If you spilled beer on yourself, would you go days without showering? Of course you wouldn’t. Okay, maybe you know someone who might, but not you. So why should your growler be any different?
While growlers are certainly not new to the scene, they are becoming increasingly popular. From traditional glass growlers and handmade ceramics to the latest stainless steel technologies, there is one thing they all have in common. No matter what beer you choose to fill your growler with, you are guaranteed to have poor quality beer if you don’t clean your growler properly.
The Brewers Association (BA) recently released a Facts About Growlers tip sheet with some helpful hints and guidelines for proper growler care that we wanted to share with you.
Growler Cleaning Tips
- Cleaning detergents should not be fat or oil-based.
- Proper detergent ratios should be used to ensure thorough cleaning as well as avoid residual chemicals.
- Growlers should be cleaned, sanitized, rinsed and allowed to air dry immediately after emptying.
- After cleaning, growlers should be stored with the lid unsealed.
Growler Safety Tips
- No matter what kind of container is used, consumers and filling establishments must be aware that all growlers are pressurized containers. The growler container used must be able to withstand the pressures exerted by carbonated beer as well as the growler filling method.
- If the lid is a twist-off, go for plastic. Metal twist-off lids don’t allow air to leak if the pressure becomes too much.
- Glass growlers with engravings or etchings are unsafe to fill. Just like a chipped or cracked glass growler, pressure strength of these growlers will be significantly reduced.
- To avoid shattered glass or an explosion, don’t allow the growler to warm (like in a hot car) or freeze. These actions increase pressure, especially if the growler is over-filled (always leave 5% headspace).
There are many things to know about growler care, safety and hygiene. Check out the Brewers Association’s Facts About Growlers to help make sure you get the most out of your craft beer at home.
Tiffany Lutke (@TiffanyLutke) is the current Craft Beer Program intern at the Brewers Association. She spent her days as a kid in the small craft brewery her father owned on the east coast, which led to her love for small and independent breweries. When she’s not pouring beer at Upslope Brewing Company taproom in Boulder, she’s sharing pints with old friends at her favorite beer bars like The Mayor of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colo.