Growlers have become pretty commonplace in the craft beer world in the last year or two. They have their disadvantages (you have to drink the beer within a day or two upon opening the growler), but they give customers access to many more offerings, and give local, small breweries a chance to get beer in front of customers without the hassles of label approvals and bottling lines. They are also environmentally friendly.
However, it seems as if many local places are missing the point. Growlers are supposed to be cheaper than bottles. Always. No exceptions. There are no label approval fees, no packaging materials, and no bottling lines. Kegs are also cheaper for a bottle shop to buy than individual cases. Yet there are several stores in town that price growlers of a beer higher than the same beer in the bottles. In some cases, this is true when both are in stock!!!
We can change this by not supporting silly pricing and gently asking stores to adjust to a reasonable dollar amount. Ready, set, go!
7 thoughts on “A Short Rant On Growlers”
You’re right on the money here. I haven’t encountered a growler being more expensive then a 4-pack or 6-pack, but I’ve seen many times where its the exact same price (when broken down per bottle).
1st off, you can stretch out the growler life of a beer by using quality yet simple black electrical tape. Wrap it up around the seams, give it a good squeeze, and put in the fridge. You just have to remember to tape it after ever pour because you might decide that the one you just poured is enough for the evening. Hey those big 12+ ABV barley wines, bourbon barreled, and other heavy hitter types make 64oz. tough on a weeknight. It really does add a few extra days.
The 2nd point is just wrong. My preferred growler source will typically sell their craft beer growlers a 1 or 2$’s cheaper than the comparable sixer. Usually the higher the price the craft beer the bigger the difference. Of course even kegs of the hard to get variety are sometimes pricey. What helps is they have a buy 10 get one free frequent buyer punch card free (well $9.99 credit anyway).
Of course this is in Columbia SC and not the queen city.
Your first point is true for the beginning of life, but once you open it, I disagree. Once you make the first pour, you now have oxygen sitting on top of your beer. Even if you could keep the carbonation high, you would have oxidized beer very shortly. It’s the same concept for a bottle of wine.
On the second one, I am making a general comment about local places in Cincinnati. That part is not wrong. There are some, Party Town in KY for example, that price their growlers very well. However, the vast majority do not. Maybe this is not the case in Columbia. I am not really referring here to one off kegs of things that are hard to get, but more regular/local stuff.
And 1 to 2 dollars less for the growler vs the 6-pack really isn’t a savings depending on the price. A growler is essentially 5 bottles. So if the 6-pack is $12 and the growler is $10 you haven’t saved anything at a per bottle rate. You’re still paying $2 for 12 ounces.
I love my growler, for parties or tastings. Especially with “typical” beer consumers, they already know be as that beer dude and now here I come with a jug of the stuff! For casual home consumption by myself I’ll stick to 12 oz bottles or 22 oz bombers.
Also, after emptying a growler it’s hard for me to resist the temptation to be a 1 man jug band 🙂
i can see what you are saying about the oxidation but i still think it helps slow it some, i think it’s worth an extra couple of days. Also, i think it depends on how often you are opening it – pour a couple on thurs and not get back to finish till sat, i don’t think you lose that much by taping the top. Maybe if it was a high carbonated saison or kolsch. of course a growler of kolsch aint to hard to drink in an evening.
I guess my price comment was a little off and after reading your comments i do see what Tom is saying about the $2/oz comment. So I rethunk’d it. i have seen were bomber a $5 of Stone Ruination will be a 9.99 fill while a 6.99 oaked or double ruination might be 12.99 . Is that the kind of savings you had in mind? I used total wine which compares to the store i am refering to:
Basically the price of 44 get you get 64oz.
In that case it is a great deal, unfortunately I haven’t seen any deals like that around here.
Hey you want to be trendy, hip, and outside the flow then be prepared to pay. Being cool isn’t cheap.