Use a Growler to Sample New and Locally Brewed Beer Inexpensively
If you’d like to expand your beer repertoire without paying top-shelf premiums, it’s time to capitalize on the revival of the growler and head over to your local micro brewery.
For the unfamiliar, growlers are 64-ounce beer bottles that look more like a jug than a bottle. Many micro brewers across the U.S. are tapping into the rising interest in fine beers by bringing back the growler. Growlers are more economical than purchasing beer by the bottle or six-pack and environmentally friendly to boot—when you’re done with your growler you can wash it out and bring it back to the brewery to get refilled. Who is taking advantage of the growler resurggeance? The New York Times writes:
“In the beginning we tried to figure out, ‘Who’s going to be our market?’ ” said Ben Granger, 32, an owner of Bierkraft, which began filling growlers in spring 2006. “We thought, mullet-heads and beer-bellied dudes. But the first run was ladies with strollers. They will tell you they’re buying them for their husbands. Three weeks later, they’ve got two. One’s his and one’s hers. The next one that caught me by surprise was dads coming in with their kids. Then there’s the beer crowd who’ll rush in to get on this or that before it’s gone. There’s no age limit.”
Michael Endelman, a journalist at Rolling Stone, is one of those growler-loving fathers. “I don’t go to bars too much anymore,” he said, gesturing to his baby daughter Mimi. “It just seems like a great way to be a beer geek without going out.”
Aside from the economical and environmental aspects of the growler, the quote from Michael Endelman above highlights one of the most popular aspects of the growler: you can get interesting and exotic beer for a song and then enjoy it at home.
Check out the full article at The New York Times for more information about growlers and the history behind them. They offer a list of NYC-centric suppliers of growlers and growler refills but you’ll have to call around to your local watering holes and breweries to find out who supplies and fills growlers. Once you find a place, make sure to ask what they’ve got on tap and then head over to previously reviewed RateBeer and Beer Suggest to compare beer notes.