My first ever growler was given to me by my father for the holidays when I turned 21. Needless to say I didn’t really know how to care for it back then. The beer growler dates back to pre-prohibition times which means countless people like me have probably tried to bring back their nasty, smelly growlers to local establishments for over 70 years. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your growler in good condition.
Drink it Fresh
Because of local regulations, swing top growlers are more common in Florida than standard screw-on caps. Swing top caps create a slightly better seal but no growler system can keep beer as fresh as a can or bottle. We recommend drinking your growler within 24 hours of filling, and no more than 72 hours later.
Replace Your Cap Often
If you have a standard screw-on cap, the lining can break down over time which can effect the seal. Most breweries will keep extra caps around so don’t be afraid to ask for a new one if yours has been used a few times.
Drink it at Once
Growlers are meant to be shared. It can be tempting to pour a pint, put the cap back on, and drink the rest the next day. Don’t do this. When cans and bottles are filled and sealed they’re purged with C02; that’s because beer and oxygen don’t get along. When there is a significant amount of airspace in a growler the beer will go flat and oxidize rapidly. Prevent this by drinking it all in the same sitting (responsibly, with a friend).
Clean it Immediately
If you clean a growler immediately after you’re done drinking the beer inside all you should need to do is rinse it with hot water. As with any glassware being used to serve beer, it’s best to avoid soaps and detergents. We know that’s not always possible so if you need to use soap make sure to rinse thoroughly so you don’t leave behind any residue that can effect the flavor of your next fill.
Store Upside-down with the Cap Removed
Bacteria and mold thrive in a moist environment. After you’ve cleaned it with hot water, let it air-dry upside-down. Even clean glass can still grow bacteria and mold if the cap is sealed so store it with no cap to let it breathe.