Draft Beer on the Go? It’s Growler Time!


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As if craft beer couldn’t get any bigger, the growing popularity of growlers could give the industry a bigger push.

If you’re not familiar with growlers, they are 64-ounce reusable jugs that are filled at a beer station and can be taken off the premises. Most states have allowed microbreweries and liquor stores to sell growlers for years. But, more states are not only allowing the practice, they’re also offering stations at unique locations.

States, like North Carolina, have just changed their laws to allow growlers to be sold in beer shops, bars, and grocery stores. In Nevada, more and more beer sellers have added taps that are specifically designed to fill growlers. And, in New York City, consumers can fill up their growlers at drug stores like Duane Reade and gas stations like Sunoco.

So, why are people and retailers jumping on board the growler craze?

The most obvious reason is that people can bring home fresh, and local, beer from a tap. Most people will agree that tap beer is superior to that served from a bottle or can.

Another reason is that the beer available for growler selections is often something that is not sold in cans or bottles. There’s also the fact that growlers are more environment-friendly and make a bigger splash at parties than the average mass-produced beer in a 6, 12 or 30-pack.

The growler craze may just be a fad, but as long as the craft beer industry is surging, it’s doubtful that growlers will disappear anytime soon.

Before you go out and fill up a growler of your favorite craft beer, here are five things to know regarding growlers:

  • The term “growler” can probably be traced back to the late 19th century, when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to a person’s home via a small galvanized pail. It’s rumored that the sound that the CO2 made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl.
  • The modern glass growler was first introduced by Charlie and Ernie Otto of Otto Brother’s Brewing Company in 1989.
  • The 64 oz. is the most popular growler size, but growlers also come in 32 oz., 128 oz., 1-litre and 2-liter sizes as well.
  • A growler can keep the beer fresh for 2 weeks or more if treated properly (cold and in the dark).
  • Depending on the beer selection, prices to fill a growler can range from $5 to $50.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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