A growler is the draft beer enthusiasts best friend! If you want to enjoy beer from a local brewery at home, a growler is typically the best and most economical way to go about it.
At the most basic level, a growler is a re-usable container larger than a bottle used to transport beer. In a loose sense, the first growlers were artifacts almost as old as beer. Once bars and saloons with draft kegs were established in the 19th century, people would use metal pails (sometimes with a lid) to transport beer from their local bar to their home which can be considered the first modern use of a growler.
Over the past hundred years, growlers have greatly improved. Today, growlers are typically made from glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or even plastic and resemble a jug more than a bucket.
Other than the shape and material of the growler, major improvements have come in terms of sealing the growlers. This traps the carbonation inside and keeps the beer fresh, longer. Some growlers even accept Co2 canisters to moderation the level of carbonation!
Whether you’re storing your own homebrewed beer or picking up your favorite brew from a local bar or brewery, having a quality growler is important.
Top Beer Growlers
Let’s rundown the top choices for beer growlers on the market today, starting with the high-end.
- Ukeg - keep beer fresh for weeks.
- Carbonation cap - automatically regulates pressure to optimally carbonate beer. Choose desired...
- Vessel - durable, double-wall Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel.
GrowlerWerks are the makers of the most advanced growler in the market, the uKeg. The uKeg is like a hybrid between a keg and a growler as you pressurize the beer with a Co2 cartridge which helps keep the beer fresh and allows it to flow from the tap.
The growler itself is double-wall vacuum insulated to help keep beer cold during transportation. There’s a pressure gauge to monitor the Co2 level and a sight glass that lets you know how much beer is left at all times. You can also adjust the desired pressure, no need to use a Co2 canister if you don’t want to.
Beer stores well in the uKeg for at least 2 weeks and comes in 64 oz and 128 oz sizes. It’s also available in black, stainless steel, and copper finishes.
Goodmann’s Super Growler
- 1 GALLON (128OZ) STURDY FOOD GRADE 304 STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION for durability and easy...
- DOUBLE WALL VACUUM INSULATED to keep your favorite chilled beverage cold for up to 24 hours OR keep...
- EASY TO OPEN, NO LOSS FLIP TOP CLAMP LID made with a silicone gasket which helps keep your beer or...
If you’re looking for a growler that’s a little more straightforward but still top quality, I recommend the Super Growler. This bad boy holds 128 ounces of beer in its extremely durable stainless steel construction.
Double-wall vacuum insulated, this can keep beer cold for about 24 hours. The heavy duty flip top clamp lid has a silicon seal to prevent carbonation from escaping.
DrinkTanks Stainless Steel Growler
- The perfect mini keg for the craft beer lover. Keeps your cold beverages cold for 45 hours and warm...
- Made from high quality 18/8 stainless steel and has double wall vacuum insulation
- Durable, vacuum tight lid prevents any leaks and keeps beer ice cold and carbonated wherever you go,...
DrinkTanks makes really nice 64 ounce growlers in a wide variety of colors. It has an easy pour (or easy drink!) handle that makes it resemble a beer stein. This insulated growler can keep your beer cold for a whopping 45 hours.
One of my favorite features of the DrinkTanks growler is the insulated lid. It gets a really nice seal which keeps your beer fresh and makes the growler leak-proof.
One other cool feature of these steins is it’s possible to buy a keg cap which transforms them into mini kegs!
- The interchangeable cap can be used on our classic 64 oz growler and our juggernaut 128 oz growler
- The keg cap accessory kit comes with a cap, Co2 injector, and two threaded 16 gram Co2 cartridges
- Drinktanks keg cap accessory kit will turn your Drinktanks growler into a personal keg
By using this cap you can carbonate the growler and serve from it just like a keg. What’s nice though is you have the option to switch back and forth based on your needs. This makes the DrinkTank a better option than the uKeg if you’ll sometimes want a more portable and easy to transport/serve from growler.
- 64 oz stainless steel double wall vacuum insulated to keep your beer cold for 24 hours
- Keg shape with handles makes it convenient to carry and great to look at
- Powder coated matte finish will steal looks for years
Raptor Growlers make a great looking product. They hold 64 ounces and have insulated walls to keep your beer cold for 24 hours. It also has a unique keg handle for convenient carrying.
These growlers feature a powder-coat finish and silicone seal to securely prevent beer leaks. If you’re looking for a budget growler, this is a great option for you.
- Wide mouth
- 2 liter growler
- Flip top
If you’re looking for some old-school cool, check out this awesome amber glass growler. This growler is imported from Germany and features a swing-top ceramic lid with a rubber gasket.
It holds around 64 ounces of beer and has a sturdy metal handle for transportation.
Growler Warning Labels
One thing to consider when you’re buying your own growler is that some states have laws that require a growler to have an alcohol warning label on it, or else a bar can’t fill it.
More than likely you’ll have to apply this warning yourself if you’re buying your own growler. This can be done quickly and easily by using a vinyl adhesive stick which should last years.
- These labels / stickers are perfect for your craft beer growler (or wine and spirit containers)....
- If your original label has washed or peeled off these high quality vinyl warning labels make great...
- Vinyl labels printed with black U.V. ink screen printed on white vinyl with permanent adhesive and a...
Growler Cleaning Tablets
Keeping your growler clean is of the utmost importance. Nothing worse than paying for 64-128 ounces of new beer, getting homing and finding out it tastes like soap or flavors from an older brew.
You’ve got to clean your growler! But you need to be smart about how you clean it.
- Keep Growlers fresh and ready for the next fill
- Use with warm water to disolve deposits that other cleaning methods leave behind
- Beer tastes better from a clean growler
Using specially formulated growler cleaning tablets is the best way to go about this. These tablets are specially formulated to break down the components that may be left behind in your growler and aren’t scented. You won’t have to worry about contaminated beer by using these.
Can Beer in a Growler Go Bad?
This is a common question worth addressing. Will beer in a growler go bad, or is it good forever?
In theory it’s possible for beer in a growler to last for a very, very long time but it’s very difficult to fully trap Co2 inside of a container that has an opening, no matter how well sealed it is.
For that reason, if you’re not adding Co2 to the beer with a canister, how long it lasts is going to depend on a variety of things. How well sealed the growler is will the most important factor. The more you open the growler, the more Co2 escapes so that’s also something to keep in mind.