freshly made homebrew. Here are three great reasons you should start your craft beer or real ale homebrewing adventure today.

 

1. It’s super easy to get going

Homebrewing still conjures up images of horrible bathtubs and gin that makes people blind when they drink it – or it creates a mental picture of copper tubes and pipes that would look more at home in a science lab than your garage.

But homebrewing has got far more accessible in recent years, and now that you already have one perfect container to put your fresh brew in (in the shape of your beer growler), there are fewer excuses than ever to give it a try.

You can pick up a decent homebrew kit from Amazon for less than US$100, like the Gold Homebrew Kit from Monster Brew (pictured).

This kit will make you around six gallons of beer with very little skill of technical expertise needed. A perfect starter spot for anyone with an interest in brewing their own beers.

 

2. Save a bucketload of money

In most states in the US, you’re legally allowed to brew up to 100 gallons of beer (and wine if that takes your fancy) per adult in your home as long as you don’t sell it.

There’s a maximum of 200 gallons, so don’t go over that.

To give you an idea of what this means, you could fill the massive Euro Growler glass 455 times before you legally had to stop.

If you shop around and get a good set with enough containers, you can make yourself a growler of beer for less than a dollar. Bottoms up!

 

3. You know exactly what’s going in

You’ve just spent good money on your beer growler, and you want it to store only the best beer made from the finest ingredients. Microbreweries will take as much pride in their product as you do, but the larger beer chains might be less inclined to care about your perfectly maintained cannonball shaped ceramic growler.

Making your own beer cuts all that out. You can be in charge of exactly what goes in and how much. No nitrates, no preservatives, just delicious beer.

Why you need to consider a Stainless Steel vs Glass Beer Growler

By 顔なし from Pittsburgh, PA, USA (GoodBeer Uploaded by GrapedApe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The dizzying array of beer growlers out there can make it tough to work out what one is best for you.

Here we look at the benefits of a stainless steel beer growler over its glass counterpart.

Stainless steel

pros

  • Durable
  • Generally easier to clean
  • Easier to find with fancy gadgets already attached

Cons

  • Can feel a bit delicate in hand
  • Not the best at maintaining temperature

 

By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Stainless steel is nothing new in the beer growler world, but it has a distinctly unorthodox feel to it. It just doesn’t quite chime with what the traditional mental image of a growler is (generally speaking, a big bottle with XXX emblazoned across the front).

That being said, stainless steel rigs offer things that glass just can’t. Steel doesn’t shatter, so if you’re transporting your beer by bike – to a picnic, say – then the added comfort that comes with knowing you won’t be covered in glass if you come off is nice.

Stainless steel beer growlers are better placed to take extra gadgets and gizmos too, like built in C02 taps which effectively turns it into a mini-keg. Awesome for tailgating and BBQs.

On the other hand, stainless steel is generally not particularly good at maintaining the temperature of your fluid. This is fine for real ales, which are generally drunk at room temp, but for craft beers this can be a disaster.

There are some which have insulation to keep the temperature more constant, though expect to pay up for that.

Glass

pros

  • Good, solid feel in hand
  • Maintains temperature well

Cons

  • Shattered glass is far from the best
  • Bulky and heavy

By 顔なし from Pittsburgh, PA, USA (GoodBeer Uploaded by GrapedApe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Glass has a much more classic feel to it. Something that helps this is how heavy many glass beer growlers are. This is due to many glass rigs being manufactured to be half an inch thick in some cases to add to the opaqueness of the glass (and prevent your beer from catching too much sun) and to give the container durability.

The downside of this, of course, is weight. Glass beer growlers are not optimal if you’re planning on hiking all day and then camping out with some fresh brews.

Glass also shatters, which is far from the best. Worth remembering if you’re buying the growler for bike rides. The thick glass also generally means thin necks too, which can make cleaning them a pain.

Conclusion

As with most things beer growler, it comes down to what you’re using it for. Planning on getting something to hold your ale in the boot of your car during a tailgate? Glass if your material.

Want something you can port around town on a bike and will drink from fairly quickly? Stainless steel is your man.

 

What do you think? do you agree with us? Let us know below.

REVIEW: Ceramic Stoneware Weatherworn Cannonball Beer Growler

Quick facts

  • Ceramic and stoneware growler
  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Size: 64oz
  • It looks like a cannonball!

 

Fast review

The Terracotta Republic 64oz ceramic and stoneware growler is one of the most standout beer growlers on the market. Prepare to be the centre of conversation when you whip this awesome beast out on a fishing trip or camping.

 

 

Full Review

Before we can go into any specs, we have to get something out of the way – just look at this cannonball shaped beer growler beauty!

Now that’s out of our systems, lets talk about the important things. The Terracotta Republic 64oz growler is made of ceramic, which is a nice balance between stainless steel and glass in keeping your brew cold, just as the best tasting beer is meant to be.

The makers are big on proclaiming it as ‘American Made’ if that is important to you.

The lid fastening uses a ball-cam lever with an offset axis of rotation that the makers claim converts circular motion into a downward linear force. When the lever is rotated into the socket on top of the cap, it presses the cap firmly down against an extra thick FDA approved silicone gasket, making an air-tight seal.

That all sounds might fancy, but we had to know – does it work?

The answer is a resounding yes.

You can trust this growler to keep your beer carbonated and cool.

The aesthetics of this beer growler almost speak for themselves. It really is as cool as it looks. Pouring your pals a beer out of it is certain to get a cheer and plenty of questions. You will feel like a pirate pouring you favorite beer from it, and that is a moment of wonder that can rarely be duplicated elsewhere in adult life.

At 3.5lbs empty, it is a nice weight that isn’t so light it feels flimsy, while it isn’t so heavy you need a backpack to get it to the BBQ. It will also fit nicely in a fridge or coolbag.

Grab it on Amazon now for US$69.


REVIEW: uKeg 64 Stainless Steel Pressurized Beer Growler for Craft Beer

Quick facts

  • Stainless steel beer growler
  • Built in Co2 gauge
  • 64 ounces
  • Weight: 4.2lbs unfilled

 

Fast review

The uKeg 64 stainless steel pressurized growler from Portland, OR’s GrowlerWerks is a solid entry into the world of beer growlers. The stainless steel construction keeps beer fresh for longer. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but the design is super-sleek and has a steampunk quality to it that is reminiscent of old-style beer distilleries. Pull this out at a tailgate and watch your buddies’ jaws hit the floor.

 

Full Review

GrowlerWerk’s 64 ounce creation has many things going for it. The design comes with a built in tap and Co2 meter, so you can always tell if you’re using the right pressure to make your beer pour perfectly.

This does mean you’ll need to pick up some Co2 cartridges, which run at around $8 for 10 on Amazon. A cartridge will last you for an entire growler fill up, and are well worth the extra price.

The Co2 addition on this growler makes it much more suited to craft beer than real ales, which are meant to be drunk flat. You can set the Co2 output to zero, but that seems to us to be using the growler in a way it wasn’t intended, and there are better options out there for your real ale.

The size of it makes it a good fit for the fridge too.

The cap is easy to fasten and overall the growler is simple to clean – despite its fiddly looking parts like the tap and Co2 meter.

The container is not the heaviest in the world, clocking in at just 4.2lbs empty. You can decide whether this is a good thing or not, but for us it felt a little bit on the light side and a touch flimsy.

Repeated use suggests it is a sturdy construction, but as with all beer growlers, all it takes is for someone to be a few Craft-strength beers in and yank the lid too hard and your beautiful luxury is reduced to a fancy pot.

The aesthetic is one of the most attractive we have seen. It has a cool steampunk feel to it that is reminiscent of old-style beer breweries. There is no doubt that if you pulled this out around a campfire or at a tailgate, you would be the centre of attention.

You can pick it up at Amazon now for US$139. Pick one up here:

 

 

Have you tried the uKeg 64? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.