I noticed a local grocery store has now put in a growler filling station and we just had a new business open up which is primarily a growler filling operation. Truth be told I think growlers are a great idea for taking home a half-gallon of beer. The problem is once they are opened the clock starts to tick. Either your beer will be flat the next time you come to it or you get to consume 64 ounces of beer. Now normally I would say drink up, but I like variety so downing four pints of the same beer just isn’t all that appealing unless you are at a party or event where the beer isn’t front and center or you are bringing beer to share. I rarely have the same beer twice in a night and unless I am finishing a growler certainly don’t have it four times. A growler is not always the lowest cost either. 64 ounces is 5.3 bottles if the bottles are 12 ounces. The local grocery store is selling a growler of local pale ale for $10 when you could get a six-pack of the same beer for $8 so they really are not doing you any favors, in fact, they are making more on the growler fill than they make on the six-pack. Of course they did have to install the equipment and keep up the extra maintenance, but my bottom line is which is more economical and might taste better. In this case since they are local the growler and the bottle should both be similar in terms of freshness so I’d opt for the bottle. On a more obscure offering the keg might be fresher so that has to be taken into consideration.
I’ll occasionally still pick up a growler, but not without some thought. At least in NC I can use any old growler for the fill which is allowed by the establishment. Maybe I should stick one in the car for emergency purposes. 😉