The ever so popular growler is a convenient, economic and environmentally-friendly way to bring home fresh craft beer. Growlers have been around longer than Betty White and the history of the term “growler” is very debated. They look cool, they’re a great excuse to stop by the brewery, they’re fun to share with friends and they make great gifts. Hell, they’re even hipster approved, just don’t tell your British mate that his girlfriend has a nice growler or you’ll find yourself on the business end of a limey fist.
It all sounds great, but there’s a catch. Although growlers are cheaper than bottles or cans and certainly fresher, they may not necesarily be better. Why? Because of you.
Whether you buy bottles or cans of beer from a store or if you’re having a fresh pint at your local pub, a great deal of care has gone into the cleanliness and proper handling and storage of your beverage vessel of choice in order to give the beer the best chance at tasting how it was meant to be. However, when you fill a growler the brewer has no control over the cleanliness of that container or the freshness thereafter. If the growler wasn’t properly cleaned after use, or if it was stored open to allow dust to collect inside, or even if there is residual dish detergent film, the next growler of beer can be ruined almost instantly.
To ensure you get the best growler experience possible follow these simple tips:
– Consume growler within one week of filling
– Consume all the beer within 2-3 days of opening the growler
– Put the cap back on immediately after pouring a glass to lessen oxygen exposure
– Keep your growler refrigerated and away from sun
– Wash your growler immediately after emptying to prevent bacterial growth
– Wash the cap and keep it
– Store the growler with a cap on it once it has dried
– Ask to have your growler rinsed right before refilling it
The brewer put a lot of work into the beer, you owe it to him/her to keep your growler clean (somewhere a Brit is reading this and chuckling his head off).
As always…get it fresh.