Being a fan of craft beer, you will inevitably come across a brewery that doesn’t bottle or can all their offerings (I’m looking at you and your freaking delicious Oktoberfest, Big Storm Brewing Co). If you want to enjoy some at a later time, you’ll need a growler.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or you tend to read my ramblings solely because of the food, a growler is simply a resealable container that allows you fill up your favorite beers at a taphouse or microbrewery for consumption at a later date. Since Florida finally eliminated the asinine ban on the 64 oz. varieties in May, these containers are becoming more and more commonplace.
With the holidays around the corner you may be looking to get yourself or the craft-beer-lover in your life a growler or two of some favorite brews. If so, you’ll likely be tempted to buy one from the microbrewery where you purchase the beer. Don’t.
Make no mistake, I am not discouraging buying brewery-branded growlers at all, just do that on an average Tuesday. For the holidays, if you’re looking for a growler as a gift for yourself or for someone else, look no further than one from the Portland Growler Company.
These growlers are handcrafted pieces of art; a remarkable combination of form and function. Portland Growlers come in a variety of designs and colors with a number of different options and add-ons like logos, leather leashes and carrying crates for transporting more than one.
Form: I went with the 64 oz. design called the Loop in the satin gray color pictured above. I chose the logo (because I personally think their tagline is clever) and went with a second on the cap. I won’t lie, when I put this down on the bar at my favorite taphouse, a number of fellow zythophiles commented on how cool it looked. I’m the last person who cares about that sort of thing, but this growler definitely gave me some street-cred.
Function: Being ceramic, this bad boy has some weight to it, even empty. That translates to a heavier load to carry but the tradeoff is that this growler keeps your beer chilled longer than any metal or glass variety I’ve ever seen. To me, that’s worth its weight in gold because I sometimes travel an hour or more to visit some of my favorite breweries. The only thing glass has over it is being able to physically see how much liquid is left. However, anyone with basic math skills can figure out how many beers the bottle holds (and with simple subtraction, how much is left) so that shouldn’t even be considered a con.
Cards on the table, these growlers are not really what I’d consider inexpensive, but neither great art nor superior products ever are. Craft beer isn’t cheap either so if you’re only frequenting your local sports bar for 99 cent drafts, you probably have no need for one anyway.
Worth every penny in this zythophile’s humble opinion.
Own a Portland Growler? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
And remember… the food abides…