Taking the plunge and getting your first Beer Growler can be a big step. You know it will make your craft beer or real ale taste infinitely better, and you know it will have the ‘Wow’ factor when you bring it out at tailgates, BBQs or around the campfire.
So we’ve compiled the top 5 things you need to look out for when buying a new beer growler.
1 Pick a size, any size
The difference in size (and weight) between different types of beer growlers is significant – from the humble 2.6 ouncer right up to a 128 ounce monster from someone like DrinkTank (pictured) that can keep a party going long into the night.
Things to consider when it comes to size include where you will store it – will it go in your fridge or a cool box? Maybe best to get a smaller version.
Will you have to carry it far? Maybe opting for something a little lighter might be the best idea.
2. Ceramic, glass or stainless steel?
As well as being an extra consideration when it comes to weight (glass is generally heaviest, stainless steel lightest), the type of material you pick should correlate to what you’re planning on putting in it.
Stainless steel generally works the best at keeping things cool, so is a natural fit for your favorite craft beer, while glass is the least effective at keeping the heat away so an ale works well.
3. Surely I can’t just rock up to a bar with my growler and ask them to fill it?
Well, yes and no. Turn up at your local TGI Friday’s and ask them to top you up a road-beer and you’ll be quickly escorted off the premises. However, microbreweries are almost always happy to have someone turn up with a beer growler.
This is for two reasons – firstly, it shows they are selling their craft beer or real ale to a someone who knows the value of a proper container for their drinks.
Secondly, it means the microbrewer doesn’t have to pay for brown glass bottles that eat into their bottom line and just go into our landfills.
This is a great way to become buddies with your local microbreweries – and take it from us, this means you’ll be one of the first to get the call when they brew up something special.
In the US, many states require by law that a beer growler is marked as an alcohol container. Most Beer Growler manufacturers do not etch this into their finely crafted designs, but as a consumer, you can find small, discrete stickers on Amazon for a few bucks to slap on the underside of your growler so it complies with the law.
We recommend doing this even if you live in one of the states that don’t require it – you never know when that road trip will take you to.
4. Do I need the fancy gadgets?
You can get Beer Growlers nowadays that are specially insulated, have built in Co2 taps to increase carbonation, and are magically engineered to prevent foaming – but do you need it?
It depends on how much you want to pay, and what you will be using it for.
You can get the uKeg 64oz stainless steel growler that comes with a nifty tap and Co2 element as well as an awesome steampunk aesthetic, but if you don’t want to cough up US$139 for it then it’s not the one for you.
As mentioned in the review on this site, the extra gizmos are also only really a benefit if you’re going to be filling it with fizzy craft beer, as real ales will benefit little from the built in Co2 injection.
5. Can’t I just buy glass bottles? They’ve done me well enough until now!
Sure you can, but you won’t be able to experience the unique feats that come with owning your own beer growler.
- They vastly improve the quality and durability of stored beer – no more warm flat nonsense at BBQs!
- They will almost certainly start a conversation as 99/100 look amazing
- They don’t harm the earth because they are reusable
- They are a one off purchase, so once you’ve spent once, you don’t ever have to buy another one again