If you’ve been to Happy Hour, you’ve probably noticed someone walking in or out with a little brown jug.
If you don’t know, those are growlers and they’re one of the most popular ways to bring delicious, fresh, local beer home to enjoy. At Happy Hour, we just so happen to have one of the best systems available for filling growlers and we’re pretty proud of that.
Even though the popularity of the growler has taken off over the past couple years, the growler as we know it today was actually introduced by the Otto Brothers Brewing Company based out of Wyoming back in 1989.
Why are they called growlers? Well, that’s a good question. As the story goes, back in the 19th-century people used to bring fresh beer home from their local pubs using a small pail. Legend has it that carbon dioxide that escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around inside made a noise that sounded a lot like a growl. Hence, the growler. (A 32oz growler is generally known as a “howler” because it’s half a growler.)
Luckily for us today, serious improvements have been made to the growler and we don’t have to worry about CO2 escaping the bottle before we open it. I can’t imagine the beer from the old pails would have tasted all that good by the time people got home.
There are more options than ever when it comes to growlers today if you’re thinking about taking the plunge.
The most popular, and cost-effective, remains the 64oz and 32oz brown jugs with twist on caps. However, you can also pick up insulated growlers, growlers that look like small kegs, clear jugs, there’s even new fancy growlers that come with a tap and hold small CO2 cartridges to keep your beer fresh. Whatever your growler preference may be, there's plenty of them, and we can fill all of them at Happy Hour.
A filled, unopened, growler should generally be consumed within 7 to 10 days depending on how it’s been filled. You’ll get a few extra days if you’ve had a growler filled with our Pegas filling station. If your beer is coming straight from the tap, then you’ll want to drink it much sooner, usually a day or two. Once the seal has been broken, you should enjoy your beer within 24-36 hours.
Now that your growler is empty, it’s time to take care of it so you can fill it up again. The first step is to rinse out the inside of the jug with scorching hot water. The sooner you can do this after the growler is empty the better. No soap is required, and it’s actually recommended that you do not use any dish soap when cleaning out your growler as it can leave a residue and your beer will likely taste funky the next time you fill it.
At Happy Hour, we spray your growler with a food-safe sanitizer before filling it. It’s extremely important that your growler is properly cleaned. If a growler is too gross, we won’t fill it. It’s not good for you or the beer.
After rinsing out your growler, you’ll want to let it dry upside down on a dish rack if possible. Then either bring it back for another fill or store it in a cool, dry place. Humidity is not a growlers best friend.
So, now that you know a little more about growlers, the only question left to be answered is, what will it be?