I had a growler that a friend gave me. I have brought it along to a few breweries in case I found I beer I just couldn’t survive without taking home and they didn’t offer in cans. The beers I like never seen to be offered in cans. I had yet to fill it. I went to Kinsman Brewing in Milldale. They had a really lovely peanut butter stout. I decided that I was going to finally fill the sucker and make my own judgements on the process. I do drink a little at home, but I’m not a “drink more than 1 beer on an average night at home” kinda person. The first night at home that I opened the growler I had a friend over. We both had a pint. It was good. A few days later I had a pint at home alone while watching TV. It wasn’t bad… but there was less foam at the top of the glass.
I also bought the half sized growler that many have called a squealer while at Witchdoctor Brewing. I filled it with their raspberry gose at Witchdoctor.
Here is a picture of my two filled growlers on the way home. They are safety buckled into my son’s car seat. Can’t be too protective of your beer.
My thoughts? Well, I think my thoughts were solidified and confirmed. I do not drink beer fast enough at home for growlers to make sense. They just lose freshness every time you open them and since I don’t drink that much at one time I would open it up frequently. I think I won’t be filling another growler unless I’m having a get together where enough people can finish the thing off at once. Unless you drink a lot of beer, I feel that there are better ways to preserve quality. Cans are the best. They are light proof and can seal without the oxygen at the top of bottles. I understand why a lot of breweries don’t do it. It is expensive to buy the canning machines and the extra space needed for the infrastructure is something small breweries don’t have. It is a sadness.
So what about this half growler or squealer. I think if a place doesn’t have cans in what I want, which is inevitable, I might fill a half growler or a crowler. It has only a couple of glasses full for home drinking which is about what I want so it doesn’t go flat or lose it’s freshness. I opened up the halvsies one last Sunday and had 2 glasses. It is a low ABV. Like only .02% above traditional Session beer ABV. For those not familiar with the lingo a session beer is a style of beer with a low ABV (Alcohol by volume or how much boozy is in the booze). Generally a session beer is below a 4% ABV so the idea is a session beer can be drunk slowly and have another and you can do the long haul of having several beers over a period of time because the ABV is so low you aren’t going to get drunk. Anyway the low ABV of the Raspberry gose lends itself to that session style drinking. Where I generally only have 1 beer if I’m drinking at home, this I easily had 2. This was the first time I had opened the mini-me growler and the quality of the beer was still great. I am having people over tonight and hopefully will finish it with them tonight. I really like the smaller sized growler. I think I’ll only be filling growlers if I am planning a party with a lot of people where the beer is going to get consumed right away.
The follow up is that we did have the rest of the half sized growler that night. The beer was great. Everyone liked it. I really think the half sized is the way to go. That being said, my birthday is in June. I plan on having a chill sort of party. I do plan on filling up a few growlers, getting a cake from Mozzicato’s bakery and hanging out on our 2nd floor porch with people. Not yet sure which breweries I will get growlers from, but I want at least 1 dark beer and one wheat beer. Yes yes yes the cake will be the fruit layer cake, I mean what other cake are you going to get from Mozzicato’s except their fruit layer cake? I do love me some Mozzicato’s cake. If you haven’t been to Mozzicato’s bakery in Hartford in the South End, you really need to go. They have some of the best cannoli, rainbow cookies, and layered cake with fruit ever… If you go to the bakery you need min $10 to run credit and they ONLY take cash in the cafe. So worth it… so worth it…
So, to sum up… growlers are a no from me, unless you drink a LOT of beer in a short time frame, OR you are having a party. Half growlers or crowlers, I think I might be brought around to! Lastly, I prefer cans. they maintain quality the best without any extra oxygen getting into the beer… please breweries… start putting things I want to drink in your cans instead of only IPA and Coffee stout!