What Is A Growler?

Whether you love craft beer or are just getting into it, it’s about time you find out what a growler is. It’s a way to enjoy beer that’s seeing a resurgence in popularity, and we all like new ways to enjoy beer, after all.

Put simply, a growler is a glass or stainless steel jug with a screw-top or flip-top lid, plus a small handle close to the spout. And yes, it’s used to hold beer – typically craft beer.

What is a Growler?

Growlers date back a few decades (1989, to be exact) and are becoming more and more popular in the world of craft beer. 


That’s what this guide’s here to answer. Below, we run through what growlers are, the advantages of using growlers, and how growlers differ from crowlers. 

So if you are also wondering what crowlers are, make sure to keep reading. 

What Are Growlers?

Growlers, or growler beers, are beers that come in a growler container – usually a jug-like bottle that’s made from stainless steel or glass, with caps that are screw-top or flip-top.

Growlers also have a small handle on the side – for added convenience, of course.

Growlers are popular (and getting more and more popular) among craft beer breweries and craft beer drinkers. Beer can be served in a growler at craft beer breweries and pubs, or bought in growlers to be enjoyed at home.

Like bottles and cans, growlers are designed to keep the beer fresh.

In some cases, growlers are also intended for reusable purposes (including refills), and sometimes for special or limited edition craft beer releases, making them more desirable among craft beer enthusiasts. 

What Size Are Growlers?

So what sizes do growlers come in?

Growlers come in various sizes, but the most common are 32-ounce growlers and 64-ounce growlers.

64 ounces is more common, and often referred to as the standard growler size. 16-ounce and 128-ounce growlers exist, but are not as common as 32 ounces or 64 ounces.

As a result, growlers are bigger than your average 11-ounce can or bottle of beer, making them ideal for sharing or taking home. 

Where Can You Get Growlers?

If you haven’t seen a growler in person yet, you probably haven’t been to enough breweries, brew pubs, or craft beer stores.

Craft beer breweries and craft beer pubs are where you’ll have the best chance of finding them, where they’re used for serving and buying craft beers.

Some craft beer brewers will also offer growlers for sale or rent, through which they can be refilled onsite or exchanged for another growler beer.

Needless to say, there’s a certain appeal for growlers, especially as a unique way to enjoy craft beer!

How Long Does Beer Last In A Growler?

Growlers are designed to keep beer fresh, but they are not as long-lasting as bottles or cans. So if unopened, you can expect growlers to keep tap beer fresh for 3 days, up to a week.

Otherwise, an opened growler beer will go flat pretty quickly – within a day or two at most.

Of course, this will also depend on the beer inside the growler. And the more hoppy or carbonated the beer is, the shorter the shelf life will be once opened.

The bottom line? Always finish an unopened growler within a week at most!

Can Growlers Be Cleaned?

What is a Growler?

Since growlers are sometimes reused and bought as souvenirs, is it possible to clean a growler?

The simple answer here is yes – growlers can be cleaned and reused. And you can clean them in the same way as you clean any other bottle or jug.

Simply empty any remaining beer from the growler, rinse with hot water, scrub the inside with dishwashing soap, then rinse once again to remove the soap.

What Are The Advantages Of Growlers?

Still not sold?

There are some advantages to growlers that have helped them become more and more popular in recent years, especially among craft beer breweries, craft beer brewers, and craft beer drinkers.

Just some of the advantages of growlers include:

  • Bigger Size – growlers are bigger than the standard-sized beer bottle or beer can, making them better for sharing or enjoying at home
  • Reusable – growlers can be reused, kept as souvenirs, and even refilled or exchanged at some craft beer breweries and brewpubs
  • Convenient – growlers make it easier to transport fresh beer due to their size and handle design
  • Unique Appeal – some craft beer enthusiasts view growlers as a unique way to drink and showcase their passion for craft beer

What Is The Difference Between A Growler And Crowler?

Growlers are not the same as crowlers. So, last but not least, it’s well worth understanding the difference!

Unlike growlers, crowlers share more similarities with cans than the glass or steel jug-like bottles used for growler beers. They are typically made of aluminium, with a sealed can design and a standard size of 32 ounces.

As a result, crowlers are smaller and not used for refillable purposes – due to their material and sealed design.

They’re also not as common as growlers, and may only be available for certain craft beers sold at specific craft beer breweries and stores.

So which is better, growlers or crawlers? Neither! It all comes down to personal preference, as well as how the beer will be consumed.

Crowlers are better for long shelf life, while growlers are better for their reusability, portability, and unique appeal.


Overall, growlers are jug-like bottles for transporting and drinking beer, especially craft beer, with flip-top or screw-top caps and small handles on the side for convenience and uniqueness of design.

They are most common in two sizes: 32 ounces and 64 ounces.

Growlers, also called growler beers, are rising in popularity among craft beer breweries and craft beer drinkers, thanks to their larger size, refillability, and unique design that differs from traditional beer bottles and cans.

Some craft beers may only be sold in growlers, especially as limited or special edition releases, which only adds to their appeal!

Rees Vaughn
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