Once upon a time, a growler was a simple glass jug with a screw top – a completely acceptable way to transport 64 ounces of beer and keep it relatively fresh. But some beer enthusiasts realized there was room for real improvement; once a growler of beer is opened, any leftover brew will begin to go flat pretty quickly. These days growlers have morphed into metal-walled, carefully-capped vessels designed to keep beer super fresh, carbonated and chilled, before and after you break the seal. It’s the kind of respect your craft beer deserves. Here are our five favorites.
- The Bräuler is a stainless steel growler that set a high bar for successors. The wide neck lets bartenders see what’s happening inside during the fill, which means less wasted beer and good foam control. Add the extra FreshCap to inject your Brauler beer with a dose of CO2, for a boost of fresh carbonation.
- Stainless Steel Drink Tanks are double-walled steel growlers (the walls help keep beer inside cold) with a BPA-free lid with a lock-down design. That lid and a useful large side handle make the Drink Tank look like a modern bier stein. Keep the beer inside even fresher by adding the optional Keg Cap, which not only injects beer with CO2, but serves the beer through a short "line," which means no lid popping.
- The SS Growler comes from the company that made Growler Suits, big ole koozies for, you guessed it, a growler. The basic stainless growlers have a flip top with a silicone seal.
- The Portland Growler Company makes a slip cast stoneware clay growler that's a statement piece. While they may score lower for durability than a metal version, they win for style points, with three kinds of handles (one of which invokes bicycles) and four glazes. They’re capped with a flip-top lid with rubber gasket.
- The TapIt Cap is a lid that fits onto glass growler screw tops. The cap turns growlers into mini kegs by keeping the beer pressurized and adding a bit of carbonation from CO2 cartridges.