Growlers have been used to transport beer home from the local pub since the early 1800s, and since then, there has been one major setback to the use of growlers - as soon as a growler is filled, you have only had about a day to enjoy it before it becomes flat or oxidized (stale). This was especially true when people used tin pails without lids and prior to refrigeration. However, even today many bars and retail stores fill glass growlers directly from their beer tap (sometimes using a silicone tube to fill from the bottom). While a container with a cap and filled from the bottom will last a few days, it's still not a solution to the problem.
When breweries package their beer in bottles, cans, and growlers, they do three key things to ensure the freshness and shelf life of their product:
- Purge the oxygen out of the container with Co2
- Fill the container while under pressure (counter-pressure filling)
- Cap on foam to limit the amount of oxygen left in the headspace of the container
While breweries are doing this, many bars and stores are not because the equipment is expensive, and the consumer has not been selective enough to demand it thus far.
That's not good enough for us. The Glass Jug has invested the money in high-end specialty growler filling equipment - the same kind that the breweries use. It's not cheap, but we believe it's worth it to deliver a superior product to our customers, allowing you to enjoy fresh draft beer (as the breweries intended it) from the comfort of your home.
Some beer is still best enjoyed fresh - most ales and anything with a lot of hops should be consumed quickly. But, growlers filled on our counter-pressure system will allow you to store any beer in the refrigerator for up to a few months. While we can't guarantee freshness past a few months, the right beers should age in growlers as well as they do in bottles when stored properly.