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. 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 home brewers). You’ve got more than a few choices here, so whatever your needs may be, read on to see our five 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 leak-proof 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” sized model for around 32 bucks.
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 homebrewer, you’ll need more than one growler and spending 30-plus bucks 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 notes perfectly.
The dark amber-colored glass keeps your brew safe from harmful light which will quickly cause it to go skunky (don’t store beer in any old clear jug you have lying around), and at $38 for a pack of six, you’re paying just over $6 per growler. 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 with some additional heavy-duty design touches like a large handle and the resilient exterior coating that Stanley bottles are known for. This $50 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 four 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 you can upgrade to the double-sized 128-ounce model for $200.
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