Glass (or stainless steel) growlers are a great way to bring some of your favorite beer from your local brewery back home with you. But they come with limitations and there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your beer stays as fresh as the brewer intended.
- Growlers are temporary storage vessels. You really need to be drinking growlers within a few days of bringing it home and preferably all in one sitting or it will go flat and become oxidized. Growlers are typically not 100% sanitized or purged with CO2 so their shelf life is going to be a lot lower than buying a can or bottle that has been packaged properly. Get yourself some 32oz growlers if the big ones are too much to drink in one sitting.
- Growlers need to be cleaned. Right when you’re done with your growler make sure to rinse it out with hot water to prevent beer or mold buildup in the bottle. You can soak it with hot water, use a food grade cleaner or run it through your dish washer if it does get gunked up. Some breweries will swap out a new growler if you cant get it clean but make sure to check before bringing in a dirty one
- Growlers are environmentally friendly! Since they’re infinitely re-usable (as long as you don’t break them) you’re giving some love to the environment! Another “take home” beer vessel that’s starting to become popular is the “Crowler” which is essentially a 32oz can packaged like a growler. While these have the benefits of being lighter than glass, they still need to be consumed ASAP and you’re dumping more unnecessary, single use waste into our recycling stream. We try to reduce our waste as much as possible at Spice Trade and crowlers are definitely not the most environmentally friendly option for bringing beer home with you. As long as growlers are cleaned and filled properly they will keep beer just as fresh in the short term. Save the earth, fill a growler!
If you get bored with your growler or cant get it beer clean you can always re-purpose it into a flower pot, light fixture, lamp or even home made tiki torches! (http://www.thegardenglove.