What is a growler? Generally speaking, a growler is a refillable container or vessel into which tap beer is poured for home consumption. We have 64oz. and 750ml bottles here for your convenience. The standard size is 64oz. but they range in size anywhere from 10oz. to 192oz. Yes, 192oz. I have a regular customer who brings one in and hooks it up to a mini CO2 tap system.
Why the heck is it called a growler? There are a few different stories. Here are a couple of them. In the late 1800's and early 1900's fresh beer was carried from the local pub to your home by means of a pail. The rumor mill has it that when the beer sloshed around the pail , it created a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped through the lid. The term "growler" was coined.
Here is another. there is a story that suggests that growlers are named for the buckets of beer once given to factory workers before their stomachs began to "growl" from hunger.
And still another. It is said that the beer, on it's way home from the pub, would spill out of the bucket, and that would make the Dads/Husbands angry. Hence the growling....
How long does the beer last in the growler? Unopened, 7-10 days. More if very carefully filled and capped while foaming over. Once opened, 2 days is the max. I recommend no more than 36 hours to my customers.
Do we reuse the growler, and what is the deposit? There is no deposit on the growler. You purchase it for only $3.00. Keep it clean, and reuse it as many times as you like.
Will you fill other companies growlers? We will fill any growler, no matter what the origin, as long as it is clean. It's about the beer, not the name on the bottle, isn't it?
How do we care for the growler? If you clean it as soon as it is emptied, just a hot water rinse will do the trick. Believe it or not, even a cold water rinse will suffice if it is done immediately. A soap & water rinse will work if it sat around for a night. just make sure you rinse it well to remove all of the soap, as even a minimal amount of soap residue will affect the beer. I don't really recommend it, but it can be washed on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Just make sure to take it out before the drying cycle and rinse it well.
What if it has been sitting around, and is really funky? If it's really gross, use a cap of bleach with some dish soap & very hot water. Fill it about 1/3 of the way, cap it & shake vigorously. Dump & rinse. repeat if necessary. If you have a long bottle brush you will have better luck. Or just get a new one. For 2 bucks, it's not really worth the effort.
What if we bring in a dirty growler for a refill? We give the growlers a sniff before we fill them. If it is dirty, we will not fill them, and by law we can not clean them for you. We will sell you another for only $3.00.
How long can we keep reusing the growler? Theoretically, forever. It's Glass, it's not porous.
What if the growler gets a small chip? Chuck it. It's not worth the risk of it cracking at an inopportune moment. especially if the chip is at the top. It will make for an improper seal, and effect the taste and life of the beer.