Get Drunk, Go GreenWe’re all familiar with the row about global warming and many of us who respect the science want to do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle. We here at Beers In Paradise want to do our part so as part of our series of beer related Public Service Announcements we present to you our dear readers and site visitors: The Growler.
WTH is a growler you say? Well first we’ll start with a local history lesson…in the pre-Prohibition era, a growler was a small, galvanized metal pail with a lid that drinkers took to their local watering hole to fill with beer. Bottles being scarce and expensive in those days, and canned beer having not yet been invented, the growler was the working man’s only option for takeout.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, galvanized metal pail? I get that…but why is it called a growler and how does that make me a more environmentally sustainable beer drinker?” Fortunately for you, we know our stuff. According to the most popular etymology, the growler got its name because of the growling and hissing sound of CO2 (the carbonation) escaping from the lid as it sloshed around in the bucket resembled a guttural growl.
Today’s growler is a ½ gallon (1,890 ml/66 fl. Oz.) glass jug that can be rinsed and reused indefinitely, making it the eco-friendliest of beer receptacles. Think hillbilly moonshine jugs with screw caps. These “green” jugs are used to transport draft beer in Australia, the US and Canada and are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-out beer. Some breweries also offer a one-liter or one-quart version. Growlers are also used by home brewers as an alternative to kegs or smaller bottles for carbonating and storing their beer.
Growlers are usually made of porcelain or glass and are typically sealed with a screw-on cap or a sometimes a hinged porcelain gasket cap which can keep its valuable contents fresh for a week or more…similar to what you see sealing a bottle of Grolsch Beer.
These well sealed growlers hold carbonation indefinitely and some growler caps are equipped with valves to allow replacement of co2 gas lost while racking, but this last is more for the home brewer’s and fancy guys who can afford to have an entire cellar devoted to beer. Ah, the blessed few.
Generally speaking you can pick up growlers of beer at your local craft beer or micro brewery and bring ‘em back for refills. Local places you can go (at least here in Southern California) to pick up a growler of some good beer is BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (who also carrys a decent selection of Belgian bottled beers), Pizza Port (in San Diego) or one of our favorites, Skyscraper Brewing Company in El Monte, Ca.
At any rate our point here is that you should be recycling to begin with so it’s time to up the ante by picking up a growler at your local brewery or brew pub. This means less bottles have to be produced (ya drunk!), less energy is used and carbon emissions produced in the manufacture and transport of bottles, and you have at least half a gallon of your favorite local brew sitting in your fridge waiting to be enjoyed. Get yerself a growler mate.
Jason “Go Green With a Growler” Stinnett