Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Growler Problem

Hi, my name is Bill and I have a growler problem.

The problem is, I love them.

I buy them constantly.

And I have no space for them.

Mind you, this little issue doesn't stop me from buying them. But they are starting to pile up in my basement.

How bad is my problem?

I once ordered a six pack of growlers from the Fenway Boston Beer Works.

Yup. A six pack of growlers.

It was 1995, I think. A Friday night in early spring. I waltzed in after work and calmly ordered 6 growlers, including one of a cask beer that had to be hand pumped. (This was all for a party I was throwing that night, not all for personal consumption.)

In my defense, I was a regular there at that point of my life, the staff knew me (and my drinking buddy, Daupha) very well. We drank a lot, but we always tipped well, and we weren't demanding. But still, a six pack of growlers on a Friday night at 6pm is not a bar tenders favorite order.

I am "that guy". I love carrying around a big ass glass jug of fresh beer.

I do not know why.

But what exactly is a "growler"?

Well, as you might have gathered from the photos here, its a big glass jug of beer, typically 64 or 32 ounces- usually filled directly from the tap (there are special growler filling machines, but they are not widely used around here at the moment. Harpoon has one, it's pretty nifty to watch). A growler is best consumed within a day or two of purchase, as most are not flushed with CO2 priors to filling.  If you do purchase from a brewer who has a special filling machine, you can keep an unopened growler in the fridge for a few days.

According to The Oxford Companion To Beer, growlers came to be back  in the late 1800's, early 1900's when men sent their kids to pubs to fetch a bucket of beer for them to have with lunch. Why buckets? Because most beer back then was only avalable on draft. Pubs of the day apparently catered to the growler trade, often having a "family entrance", aka a window near the entrance where one could pick up the beer without entering the bar! These buckets had lids to prevent spillage, and apparently they made a "growling" sound created from the carbonation escaping from the beer sloshing around in a covered bucket being carried by a running child. (all so his/her father could enjoy a beer with lunch. Why didn't they teach this stuff in history class? THIS is what made America great- buckets of beer for lunch! But I digress....)

So, in closing, I like growlers.

Do you like growlers? How many are cluttering up your house?