Were you lucky enough to receive a growler this holiday season? Perhaps you are already a beer connoisseur and have a collection going. Maybe you have no idea what a growler is. Either way, you should know that growler choice and care are essential in keeping the beer inside of utmost quality.
What IS a Growler:
A growler is a wonderful asset for every beer lover to have. Growlers are reusable containers for beer, usually made of dark glass or ceramic. They typically come in 64oz but can also come in 32oz (commonly known as “squealers”). Every state is different, but here in Virginia growlers can be purchased empty or filled and brought back to many brewpubs for refills. Check with your local watering hole for the rules regarding refills.
Choosing a Growler:
· It is best to choose a growler made of dark brown glass or an opaque one (ceramic or stainless steel). Clear glass containers allow light in, which can cause your beer to “skunk”
· If the lid is a twist off, plastic caps are a better option than metal ones as they can allow air to leak if the pressure inside is too great.
· Glass growlers with engravings or etching can weaken the glass, which increases the chance that it may break under pressure.
Caring for Your Growler:
· Growlers should be cleaned, sanitized and allowed to air dry immediately after emptying. Always store with caps off- unless you like drinking mildew and being sick. To each their own.
· Growlers can be rinsed with hot water. If you prefer to use a special cleaning agent be sure it is not fat or oil based, use the correct ratio and always follow with a good rinse.
· Never allow your growler to become too warm or freeze- doing so can weaken the glass and lead to breakage. We won’t even get into how terrible that is to do if it’s filled with beer. Poor beer…
Final Thoughts From Your Local Beer Wench:
A growler can be used to bring your favorite draft beer home many times over. We at Maltese Brewing love filling growlers for our customers. Please don’t be upset if we give it a quick sniff test beforehand though. We want to ensure that the growler is clean and ready to be filled. We would hate to fill a growler that has some funk left in it and have it cloud the taste of the awesome beer that we put time and love into. For the freshest flavor, consume within 24 hours of filling. Once the 72 hour mark hits the beer can become stale.
Happy Holidays, and as always, drink responsibly!