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The secret to draft beer from home.
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If you're a frequent beer drinker, you'll want a growler to transport draft-ready drinks from a pub or brewery. “Growlers are a great way to get beers to-go that are not normally available in cans or bottles,” says Victor Novak, brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing.
“The main benefit is you're receiving the freshest beer the brewery has to offer and also the best drinking beer: draft,” says Jimmy Scanlon of Golden Road Brewing. “Other benefits are being aware that using a growler is helping cut down on packaging costs and giving you the option to take home exclusive draft-only brews.”
Here are the best beer growlers on the market, ranging in price, style, and size.
Best Overall: GrowlerWerks uKeg Go
“[uKegs] features their own built-in CO2 system that acts as a mini-draft unit,” says Scanlon, who is a fan of the growler. This particular model boasts many of the qualities of a full-sized keg, but it's designed for easy travel—the double-walled stainless steel growler has a durable, powder-coated finish and rubber footing to protect it from damage. Even more, the streamlined regulator and food-grade CO2 dispensers allow you to tweak the carbonation level to match your beers.
Best of all, the growler's patented carbonation system keeps beers carbonated and tasting fresh for weeks. A stylish, three-position dispensing tap mimics a brewery or bar’s draft system. Note that the CO2 chargers are sold separately.
Best Stainless Steel: Hydro Flask 64-Ounce Growler
“When I want to celebrate, the craftsmanship and quality materials of my Hydro Flask 64-ounce growler makes it the go-to growler to keep my beer fresh and cold,” says Rhett Dougherty, head brewer at Veza Sur Brewing Company.
This brewer-beloved growler is made with BPA- and phthalate-free stainless steel and features TempShield insulation that curbs condensation. The growler, which also has a carry handle attached to the cap, even comes with a lifetime warranty.
Good to Know:
“Oxygen is our enemy when we are drinking packaged beer, so always ask for an extra CO2 purge when your favorite brewery is filling your growler," adds Dougherty. "This will help keep your beer tasty and fresh longer.”
Best Vacuum-Insulated: Stanley Easy-Pour Growler
“Stanley’s growlers and pints are great for transporting and enjoying both cider and beer,” says Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider. “Not only are they beautifully constructed, but they keep the product cold and the carbonation in for a very long time."
This growler's vacuum-insulated body and foam-insulated lid will keep 64 ounces of beer cold for 24 hours. A durable handle lets you pour out beers with ease. And, unlike many other growlers, this one is dishwasher safe. "I’ve used [Stanley's growlers] for years across various products and have always been impressed,” adds Braam.
Good to Know:
“For filling the growler, tilt it at a 45-degree angle and keep it there until the growler is almost full," says Novak. "Finish filling by straightening up the growler without sticking the faucet inside. Cap on foam and cap immediately."
Best for Camping: Coleman Insulated Stainless Steel Growler
Perfect for the outdoor adventurer, this double-walled, vacuum-insulated growler from Coleman is made of BPA-free stainless steel. Its textured grip is also glove-friendly and keeps your hands warm and dry.
Whether you’re a hiker, biker, camper or canoer, this growler’s high-impact construction and bolted-on cap will keep your beer safe through bumps, falls and rough terrains. With this growler, drinks will stay hot up to 41 hours and cold up to 76 hours. Though securely tethered on, the lid flips open to easily pour out your beer. Note that this growler is hand-wash only and cannot be microwaved or put in the freezer.
Good to Know:
“I clean my growlers with soapy water and a bottle brush,” says Ian Fuller, Director of Brewer Operations at Melvin Brewing. “I personally won’t drink the beer on the third day. Drink it fresh by yourself or with friends."
Best Glass: Legacy Amber Glass Growler
Though glass and stainless steel growlers are the most popular options in the market, many brewers prefer glass as it's an affordable, reliable option. This growler from Legacy is particularly great for the home brewer: it's easy to refill, painless to clean, and won’t impart any flavors that many metal growlers will.
This multi-purpose, 64-ounce growler can be used to brew beer, kombucha or wine. It also comes with a twist-off steel cap that seals in carbonation. With a vintage-inspired design, the amber-colored glass of the growler protects contents from harmful UV lights.
Best for Everyday: DrinkTanks Vacuum Insulated Beer Growler
Think of the DrinkTanks growler like a miniature keg: the 64-ounce container keeps beer keg temperature for 45 hours after pouring, thanks to double-wall vacuum insulation, a cork lid that prevents any leaks, and a dual-bail closure. The growler also features advanced sealing technology to keep in CO2 for extended periods of time. It's made of passivated stainless steel, which removes all metallic flavors that may affect your drink.
Even more, the growler doubles for drinks beyond beer (coffee, tea, soup or other hot beverages) and keeps them warm for 25 hours. A sturdy handle fits comfortably in your hands for all outdoor adventures, and the durable construction protects beverages from bumps.
Best Small: Hydro Flask 32-Ounce Growler
If you don't need a full 64 ounces of beer, Hydro Flask’s smaller-sized growler has a 32-ounce capacity (an equivalent of three small beers). This BPA-free flask is also perfect for traveling—the Fresh Carry System and handle offer multiple ways to carry and pour beer. This growler is a brewer favorite as its stainless-steel construction doesn’t impart any metallic flavors into the drink, nor will it hold onto any unwanted flavors. TempShield insulation keeps beers ice cold all day, and the double-walled design protects beverages from outside heat. Plus, Hydro Flask offers a generous lifetime warranty.
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