The American craft beer market is currently worth about $23.5 billion, and the number of brewers in the country is higher than it has ever been: 4,269 in 2015. Small and independent craft brewers are a growing share of that market, claiming 12% and growing.
And as American branch out into the independent brewing market, they’re getting a bit pickier, too. More and more people are drinking craft beer instead of the old big name labels, and among those who do, 84% like to choose their beer according to the season.
If you?re already choosing your craft beer according to the time of year, then you know exactly what beer you want and where to get it. The question is, do you always have to go out to get the good stuff, especially if you love beers that only come draft or keg?
Enter the growler, and here?s all you ever needed to know about something that every true craft beer lover should have:
What is a Growler?
It?s a container for transporting beer, basically. It?s essentially a personal keg, with a growler pressure cap that allows you to transport draft beer without losing quality along the way. An insulated stainless steel growler, for example, goes with you to the bar and comes home heavy with your favorite draft so you can drink it at home.
What Types of Growlers are There?
Basically you can choose from a glass, a ceramic, or a stainless steel growler. Within those three types you can also find insulated growlers and ones with a double wall. Naturally they also come in an infinite variety of possible customization.
The ceramic growlers are popular for their classy look, but can also be heavy and harder to clean. Glass growlers let you see how inside, which helps control the filling (and the emptying!) process. Glass growlers are easy to break, however. Stainless steel typically looks the least classy, but will keep beer cold for the longest period of time and is well-nigh indestructible.
Your growler pressure cap is a key element to the unit. It?s the cap that guarantees your beer stays as fresh as possible for as long as possible, and allows you to re-pressurize a bit after you?ve had a taste. It’s also the growler pressure cap that might need to be replaced occasionally; but it’s well worth the effort to do so if needed.
What Do I Do with My Growler?
Transport beer! Take it with you to your favorite bar and get some draft to take home. Share some of your keg with friends. Go to a local brewery and bring home some fresh stuff, if the brewer will allow it. Brew your own and use your growler to share. Or, use it to empty a keg when it?s getting close to being finished. Then you can tap a new keg while not losing the last of what was in the old.
A 64 ounce personal keg with a good growler pressure cap is easy to transport and the perfect way to taste a new draft, enjoy a favorite at home, and share your own good stuff with friends and family.