Whether you’re filling up at your favorite local craft brewery or you’re brewing some homemade suds yourself, the historic growler has long been and still remains one of the best ways to store your beer while retaining its flavor (but only if you know how to properly clean it). These handy vessels have come a long way from the cork-topped ceramic jugs of yesteryear (of the kind most commonly associated with moonshine), with today’s market offering everything from no-nonsense but high-quality glass growlers to insulated stainless steel models that can keep your beer frosty for hours and hours.
The craft brewing renaissance has brought this alcohol icon back in a big way, and for one simple reason: Refillable growlers, typically sized at 64 ounces, are one of the most cost-effective ways to stock up on your favorite brews, giving you more bang for the buck than you get buying bottles and cans (glass growlers are also a must-have among homebrewers).
If you are a newbie in storing your brews or you’re just looking for new options, there will always be one growler that will suit your needs. So whatever those may be, you’ve got more than a few choices here. Read on to see our top picks for the best growlers available right now.
The Miir growler represents the best that modern design has to offer. Most well-made insulated steel growlers will keep your beer chilled, but the Miir edges out just about every other model when it comes to maintaining your brew’s cold, fresh, and fizzy taste thanks to its double-walled, vacuum-sealed construction. Its sleek aesthetics don’t hurt, either.
The Miir insulated beer growler is built of sturdy, BPA-free, 18/8 stainless steel, the top choice for drinking as it doesn’t impart any foul tastes to your drink. A leakproof lid, narrower mouth, and integrated handle make pouring a clean and easy one-handed affair, as well. The standard-sized 64-ounce Miir growler rings in at $50, but you can also grab a 32-ounce “squeaker” model for around $32.
A sportier and slightly cheaper alternative to our top pick is this insulated growler from Takeya, which takes a more water-bottle-like approach to beer growler design. In fact, there’s no reason that the Takeya growler can’t pull double duty as your go-to vessel for water and sports drinks, thanks to its insulated spout lid that lets you drink right from the bottle.
This growler also features similar double-walled, vacuum-insulated, 18/8 stainless steel construction to the Miir. The only things that kept it out of the number one slot were the Miir’s slightly better performance and the Takeya’s very sporty overall design, but this growler is nonetheless a fine pick that also happens to be available in more sizes and colors than our top pick.
Most of our picks are built for people looking to carry or store 64 ounces of their favorite brew, but if you’re a dedicated home brewer, you’ll need more than one growler, and spending over $30 on each one will get expensive quickly. If all you need is some inexpensive, no-frills, old-school glass growlers, these ones from Libbey hit all the right notes.
The dark, amber-colored glass keeps your brew safe from harmful light, which could quickly cause it to go skunky (don’t store beer in any old clear jug you have lying around). Better still: These amber glass Libbey growlers are made right here in the United States.
A lot of the modern growlers you’ll find today feature stainless steel construction, which certainly makes them more durable than glass but still not necessarily made for outdoor adventures. For that, you’ll want to consider the Stanley Classic growler set, which is purpose-built for handling just about anything that Mother Nature can throw at it.
This thermos-style growler features similar vacuum-sealed insulation to other stainless steel models, but it has some additional heavy-duty design touches like a large handle and the resilient exterior coating that Stanley bottles are known for. This $80 bundle also comes with four 12-ounce stacking steel cups, giving you everything you need to share some beer around the campfire.
The biggest advantage of a 64-ounce growler — namely, its ability to hold 4 pints’ worth of beer — is also its greatest drawback: Inevitable loss of carbonation. That’s not a problem if you’re going to drink the contents relatively quickly or you’re sharing it with friends, but it doesn’t take long for a beer (or any carbonated beverage) to go flat. Enter the GrowlerWerks uKeg, which solves this age-old problem with the addition of a CO2-powered pressurized tap.
This CO2 carbonation keeps your beer fresh for weeks, and the uKeg growler comes with everything you need to serve up a cold, bubbly brew, right down to the dispenser tap and pressure gauge. You can opt for either the 64-ounce uKeg (the standard growler size) for roughly $150 or the double-sized 128-ounce model for $200.
The Hydroflask growler is designed to accompany you on your happy hour with friends for long periods with its Fresh Carry System and TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation. You don’t need to worry about your brew losing its desired temperature as this growler keeps your suds icy cold for up to 24 hours, thanks to its 18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel construction.
This $65 growler features a leakproof cap, ensuring that with every sip you take, it will be as carbonated as the first pour. Plus, its streamlined handle makes this easy to carry for your every adventure.
If you are planning a long trip out of town with your friends, this insulated growler from Coleman is the best option to store your beverages. It features a durable, double-walled, vacuum-insulated 18/8 stainless steel design that keeps beverages hot for up to 42 hours and cold for up to 76 hours. Plus, it also helps in having a sweat-free handle on things even when the temperature of your drink rises.
The Coleman Growler was also designed to make pouring easier and ensuring that it’s glove-friendly with its flip-away lid and easy-open, textured grip. For only $40 for the 64-ounce, you can carry this on any of your backpacking trips, and your drinks will be ready at the right temperature.
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