Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Growler

How to take your favorite suds from the draft tap to wherever you want.

Woman holding Hydro Flask.
Insulated growlers prevent UV rays from damaging your beer.Hydro Flask

It’s unclear how the growler got its name, but it could be from the noise created by locals when an old-time bartender didn’t fill their beer pail to the top. Thankfully, growlers today are a sign of happy times, and there are dozens on the market. When looking for a growler, you’ll first want to decide if you’ll use it to simply transport brew you plan to consume in the near future or to keep brew fresh for longer at home. After you decide that, the choices are tougher because different materials and construction can affect the shelf-life of your favorite beverage. Here are three things to consider when buying a growler.

GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler, 64 oz, Copper
This insulated canteen comes with a carbonation cap that will help preserve beer for weeks.GrowlerWerks

Many growlers are made from a single material, like an all-steel growler, or glass, or ceramic growler. Others, especially growlers designed to insulate, are made of multiple materials. Glass and ceramic are often the most affordable, but break easily, and UV rays can penetrate glass and warm or ruin your brew. Look for a growler with a stainless steel or copper liner. They’re easier to clean than ceramic growlers and won’t break like a glass growler. Nor will stainless steel impart any outside tastes or flavors to the liquids.

S'well Stainless Steel Roamer Bottle - 64 Fl Oz - Night Sky - Triple-Layered Vacuum-Insulated Containers Keeps Drinks Cold for 81 Hours and Hot for 29 - with No Condensation - BPA Free Water Bottle
This growler can also keep beverages warm.S'well

Cold liquids can cause a lot of condensation on the outside of containers. If you want a growler you can transport in a pack or bag without worrying about water, choose one with thermal properties that prevent condensation from happening in the first place. Some growlers have an inner layer of copper to hold condensation at bay, while others might have triple layers to blunt the wet stuff.

Hydro Flask Oasis Water Jug - Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated - Leak Proof Cap - Multiple Sizes & Colors
This growler comes with two tops—a large one for easy filling and a small one for easy pouring.Hydro Flask

For long-term indoor beer storage, go for a growler with a variable pressure tap and a pressure gauge. That’s the only way to keep beer carbonated over the long haul. If you’re going to drink the growler’s contents within a few hours of pouring it from a tap, then you can get away with screw-on caps, though the tighter the seal, the better.

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