Sip, Savor, and Share: The Beer Lover's Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Growler Game

What exactly is a growler, and how do you ensure your beer stays as fresh and flavorful as the brewer intended?

Deborah Clarke
Feb 17, 2024
14 min read
FAV TRENDSOutdoors - Home and GardenSeasonal - Summer
Beer Growler in dark glass pouring  beer into a glass.

Imagine this: the sun is setting, the laughter of friends echoes in the background, and in your hand is a chilled glass filled with your favorite craft beer, straight from the tap.

How do you pour your craft beer?
How do you pour your craft beer?

This isn't just a scene from a cozy bar; it's the experience you can recreate at home or at your cottage with the help of a trusty beer growler.

But what exactly is a growler, and how do you ensure your beer stays as fresh and flavorful as the brewer intended?

Before we dive into the world of beer growlers and unlock the secrets to choosing, using, and loving this essential beer accessory, it's important you understand your responsibilities to yourself, your family and others to drink responsibly.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY: Embracing the joy of social gatherings and the clinking of glasses comes with a significant responsibility—drinking responsibly. It's a toast to your health and safety when you know your limits and adhere to them, ensuring that the fun doesn't spiral into regrettable consequences. Planning for a ride home before the festivities begin is not just a smart move, it's a non-negotiable pact you make with yourself and your loved ones. Whether it's designating a sober driver, hailing a cab, or using a rideshare app, the choices you make can safeguard the memories of a great night from being tarnished.

Remember, the best celebrations are those where every participant gets home safe and sound, ready to reminisce about the good times with a clear head and a grateful heart.

What is a Beer Growler and Why You Need One?

A beer growler is more than just a container; it's a passport to the world of fresh, draft beer outside the confines of your local brewery or bar. Whether you're a seasoned beer drinker or new to the scene, a beer growler allows you to transport and store your favorite brew, ensuring that you can enjoy the perfect pint wherever you are.

SquareKeg by Square One a mini keg that can travel with you, available on Amazon!
SquareKeg by Square One a mini keg that can travel with you, available on Amazon!

With options ranging from classic glass growlers to modern stainless steel growler keg designs, there's a growler to suit every taste and occasion.

FAV Insights:

  • Material Choices: Glass, ceramic, or stainless steel —each offers unique benefits for your beer.
  • Size Selection: From personal 32 oz growlers to shareable 64 oz growlers, or the 128 oz stainless mini keg, pick what suits your lifestyle.
  • Sealing Success: Screw-tops, flip-tops, or pressurized caps—each seal affects your beer's carbonation and freshness.

Customer Review:

"I never knew how much of a difference a good growler would make until I got my hands on a stainless steel one. It keeps my beer colder for longer, and the carbonation is spot on every time. It's become a staple for my weekend getaways!" - Mike, Craft Beer Enthusiast

The History of the Growler

The humble beginnings of the growler trace back to the late 19th century, where beer sloshed happily in tin buckets as it traveled from the pub to one's home.

The 'growl' of escaping carbon dioxide gave this beer vessel its name, and today, the growler has evolved into a sophisticated beer companion, complete with airtight seals and the ability to keep your favorite beer fresh for days.

FAV Insights:

  • Historical Roots: Understanding the growler's past enhances the appreciation for its modern form.
  • Evolution: Today's growlers boast advanced features for better beer preservation.

Customer Review:

"I love telling the story of the growler's history to my friends as we enjoy a cold one by the lake. It's amazing how something so simple has become such an integral part of our beer-drinking tradition." - Sarah, History Buff and Beer Lover

Choosing the Right Material

When it comes to selecting the perfect growler, the material is a key consideration.

Glass containers, like glass growlers, offer a classic and affordable choice but are prone to breakage and light sensitivity.

Affordable Glass Growler containers

Ceramic growlers shield your beer inside from light but can be heavy and more expensive.

Ceramic Growler

Stainless steel growlers, on the other hand, are durable, protect your beer from light, and often come insulated—ideal for those long days spent on bike paths or at the beach.

Popular Stanley Stainless Growler 64 oz
Popular Stanley Stainless Growler Easy Pour 64 oz

Or, you can get ready to be the talk of the town with the super cool 128 oz Square One Mini Keg! Whether you're throwing a backyard bash or just chilling with friends, this stylish mini keg is your go-to for keeping that craft beer tasting fresh and your cold brew coffee zingy and refreshing. Be the host that everyone remembers, no matter where the fun takes you! 

128 oz mini keg by SquareOne is the size of two glass growlers.

FAV Insights:

  • Glass vs. Stainless Steel: Weigh the pros and cons to find your ideal growler material.
  • Light Protection: Keep your beer's flavor intact by choosing a light-proof option.

Customer Review:

"I've had glass growlers before, but after switching to a stainless steel growler, I'll never go back. It's survived many trips to my favorite breweries and keeps my beer tasting just like it does from the tap." - Dave, Outdoor Enthusiast

Size Matters: Picking the Perfect Volume

The size of your growler can greatly impact your beer-drinking experience. If you're someone who prefers to have more beer on hand for social gatherings or extended stays at the cottage, a 128 oz mini keg or 64 oz growler is your best bet. For those who enjoy a fresh pint alone or have limited storage space, a 32 oz growler is a convenient and manageable choice.

FAV Insights:

  • Volume Variety: Choose a size that matches your consumption and storage needs.
  • Sharing Potential: Larger growlers are perfect for hosting and sharing your favorite brew.

Customer Review:

"My 64 oz growler is the life of the party! It's enough to share with friends, and we always get to try a variety of beers from many breweries without committing to a six-pack of each." - Jenna, Social Butterfly

The Seal is the Deal

The type of seal on your growler is crucial for maintaining the beer's freshness and carbonation. While screw-tops are common and effective, those seeking the best carbonation retention should opt for growlers with a flip-top or a pressurized cap. These seals are more robust and can keep your beer tasting as if it were just filled by the bartender.

FAV Insights:

  • Seal Types: Explore the different seals to find one that keeps your beer fresh longer.
  • Carbonation Preservation: A good seal means more fizz in your glass every time.

Customer Review:

"The flip-top seal on my growler is a game-changer. My beer stays bubbly and fresh, just like the brewer intended, even after a couple of days in the fridge." - Carlos, Homebrew Hobbyist

Insulation: Keeping Your Beer Chilled

For those who love to take their beer on adventures, an insulated growler is a must-have. Double-walled, vacuum-insulated growlers can keep your beer colder for hours without the need for refrigeration, ensuring that your last sip is as refreshing as your first, no matter where you are. Alternatively you can choose a mini keg that will easily fit inside your cooler for the weekend.

Mini Kegs will easily fit inside your cooler for the weekend.

FAV Insights:

  • Temperature Retention: Insulated growlers are key for maintaining the ideal beer temperature.
  • Outdoor Convenience: Perfect for keeping your beer chilled during outdoor activities or when a fridge isn't available.

Customer Review:

"My insulated growler is my trusty companion for beach days. It keeps my beer ice-cold from sunrise to sunset, and there's nothing better than that!" - Emily, Beach Goer

Transporting Your Growler Safely

Ensuring your growler gets from point A to point B without any mishaps is important. Keep it upright to prevent spills and away from direct sunlight to protect the beer's integrity. If you're transporting a glass growler, consider investing in a carrier or padded tote for added security. If you are looking at a mini keg you'll be happy to know some have their own carriers.

Mini Keg with carrier bag on golf cart.
Carry one of these Mini Kegs into your fav craft brewery and see the smiles light up!

FAV Insights:

  • Safe Transport: Tips for keeping your growler intact during travel.
  • Sunlight Shielding: Protect your beer from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Customer Review:

"I got a padded tote for my glass growler, and it's been a lifesaver. No more worrying about breaks or spills on the way to my local brewery." - Tom, Frequent Growler User

Filling Your Growler: Tips from the Pros

To achieve the perfect fill, ensure your growler is properly cleaned and chilled before heading to the brewery. This reduces foam and maximizes the amount of beer that fits inside. Always fill to the top to minimize oxygen intake, which can spoil the flavor of your beer.

FAV Insights:

  • Pre-Chill: A cold growler leads to a better filling process and less foam.
  • Oxygen Minimization: Filling to the brim keeps your beer fresher for longer.

Customer Review:

"Chilling my growler before filling was a tip I got from a seasoned brewer, and it's made all the difference. I get more beer and less foam every time." - Rachel, Craft Beer Connoisseur

The Art of Cleaning Your Growler

Keeping your growler properly sanitized is crucial for preserving the taste and quality of your beer. Rinse with hot water immediately after use, and for a thorough clean, use a bottle brush and a brewery-approved cleaner. Steer clear of dish soap, which can leave a residue that alters the flavor of your beer.

FAV Insights:

  • Sanitization: Learn the best methods for keeping your growler properly cleaned after every use.
  • Residue Avoidance: Choose the right cleaning agents to prevent flavor interference.

Customer Review:

"I invested in a good bottle brush and some brewery-approved cleaner, and my growlers have never been cleaner. It's worth the extra effort to keep my beer tasting great." - Anita, Quality Aficionado

Storing Your Growler: Do's and Don'ts

Proper storage is key once your growler is filled. Keep it in a cool, dark place, and if it's not insulated, refrigerate as soon as possible. Never leave a filled growler in a hot car, as the heat can spoil the beer and increase pressure inside, risking leaks or breakage.

FAV Insights:

  • Cool Storage: The importance of temperature control for your filled growler.
  • Pressure Awareness: Understanding how heat affects your growler and the beer inside.

Customer Review:

"I made the mistake of leaving my growler in the car once, and the beer was ruined. Now, I always make sure to store it properly, and it's made a huge difference." - Derek, Learning the Hard Way

Hosting with a Growler: Serving Tips

When it comes time to serve, treat beer from a growler like any draft beer. Pour into a clean glass at a 45-degree angle to achieve the right amount of foam, enhancing the aroma and overall taste for the best drinking experience.

FAV Insights:

  • Proper Pouring: Techniques for serving beer from a growler like a pro.
  • Aroma Enhancement: The right pour can elevate the sensory experience of your favorite beer.

Customer Review:

"Serving from a growler felt intimidating at first, but once I got the hang of the pour, it's like having a tap right in my living room. My guests are always impressed!" - Lisa, Aspiring Bartender

Growlers and Homebrewing: A Perfect Match

For those who brew their own beer, a growler is an excellent vessel for sharing your creations without the hassle of bottling an entire batch. It's also great for small-batch brewing or taking a portion of your beer to a friend's house.

FAV Insights:

  • Homebrew Sharing: Growlers make it easy to share your homemade beers.
  • Small-Batch Convenience: Ideal for transporting homebrews without committing to a full bottling session.

Customer Review:

"As a homebrewer, my growler is essential. It's so much easier to bring home a growler fill of my latest batch to a party than lugging around bottles." - Alex, Homebrew Enthusiast

The Environmental Impact of Using Growlers

Growlers aren't just convenient; they're eco-friendly too. By reusing the same container, you reduce waste and the energy used in producing and recycling cans and bottles. It's a step towards a more sustainable beer-drinking practice.

FAV Insights:

  • Waste Reduction: The role of growlers in minimizing environmental impact.
  • Energy Conservation: How choosing a growler over single-use packaging can save resources.

Customer Review:

"I'm all about reducing my carbon footprint, and using a growler has been a simple way to enjoy my drink and be eco-conscious. Plus, I love not having to deal with recycling a bunch of cans and bottles after a get-together." - Zoe, Eco-Warrior

Customizing Your Growler

Many companies offer customization options for growlers, allowing you to add a personal touch or branding. This can make your growler stand out at gatherings or serve as a unique gift for the beer enthusiast in your life.

FAV Insights:

  • Personalization: The fun of customizing your growler to reflect your personality or brand.
  • Gift Potential: Custom growlers make thoughtful and unique presents for beer lovers.

Customer Review:

"I got my growler customized with my homebrew logo, and it's been a hit at every event. It's a great conversation starter and makes my beer feel even more special." - Kevin, Proud Homebrewer

The growler industry is continuously innovating, with new features like built-in CO2 systems and tap attachments. These advancements aim to keep your beer fresher for longer and make serving even more convenient.

Innovations and trends in the beer growler industry, like the Square One mini keg

FAV Insights:

  • Technological Advances: Stay up-to-date with the latest growler innovations.
  • Serving Ease: New features that simplify the process of enjoying your favorite beer.

Customer Review:

"I recently upgraded to a growler with a CO2 tap system, and it's like having a mini keg at home. My beer stays fresh for weeks, and pouring is a breeze." - Nathan, Tech-Savvy Drinker

Where to Buy Your Growler

You can find growlers at local breweries, homebrew supply stores, or Amazon. When shopping, consider the selection, price, and any additional features that might enhance your beer-drinking experience.

FAV Insights:

  • Purchase Locations: Best places to find the growler that fits your needs.
  • Feature Considerations: What to look for when choosing a growler.

Customer Review:

"I found my perfect growler at a local brewery, and the staff were so helpful in explaining the different options. It's been one of my best purchases!" - Olivia, Happy Customer

Growler Etiquette: The Unspoken Rules

There's an etiquette to using growlers, such as not bringing a competitor's growler to a brewery for a fill. It's also polite to clean your growler before bringing it in, as this saves time and ensures the best quality fill.

FAV Insights:

  • Brewery Etiquette: The dos and don'ts of growler fills at breweries.
  • Pre-Clean Courtesy: Why cleaning your growler before a refill is appreciated.

Customer Review:

"I always make sure my growler is properly sanitized before getting a refill. The brewers notice and thank me for it, and I can tell they take extra care with my fills." - Erin, Respectful Patron

Troubleshooting Common Growler Issues

If you're experiencing issues like flat beer or off-flavors, it could be due to improper sealing, cleaning, or storage. Understanding how to troubleshoot these problems will help you enjoy your growler to its fullest potential.

FAV Insights:

  • Problem Prevention: Tips for avoiding common growler issues.
  • Flavor Preservation: How to maintain the integrity of your beer's taste.

Customer Review:

"I had a problem with my beer going flat too quickly, but after checking the seal on my growler and adjusting my storage habits, it's been perfect every time." - Tony, Problem Solver

Joining the Growler Community

Growler users often form a community of enthusiasts who share tips, favorite breweries, and even organize growler exchanges. Seek out a group in your area, or ask your favorite craft brewer about groups in your area. We also know about apps that you can track and comment on your fav brews. Being part of these communities can enhance your appreciation for craft beer and the growler culture.

FAV Insights:

  • Community Connection: The benefits of engaging with fellow growler aficionados.
  • Exchange Opportunities: How sharing growlers can introduce you to new beers and friends.

Customer Review:

"Joining a local growler exchange group has opened my eyes to so many amazing breweries and beers I would have never tried otherwise. It's a fantastic community to be a part of." - Sophia, Community Member

Beer Growler: More than a Container, It's a Lifestyle

A beer growler is an indispensable tool for any beer lover, offering a way to enjoy fresh, draft beer at home or the cottage. By choosing the right material, size, and seal, and following best practices for cleaning, filling, and storing, you can maximize the freshness and flavor of your beer. With the added benefits of customization, environmental friendliness, and community, a beer growler is more than just a container—it's a lifestyle.

Happy Socializing!

Your FAV Reviews Team

P.S. - You may also be interested in our recent article about Square One mini kegs "SQUAREKEG"

Square One Mini Keg: Unlock the Party Anywhere
Unleash the ultimate party accessory with the Square One Mini Keg! Perfect for any event, this sleek mini keg keeps your craft beer fresh and your cold brew coffee invigorating, ensuring you’re the host with the most, anytime, anywhere.

FAQ About Beer Growlers

Frequently asked questions about different types of beer growlers

How long does beer last in a growler?

If unopened and stored properly, beer in a growler can last up to a week. Once opened, it's best to consume it within 1-2 days for optimal freshness. If refrigerated in a mini keg like the SquareKeg, you can get up to two weeks with some brews!

How many beers in a growler?

You can typically get 4 beers in a 64 oz growler. A growler is typically a 64 oz vessel and an American Pint is 16 oz, thus you get 4 beers in a growler.

Can I fill my growler with any type of beer?

Yes, you can fill your growler with any type of beer, but some styles may be better suited for growler storage than others. Highly carbonated or delicate beers may not last as long.

Is it necessary to refrigerate my growler after filling it?

Yes, refrigerating your growler after filling it is crucial to maintain the beer's freshness and prevent spoilage. If your growler is insulated, it can keep the beer cold for a certain period, but refrigeration is recommended for longer storage.

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