Caring for Your Growler!

At Lower Forge, we fill 32 ounce and 64 ounce Growlers as a way to bring fresh beer from our brewery’s taps to your friends and family – wherever you may get together. The origin of where the Growler gets its name is lost in history, but the popular story is that during the late nineteenth century metal pails were used to transport beer between local taverns and homes. As carbon dioxide (CO2) escaped around the pail lid, the sound would supposedly resemble a low growl.

Modern Growlers, whether glass or stainless steel, are a different experience. With tight lids and measures taken to keep as much CO2 from escaping, they can survive the journey home and even provide fresh draft beer long after being poured from the brewery taps. If cared for properly, your Growler can provide a great drinking experience for many trips to local breweries and craft beer shops, and the fantastic beers you may discover.

The biggest secret to proper Growler care? Cleaning.

  • After using your growler, immediately rinse it out with hot water. Use a plastic bottle brush to make sure the hot water wash removes any remaining beer residue before allowing it to dry.
  • Dry your Growler upside down in a dish or bottle rack, allowing any residual water inside your Growler to completely drain
  • When the growler is completely dry, store it with the lid or cap removed – or better yet, stop by the brewery and try another beer as your next fill.

Things to avoid.

  • Using soap with a Growler is a bad idea, since soap residue (especially fat or oil-based soap residue) is more difficult to remove than even beer and can potentially ruin multiple future fills by lingering on the interior surface of the Growler.
  • Never use a wire brush or other cleaner surface that can scratch the inside of your growler, this could provide a space for mold or bacteria to grow and would ruin the container altogether.
  • Dishwashers are just not Growler-friendly. Alongside the soap, and the negatives mentioned above, dishwashers can easily chip or break growlers – especially at the neck where the Growler would be weakest.

You forgot to wash your Growler…

It happens to all of us, and suddenly you have a dirty growler with beer residue that won’t easily clean out with a hot water wash. Here, you can learn from our brewers the process we use to initially clean new Growlers for sale in the sampling room. Head over to your local homebrewing store a food-grade sanitizer that does not leave a residue. We recommend visiting Keg & Barrel Homebrew Supply in Berlin and picking up PBW, a powdered washing agent, and Star San, an inexpensive foaming sanitizer used by many brewers and homebrewers. Make sure that you follow the directions on each bottle, and when you visit them – you’ll always find a wealth of knowledge and advice for maintaining your beerware too (more than just cleaners and sanitizers).

Hopefully with this advice, you’ll find that your Growler will be a perfect companion when visiting our sampling room or many other local breweries to bring home some fresh, locally brewed beer to enjoy!

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