Do Growlers Save Money? Benefits of Using Growlers for Your Beer Needs

Do growlers save money? This is a question that has become a hot topic among beer enthusiasts and those on a tight budget alike. After all, buying a six-pack of craft beer can set you back more than $10, but a growler, which holds up to 64 ounces and can be filled with your favorite brew from a local brewery, can be as low as $12. But is it really worth it?

When it comes to saving money, everyone has their own approach, but the idea of refilling a beer growler has been gaining popularity in recent years. Some may argue that the initial investment of buying a growler can be relatively high, but in the long term, the savings on per-ounce cost can be significant. Plus, there’s the added benefit of supporting local businesses and enjoying freshly brewed beer straight from the tap.

The question of whether growlers save money may seem simple at first glance, but as with any financial decision, there are pros and cons to consider. While you can save money by buying beer in bulk or opting for cheaper brands, growlers offer a more unique experience that can’t be found at your local convenience store. So, the answer to the question remains up for debate, but one thing is for sure – growlers have become a popular and cost-effective way to enjoy craft beer.

The History of Growlers

Growlers have become a popular way to enjoy fresh beer from a local brewery in the comfort of one’s home or a picnic in the park. The history of the growler dates back to the late 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution in the United States. Factory workers would take a covered pail or tin can to their local brewery to fill up with fresh beer. This soon became known as a “growler” because of the sound the carbon dioxide made when escaping from the lid during transport. The term “growler” was also used in the 1930s during the prohibition era when people would smuggle beer out of their local pub in a bucket or pail.

Today, the use of growlers has expanded beyond just a means of transporting beer. Most breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs offer to fill growlers with various types of beer. Additionally, they have become collectibles that many beer enthusiasts proudly display in their homes.

Types of Growlers

Growlers come in a variety of styles and materials, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types of growlers:

  • Glass Growlers – These are the most traditional type of growlers, and are often the easiest to find. They are usually made of thick glass and come in a variety of sizes, from 32 oz to 128 oz. They are easy to clean and sanitize, and offer a good seal to keep your beer fresh. However, they are prone to breaking and can let in light, which can negatively impact the quality of your beer.
  • Stainless Steel Growlers – These are a great option for those who need a more durable option. They are also easy to clean and sanitize, and are much less likely to break than glass growlers. They come in a variety of sizes, and are often vacuum insulated, which helps to keep your beer cold for longer. However, they are often more expensive than glass growlers, and can sometimes give off a metallic taste if not cleaned properly.
  • Ceramic Growlers – These are a more unique option, and can be very aesthetically pleasing. They often come in fun designs and colors, and are good at keeping your beer at a consistent temperature. However, they are often heavy and can be difficult to transport, and are also prone to breaking.
  • Plastic Growlers – These are a lightweight option that are often very affordable. They come in a variety of sizes and are easy to transport. However, they are often not as durable as other options, and can sometimes impart a plastic taste or odor onto your beer.

Choosing the Right Growler

When it comes to choosing the right growler, it really depends on your personal preferences and needs. Consider what type of beer you’ll be filling it with, how much beer you’ll need, and how you’ll be transporting it. If you’re looking for a more durable option, a stainless steel growler might be the best choice. If you want something that’s easy to clean and has a classic look, a glass growler could be the way to go. Ultimately, the best growler for you is the one that will keep your beer fresh and enjoyable for as long as possible.

Growler Sizes and Prices

Growlers come in a variety of sizes, from small 32 oz bottles to massive 128 oz jugs. Pricing can vary depending on the size, material, and brand of the growler – but in general, they are an affordable option for beer lovers. Here is an overview of some of the most common growler sizes and their prices:

Size Price Range
32 oz $15-$30
64 oz $20-$50
128 oz $50-$100

Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the type of growler you choose, and where you buy it from. Some breweries and taprooms offer discounted prices on growler fills, so it’s always a good idea to ask about any specials or deals they might have.

How to clean and maintain growlers

If you want your growlers to last for years, cleaning and proper maintenance are key. Here are some tips to keep your growlers in pristine condition:

  • Always rinse your growler immediately after use. If you let beer sit in your growler for too long, it can leave behind a funky taste or smell that’s tough to get rid of.
  • Use hot water and a small amount of mild dish detergent to clean the inside of your growler. Be sure to thoroughly rinse it out, so that no soap residue remains.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals (like bleach or ammonia) on your growlers because they can damage the plastic or metal the growler is made of.
  • Never put your growler in the dishwasher, as the high temperatures and powerful jets can damage the glass and metal.

Keeping your growlers properly maintained also means checking for cracks, chips, and other damage on a regular basis. If you spot any issues, it’s best to replace the growler entirely to avoid any potential contamination of your beer.

Here’s a quick table to summarize the do’s and don’ts of cleaning and maintaining your growlers:

Do: Don’t:
Rinse your growler immediately after use Let beer sit in your growler for too long
Clean the inside of your growler with hot water and mild dish detergent Use harsh chemicals on your growler
Thoroughly rinse out your growler to remove soap residue Put your growler in the dishwasher
Check for cracks, chips, and other damage regularly Use a damaged growler to store beer

By following these simple tips and maintaining your growlers properly, you can enjoy your beer on tap for years to come.

The Environmental Benefits of Using a Growler

Aside from saving money, using a growler can also help reduce the environmental impact of drinking beer. Here are the following benefits:

  • Reduces Waste: When beer is consumed from cans and bottles, they add up to a significant amount of waste. According to a report by the Brewers Association in 2010, beverage containers made up 32% of all municipal solid waste in the US. Using a reusable container like a growler helps eliminate waste from single-use cans and bottles.
  • Cuts Down on Carbon Footprint: The production and transportation of beer cans and bottles require energy and contributes to carbon emissions. By using a growler, you’re taking one small step towards reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Supports Local Business: When you use a growler, you’re supporting local breweries. This reduces the demand for beer to be shipped and transported across long distances, which requires a lot of energy and create a significant carbon footprint.

Here’s a table showing the environmental impact of brewing and transporting one six-pack of beer:

Brewing Only Brewing and Transporting Brewing, Transporting and Recycling
Water Use (L) 18 18 18
CO2 Emissions (kg) 0.17 0.25 0.47
Energy Use (MJ) 7.8 12.3 17.7

As you can see, when beer is transported from the brewery, the environmental impact on resources such as water, energy, and carbon emissions increases significantly. Therefore, using a growler to fill up at a local brewery significantly reduces carbon-based resources’ waste.

The Economics of Growler Fills vs Buying Individual Beers

One of the biggest debates around growlers is whether they actually save money compared to buying individual beers. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Upfront cost: Yes, purchasing a growler does require an upfront cost, which typically ranges from $5 to $15, depending on the size and style of the growler. However, in the long run, this cost can easily be recouped, especially if you plan on using your growler regularly.
  • Amount of beer: Most growlers hold 64 ounces, which is more than enough for several servings of beer. If you were to buy four 16-ounce beers at a bar or brewery, you would likely spend more money than filling up a growler with the same amount of beer.
  • Freshness: Growlers can actually help you save money by ensuring that you’re getting the freshest beer possible. With individual beers, you run the risk of getting beer that has been sitting on the shelf for weeks or even months, which can affect its taste and quality.
  • Option for variety: With growlers, you have the option to fill up with a variety of different beers, which can save you money if you like to try different types of beers regularly. Instead of buying individual bottles of each beer, you can simply fill up your growler with a different beer each time.
  • Bulk discounts: Some breweries and bars offer discounts if you purchase a certain number of growlers or fill up on a regular basis. This can further reduce the cost of a growler fill compared to buying individual beers.

Obviously, there are some situations where buying individual beers may be more cost-effective, such as if you only plan on having one or two beers or if you aren’t able to finish a full growler before the beer goes bad. However, in most cases, growlers can help you save money on your beer purchases while also ensuring that you’re getting the freshest possible product.

Below is a table comparing the cost of a 64-ounce growler fill at a brewery versus buying individual 16-ounce beers:

Option Cost per ounce Total cost
Growler fill $0.31 per ounce $19.84
Individual beers $0.44 per ounce $28.16 for 4 beers

As you can see, filling up a growler is significantly cheaper in terms of cost per ounce compared to buying individual beers, even if you factor in the cost of the growler itself.

The Future of Growlers

Growlers have become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more craft breweries and taprooms offering them as an option for customers. But what does the future hold for growlers?

Here are some potential developments and trends that we may see in the world of growlers:

  • More customizable growlers: As people look for ways to personalize their purchases, we may see more options for customized growlers – perhaps with different finishes or materials, or even with laser-etched designs.
  • More environmentally-friendly options: While refillable growlers are already a better option than single-use cans or bottles, there may be even more eco-friendly options in the future, such as growlers made from renewable materials or with refillable CO2 canisters.
  • Increased use of technology: We may see more breweries using technology to make the growler-filling process even easier and more streamlined. For example, some breweries already offer online ordering for growler fills, and we may see more automated systems for filling and tracking growlers.

In addition to these potential developments, it’s worth noting that the future of growlers may be impacted by larger trends in the food and beverage industry. For example, as more consumers seek out local and independent businesses, we may see even more interest in growlers and other products from smaller, craft breweries.

All in all, it’s clear that growlers have a bright future ahead. Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast looking for a sustainable option for enjoying your favorite brews, or a brewery owner looking for ways to offer more value to your customers, the future of growlers is looking very promising.

Comparing different materials used for growlers

Choosing the right growler material is an essential factor in determining the quality and longevity of your beer. Here’s a brief overview of the most common materials used in making growlers:

  • Glass – Glass growlers are the traditional choice, and many beer enthusiasts still prefer it as they do not interact with the beer’s taste. They are dishwasher safe and can preserve carbonation. However, glass is fragile and can break easily.
  • Stainless steel – Stainless steel is an excellent choice for outdoor and camping trips. They are durable, rust-resistant, and keep beer cool for extended periods. However, they tend to be more expensive than glass or plastic.
  • Plastic – Plastic growlers are lightweight and hoppy smells may be retained longer than glass or stainless steel. Although they have come under scrutiny for environmental waste, they can be re-used multiple times and are shatterproof.

Each material has its unique properties with pros and cons, and it’s up to personal preference in deciding which is the best fit for you.

If you would like a more detailed comparison of growler materials, here is a table:

Material Pros Cons
Glass Does not interact with the beer’s taste, Dishwasher safe, Carbonation can be normally preserved Fragile, Can break easily
Stainless steel Durable, Rust-resistant, Keeps beer cool for a long time, Ideal for outdoor activities and camping trips More expensive than glass or plastic
Plastic Lightweight and shatterproof, Long lasting, Less expensive than other materials Not environmentally friendly, Hoppy smells may be retained longer than glass or stainless steel

In summary, it’s essential to evaluate and weigh the pros and cons of each material when deciding on a growler for your beer needs. Whether you prefer traditional glass or durable stainless steel, the right growler material should provide you with a better beer drinking experience while helping you save money in the long run.

Do Growlers Save Money? FAQs

1. What is a growler?

A growler is a container, typically made of glass or ceramic, that is used to transport draft beer from a brewery or taproom to your home or another location.

2. How do growlers save money?

Growlers can save you money because they allow you to purchase beer in bulk, which is often cheaper than buying individual bottles or cans. Plus, you can reuse the same growler multiple times, which reduces the cost of packaging.

3. Can I fill a growler with any type of beer?

Most breweries and taprooms will allow you to fill a growler with any type of beer they have on tap, although some may have restrictions or limitations.

4. How long will beer stay fresh in a growler?

Beer stored in a properly sealed growler can stay fresh for up to a week or more, although the flavor and quality may start to deteriorate after a few days.

5. Do growlers cost more upfront than buying bottled or canned beer?

The initial cost of a growler may be higher than a single bottle or can of beer, but over time the savings from buying beer in bulk and reusing the same growler can add up.

6. Are there any downsides to using a growler?

One downside to using a growler is that you need to finish the beer within a few days of opening it, or else it may go flat or spoil. Additionally, not all breweries or taprooms offer growler fills, so you may not be able to use your growler everywhere.

Thanks for Reading, Cheers to Saving Money!

We hope these FAQs have helped answer your questions about whether growlers can save you money. Remember, drinking responsibly is important, and always make sure to properly clean and store your growler to ensure the best possible taste. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us again for more tips and tricks to save you money and enjoy life to the fullest!