You may be wondering “how many beers in a growler” or “what is a growler” and in this guide we’ll give you answers to those questions as well as talking about growler types, beer growler storage to maintain freshness and reveal the best beer growler on the market.
Hello Monica Wants It readers, it’s Daniel here! I am a self-professed beer snob (or beer geek!) and wanted to share my random knowledge in a series of posts. Here’s the first one, and stay tuned for more beer, bourbon and booze content from your fave IG husband.
If you want to check out Monica’s latest decor posts and tutorials, head here.
- Are growlers a common size or can they vary?
- How many beers in a growler?
- Growlers vs. Crowlers vs. Bombers
- Differences between a growler you take to have filled vs. buying one from your favorite brewery.
- When would I buy/fill a growler instead of buying cans?
- Is a growler better than cans? What are the pros and cons?
- Where can one get craft beer growlers filled?
- What are the worst beer styles for a growler?
- Does a beer growler have to be kept cold?
- How quickly should you drink the beer in a growler?
- Are glass growler bottles or stainless steel growlers better?
- How can you tell if a beer in a growler has gone bad?
- Best luxury growler on the market
- Best budget growler on the market
- How to clean a growler (best practices)
- When could I use a growler?
- Can I use wine or spirits in a growler?
- My fave growler fill from Corpus Christi.
Are growlers a common size or can they vary?
Most growlers come in various sizes including 16 oz, 32 oz, and 64 oz. The capacity of the growler will depend on the model and type you buy. If you love fresh beer and are frequenting craft breweries, we would recommend purchasing 64-ounce growlers, especially if you plan to share with fellow beer lovers.
Basically, growlers come in different sizes and the best thing is that this means you can totally customize your growler experience.
How many beers in a growler?
The term “growler” is more about the container or vessel that you fill rather than a standard size or unit of measurement in the craft beer world.
Using a pint of beer, which is 16 ounces of beer, as the most common unit of measurements for beer bottles or your local pub, a growler will give you anywhere from one to four pints of beer (or 16 to 64 ounces)
Based on our various travels to craft breweries all over Texas, the average craft beer growler sold can hold 64 oz of beer which ends up being half a gallon or four pints.
So answering the question, “how many ounces in a growler of beer” will vary depending on the growler. I will say, the most common size seems to be about 64 ounces. A half-growler would then usually be 32 ounces.
To pick the best size for you, think about how much beer you like or plan to consume while also keeping in mind that growlers aren’t meant to store beer for weeks on end. For some, getting a 32-ounce growler may be a better idea than a half-gallon size.
Growlers vs. Crowlers vs. Bombers
What does this stuff mean?! If you are new to craft beer, you have no doubt encountered some or all of these terms. Here is a quick rundown of what these terms mean, and when you can expect to hear or see them.
Growlers are reusable containers for storing draft beer.
Think of a thermos, but way more fun. Growlers come in glass or stainless steel varieties, and can be purchased from various sources, including breweries and beer bars.
Growlers come in sizes ranging from 16 ounces to 128 ounces, and are great for someone who wants to take home the freshest beer possible, and appreciate the chance to cut back on aluminum or glass entering landfills.
Beer crowlers are basically cans of beer that are filled and sealed to-order.
Crowlers are single-use cans. Crowler can sizes range from 16 ounces to 32 ounces. Beer crowlers are basically cans of beer that are filled and sealed to-order, and provide both freshness and longevity for your beer.
Many breweries offer crowlers in addition to growlers to give customers the most options possible.
Bombers are larger-format bottles of beer, and typically contain 22 fluid ounces.
Beer bombers are frequently found at retail stores that sell beer, but can also be found at breweries that produce them, and beer bars that sell them.
Differences between a growler you take to have filled vs. buying one from your favorite brewery.
Breweries and beer bars that fill growlers usually have branded growlers with the brewery’s logo available for purchase. This is a great way of supporting your local craft brewery by purchasing a 64-oz growler directly through them.
In the wake of this pandemic, as a sanitation precaution some establishments have chosen to fill only their own growlers, so we recommend all beer enthusiasts check ahead of time to confirm their policy. This is especially important if you’re traveling out of town to support small breweries.
And as always, please be kind and remember each head brewer is working hard to turn out amazing beer selection and giving us access to fresh craft beer on demand. So if their growler filling process has changed, give them some grace.
When would I buy/fill a growler instead of buying cans?
Growlers are a great option for when you may want to try a beer, without committing to a pack of cans or bottles. There are also times where a limited release or special release beer is only available on-tap, and so getting a growler filled will give you the chance to take some home for your enjoyment.
The use of growlers is also a common way to take beers to local beer shares where beer geeks and craft beer lovers unite all in the spirit of sharing and trying new beers.
Is a growler better than cans? What are the pros and cons?
The great thing about growlers, in addition to accessing limited or rare release beers, is the fact it is FRESH DRAFT BEER. Breweries and beer bars work through and rotate small kegs rapidly, so odds are good that you will be getting the freshest beer available in your growler.
On the other hand, beer in a growler has a much shorter shelf life than packaged beer, and once a growler has been opened, the clock starts ticking even faster. In fact, a growler should be refrigerated as soon as possible after filling, and consumed within a week to ensure carbonation and freshness.
And as always, you’ll want to keep your beer out of direct sunlight, especially if your growler is made from amber glass (or clear glass growlers).
Where can one get craft beer growlers filled?
Breweries with the proper license can fill your growler, along with bars that specialize in craft beer. The best option is usually heading to your local breweries and seeing what their best sellers are and getting your own growler fill.
In larger metro areas, you may find some beer drinkers have started local beer groups on Facebook. Join in the fun, make some friends and search the group to see if anyone has favorite beers they love that you could try out.
What are the worst beer styles for a growler?
Most beers are perfect for a growler, so whether you’re into lagers, stouts, sours or IPA’s, a growler will serve you well. However, there are certain beers that you should probably skip getting a growler fill.
Beers that can be easily found in package format (ex: local grocery stores, gas stations, retail store, local beer stores) are not good choices for growlers. Most people won’t be getting growler fills of Dos Equis, Heineken or Bud Light because you can easily find them in bottles and cans.
The price per ounce of filling a growler is higher than packaged beer, so best to stick to beer that either cannot be obtained in a package or otherwise fresh. It’s also fun to know that the only way to get your hands on a beer is either to have a pint at a bar or get a growler fill.
Monica’s note: I know my beer geek loves the feeling of exclusivity, but then again, he also hates FOMO if he can’t get his hands on special beers or rare beers.
Does a beer growler have to be kept cold?
Yes! For the best quality possible, refrigerate your growler soon after filling. Bottom line is you need to keep the beer cold and air-tight to increase the preservation length. A chilled, unopened growler will last longer than a sitting in a hot car growler of beer.
If you plan to transport beer to a vacation or a day at the beach, keeping it in an ice chest will help. If you plan to take the beer home, aim to keep it cold and stick it in the fridge.
How quickly should you drink the beer in a growler?
Try to drink the contents of your growler within a week; two weeks at most for best results.
Just remember, the clock starts ticking even faster once you open your growler, so don’t open it on day one and return to it on day ten and expect the same quality of beer.
Are glass growler bottles or stainless steel growlers better?
Just like there are many sizes for growlers, there are also different types of growlers. You’ll notice different materials such as amber glass jar type, clear glass containers, ceramic growlers, as well as stainless steel types that may or not offer carbon dioxide cartridge options to help keep the carbonation.
It depends on your preference, but stainless steel growlers have been easier to clean and stay colder for longer, so they get the nod from Daniel. But truly the most important part of any growler is that it is an air-tight jug that is clean!
How can you tell if a beer in a growler has gone bad?
Infections in a growler are unlikely so long as it has been properly sanitized and washed before and after each fill. Keeping your growler clean is the best way to prevent any funky issues.
Beer won’t necessarily go bad in a growler, but the remaining beer is likely go flat and reduce your enjoyment if you open it and don’t consume within a few days. A growler is designed to store beer for short periods of time.
Once you have an empty growler, make sure to wash it with hot soapy water and let it fully dry so it’s ready for your next beer run.
Best luxury growler on the market
The uKeg from GrowlerWerks is the best beer growler for someone who enjoys draft beer. Monica got me this exact model one year for my birthday, and I’ve used it so many times during our craft beer travels in South and Central Texas (like our super fun Marble Falls vacation in 2016).
The uKeg offers 64 or 128 oz capacity, serves as a mini-keg, and provides the longest freshness thanks to its carbonation feature powered by food-grade C02 cartridges. The cartridges are pretty affordable, and I can attest that this growler stays very cold and well insulated.
Best budget growler on the market
Among my fellow beer snobs, we all agree that this growler is a great option for someone who enjoys draft beer and is budget conscious or maybe doesn’t plan to get growler fills often.
It offers 64 oz capacity, a stainless steel vessel, and a swing top lid to keep a tight seal until you are ready to enjoy the contents.
This pair of amber glass growlers is also a great, super affordable (less than $15 each) entry point in the world of growlers. Gift one to a fellow craft beer snob or go in halfsies with a friend.
How to clean a growler (best practices)
Growlers should be washed as soon as they are emptied with hot water. A bottle brush can be used if your beer left behind any stubborn dregs or a foamy film, and there are also cleaning tablets and powders offered specifically for your growler.
When could I use a growler?
Growlers are great for any occasion, but especially when you want to share some beer with friends as we mentioned earlier. Taking a growler over to your buddy’s house for the big game, or out to the lake to enjoy a summer day…as long as you have a way to keep it cold or in an ice chest, sky’s the limit.
Remember to bring your glassware.
Can I use wine or spirits in a growler?
Wine will do great in growlers, particularly reds and others that aren’t highly carbonated. I would not recommend a growler for champagne or bubbly type wines or spritzers since most of the carbonation will be lost.
Spirits probably won’t be great in a growler, as the introduction of air and other environmental factors can affect the purity of the spirit.
My fave growler fill from Corpus Christi.
That beer was fantastic on tap, and I knew I had to take some home for later. That growler did not last the night! It is fun to bring the craft brewery bar experience home and get to enjoy fresh beer on the couch with Monica and Pee Wee.