The Growler of Beer, Stalwart of 64oz Cost Efficiency
Ever since the craft beer renaissance began in the early 2000s, growlers have become a popular vessel for holding your beers. Ok, maybe they were fine to use before that too. But you won't find them at the grocery store. Maybe.
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Anyway, glass growlers are the perfect container for beer because of their tight-fitting caps and medium size, roughly 10% the volume of a keg. You can acquire one at your local beer shop or microbrewery. Make sure you get a non-branded one if you're planning on bringing it to multiple taprooms as brewers won't fill growlers from another brewing company. And make sure you clean it well.
So read on, beer lover, to find out how much volume they hold, how long beer lasts inside, and more!
So Exactly What is a Growler?
A growler is a glass container that people commonly use to hold beer, cider, kombucha, or any other brews. Growlers most closely resemble a jug in shape. They have a small glass handle on the neck for easier transport. Growlers’ caps are either screw-on or the hinged gasket cap variety.
One of the hidden benefits of a growler is its reusable nature. You can clean glass jugs easily, and you can reseal both the screw-on and hinged gasket caps.
You’ll find growlers for sale at your local brewpub. When you purchase a growler of beer, they’ll fill up your container with fresh draft beer on tap. Craft breweries often charge a deposit for the growler bottle, giving it back once you return the bottle.
Growlers can come in many different colors, but like other beer bottles, the two most popular colors are amber and clear. Some brewers prefer their customers be able to see their beer, but clear bottles also cost significantly more than their amber counterparts.
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How Much Beer Does It Hold?
The standard growler bottle can hold up to 64 ounces of beer. Growlers do come in different sizes, but in the vast majority of breweries or supplies stores, you’ll find 64-ounce growlers. A growler will hold 4 pints of beer.
The other sizes are:
- “Half-growler” or Crowler — 32 ounces
- Gallon growler — 128 ounces
- Liter — 33.8 ounces
- Two liters — 67.6 ounces
Learn more about liquor bottle sizes.
What Is a Growler Made of?
Growlers that are common on the market are made from glass. Although you may be able to find ceramic growlers, these are mostly ornamental these days. What you can acquire are some slick stainless steel growlers though. Those are some of our favorite.
The screw-on cap is most commonly made from plastic, while the hinged gasket cap utilizes a few materials. The gasket is rubber, the hinge is metal, and the cap is plastic.
How Long Does Beer Last in a Growler?
As long as you seal the growler after you serve yourself a beer, your beer will last a considerable amount of time in a growler. On average, beer will keep its carbonation and fresh taste for about three days.
After three days, a significant amount of oxygen and UV light has come into contact with the beer. Oxygen makes the beer taste spoiled, while UV light causes chemical reactions in the beer that make it become “skunky” or have an unpleasant smell.
You can help your favorite IPA or Hefeweizen last longer in a growler with a few simple tricks. First, ensure you close the lid snugly every time you open it. Next, keep it out of direct sunlight. Direct UV rays will cause a “skunky” smell to appear even faster.
You should also keep your growler in the fridge as much as possible. Keeping your beer cold will keep the flavors as close to the original brewed flavor as possible. The final trick is the easiest—drink it fast! If you share a growler with a few friends (aka beer drinkers) during happy hour and finish it in one night, you’ll get the ultimate flavor.
How Long Does Cider Last in a Growler?
According to the Foodsguy, a growler of cider, kept in the fridge, should keep for a few weeks. This assumes that you haven't opened it yet and it remains fairly cold. If you open up your growler of cider and it tastes a bit vinegar-y, you should probably pour it out.
How Do You Clean a Growler?
One thing to keep in mind when you’re cleaning a growler is to do it quickly. If you finish a growler and then leave it out all night, it will be difficult to clean in the morning.
If you can get to it right away, cleaning a growler is a breeze. Fill the pail about halfway with hot (but not scalding) water. Then swish it around the growler and dump it out. Repeat this process five or six times or until you can’t smell any beer.
If you aren’t able to get to your growler right away, you’ll have to work harder to clean it. Start by pouring half a teaspoon of dish soap into the growler. Then use hot water to fill up the jug. Let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes, then go through the steps above until no soap residue remains.
The growing popularity of growlers is an awesome development for homebrewers and craft brewers alike. These jugs have so many uses, and their reusable nature makes them the ideal container for beer or any other carbonated beverage.
Can You Ferment in a Growler?
Can you? Yes, it's possible. Should you? No, you probably shouldn't ferment in a growler.