This script is from the second season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.
Picture this: You’re at a brewery. It’s one that you’ve been meaning to visit forever, but it was just too far from your house to make the trek — until now. You’re finally here, and you just discovered your new favorite beer. You want to take some of it home with you, but this brewery only offers beer on tap. What do you do?
This Week on Beer Notes, we’re talking about crowlers and growlers.
Historically, the only way to bring home beer that was drinkable at some future date you had to buy a growler which is both expensive and BIG. Growlers are usually glass jugs that hold 64 oz. of beer.. If well sealed, they will keep anywhere from 2 – 5 weeks in your refrigerator. However, once you open the growler, all 64 ounces of beer should be consumed almost immediately because the beer will go flat in 24-48 hours.
Most breweries and even tap houses fill growlers. They usually feature the brewery logo and have become collectible. EVO craft brewing in Salisbury sells their growlers for only $5 and will fill it for the cost of the beer. Some places won’t fill a growler with a competitor’s logo on it. I’ve seen some breweries sell a growler for as much as $18. Even if you are willing to buy a growler, the pressure of drinking 64 ounces of really good beer quickly once opened could be too much.
That’s where crowlers come in. A Crowler is literally a can + growler. It’s made out of aluminum — is lighter than a growler, and is impermeable to oxygen, is recyclable, and is typically half the size of a growler. They are typically filled at the bar and a small machine seals each crowler in front of you. Jeremy Rudolf of Oskar Blues Brewery who helped invent the crowler in 2013 explained that “We saw a great opportunity to engage folks over the benefits of cans, as well as to possibly discontinue glass growlers ourselves.”
You can’t beat the convenience of what’s essentially a really big and portable, sealed beer can. Go wild. Visit your new favorite brewery and bring home several of the beers you sampled — in crowlers. You can get twice the beer styles for the same volume and open your favorites last. For Beer Notes, this is Anne Neely.