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Growlers roaring as a new old way to buy beer

on 19/10/11 at 10:25 am


Ed McAleer likes to drink his brown ale and IPA straight from a beer tap. But he doesn’t need to be in a pub to do so.

When he has a hankering for a draft beer at home, McAleer pours himself a cold one from a growler, a refillable 64-ounce glass jug that he buys from Federal Jack’s, a brewpub and restaurant in his hometown of Kennebunkport. If he’s having friends over, he’ll sometimes pick up two or three growlers filled with different types of beer so his guests can sample a variety.

Around the country, hundreds of brewpubs, breweries and even grocery stores are cashing in on the growing popularity of growlers, a term that dates back more than a century. when people would carry fresh beer in buckets.

“I like the ability to get a draft taste instead of a bottled beer. To me it’s a fresher taste,” said McAleer, 61, who is retired. “I also can’t get some of the beers in bottles. And the price is good.”

Most everybody knows beer comes in bottles, cans or kegs. Mention the word “growler” and you might get a blank stare.

But the moonshine jug-looking containers are catching on, said Julia Herz of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo. Generally speaking, people buy growlers at brewpubs, where they’re filled with beer and capped. After they’re brought home, the beer will stay good for two to five days once opened.


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