If you're a draft beer lover, you know there's nothing better than keeping your beer fresh and cold on a hot day. The best way to accomplish this is to use a growler.
If you have begun the research in choosing a growler, you know there are many options out there. The top ones people choose are insulated stainless steel growlers and traditional glass growlers. Your decision between these options comes down to your lifestyle and how much you enjoy sipping the amber nectar.
To make it easier, we are comparing the pros and cons of glass vs. insulated stainless steel growlers.
The Pros of a Glass Growler
Simple glass growlers are a great way to start enjoying your favorite beer from the local breweries. Brown glass growlers are inexpensive and sold at many breweries and stores, with many locations offering a refill discount for those who bring their growler back.
The traditional glass growler also has a timeless look that has been used for years, and if it's worked for this long, they have to be doing something right. If you plan on filling your growler with fresh beer and enjoying it with friends within a couple of hours, the glass growler is a good choice for you.
The Cons of a Glass Growler
Though the glass growler is a timeless classic, it also has its drawbacks. For instance, your growler really is a glorified glass bottle and can therefore break. Dropping a growler filled with cold beer is the ultimate party foul.
Also, if you plan on taking your beer to the beach, many don't allow glass. Second, glass growlers have cheaper seals. This means they let out the CO2 inside, losing carbonation and resulting in a flat beer. I don't know about you, but a flat beer is not something I particularly enjoy.
Lastly, unless you plan on putting your growler in a refrigerator right away, your beer is going to get warm and skunky. A sealed glass growler can keep your beer cold for a while, but they have limitations on hot days.
The Pros of an Insulated Stainless Steel Growler
If you've been using a glass growler up until now, you may be wondering, "are stainless steel growlers good?"
An insulated stainless steel growler is going to last you a long time. More so, a stainless steel vacuum insulated growler will keep your beer cold and your carbonation levels right. Opting for a double walled, stainless steel growler helps with durability and liquid temperature (To learn how vacuum insulation works, check out our post here).
Dropping a stainless steel growler may result in a dent, but certainly not a shatter. An insulated growler is also going to keep your beer cold for a long time. Most stainless steel growlers will keep your beer (or other beverage) cold for 24+ hours, which means you can bring your beer on your next camping trip, hike, or road trip to the beach and enjoy it at the right temperature.
If you happen to have a growler that's made with 18/8 medical grade stainless steel (like all of our growlers), it won't retain the flavor of your last fill resulting in a fantastic tasting beer. This also means you can fill it with other contents such as kombucha or coffee (yes, insulated growlers keep hot drinks hot too).
Another benefit of using a stainless steel growler is the innovation in design. Traditional glass growlers haven't changed much over the years, with many still boasting the same awkward handle used during the prohibition era. Many stainless steel growlers have swapped out the uncomfortable carrying handle for a more ergonomic, comfortable side handle.
Finally, stainless steel growlers are more versatile. If you're not a beer drinker, you can still use this for other cold or hot beverages. The seal will help maintain carbonation, whether your transporting mix for your camping cocktails or champagne to celebrate the end of your hike.
The Cons of an Insulated Stainless Steel Growler
The pros of an insulated growler far outweigh the cons, but it's good to point them out in case it's not the right fit for you.
Insulated growlers are more expensive than glass growlers. With a high price tag, it can be hard to make the investment, but the durability and lifetime are much greater than the glass option. You should also check with your favorite breweries to determine whether they offer a BYOG—Bring Your Own Growler— option or if they only fill their own branded bottles.
Another downside is that you can't see inside the growler. This can make it harder to fill or know how much you have left. Growlers can be difficult to clean as it is, and not being able to see as well doesn't help.
High-quality stainless steel won't allow for flavor transfer. However, if you buy a low-quality stainless steel growler, you're at risk of getting a tinny taste in your preferred craft beer.
The Best Stainless Steel Growler for You
Ultimately your decision between glass and insulated stainless steel comes down to how you like to enjoy your beer. If you fill your growler and consume it right away, then a glass growler will do fine. If you can't consume your beer right away, you'll need to refrigerate your glass growler to keep your beer fresh.
If you plan on enjoying a pint of craft beer after a long hike in the mountains, then an insulated stainless steel growler would be the best option. Also, remember that insulated growlers have better seals to keep your beer fresh, your hot drinks hot, and your cold drinks cold.
The MiiR growler is made of high-quality stainless steel with double wall vacuum insulation and holds 64 ounces (that's four pints) of your favorite beer. If you're looking for something more portable, try the Howler, a 32oz little brother to the growler.
If you are going to spend money on a top-quality beer, then you should make sure you have a top-quality growler.