Caring for Your Growler

The Legal Growler

Did you know that there is a legal growler in the State of Maryland? The law requires that growlers have to be branded with the brewery’s logo and have cleaning instructions. The Federal Government even chimes in, your friendly half gallon jug must also have the Surgeon General’s Warning printed on it. See the image below:

Growler with legal requirements

Growler with legal requirements

Must Consume in 48 Hours (Recommendation)

We recommend you drink your growler within 48 hours of purchase. It will lose its carbonation and will oxidize, which can lead to off flavors and skunking of the beer. 

Remember to store this in the fridge or on ice.

Rinse

Bacteria and mold can start propagating in the bottom of your growler, so make sure to rinse it thoroughly after each use. 

In case you have little colonies growing, here are some steps that should help:

  • For glass only! If you find rinsing won’t get out the pesky critters, put about a tablespoon of bleach in and top it off with water. Let it stand until the debris loosens. You may have to swish it around a little. Make sure you rinse it until that bleach smell goes away.
  • Alternatively, you can fill the growler with hot water and let it stand for at least an hour.

Cleaning

You can do this the hard way or the easy way. Sure, you can scrub it with a brush with a little soap, so why not use the dishwasher? The growler should be able to withstand the heat of the dishwasher. Place it neck down and run it on the desired wash cycle. If your dishwasher has a heat sanitizing setting, it would certainly help, but not necessary. 

After washing your growler, even if you use the dishwasher, let the growler cool and drip dry on a dish rack. If you don’t do this, you may end up with a really stinky growler.

If you plan the store the growler with the lid on, make sure the bottle is free of any liquid and condensation. 

Sanitizing

Yes, even after washing it, the growler should be sanitized. We use a product called STAR SAN, a no rinse food grade acid sanitizer, that we spray in to the growler prior to filling. STAR SAN is effective against E. Coli and Staphylococcus Aureus.Then you can be assured your beer won’t get infected or spoil before you even get a chance to drink it.