What’s the deal with GLB Growlers/Howlers?

Greg filling THRUST growlersWe’ve been getting lots of emails lately from some pretty passionate craft beer drinkers regarding our growler program, so we thought we’d take a moment to write a blog post to address some of the inquiries.

Why do you only fill GLB branded growlers/howlers? Why can’t customers get their own customer growlers/howlers filled in the store?
Based on a number of reasons, we do not fill non Great Lakes Brewery growlers/howlers. We wash each and every growler in an industrial dishwasher at an extremely high temperature, ensuring that the vessel is thoroughly cleaned to the highest standards. We also take our time to inspect the vessels for wear and tear. We look for any chip in the glass, stress marks, scratching and left over residue from growlers/howlers that have sat in someone’s basement for an extended period of time. From there we sanitize each one to ensure there is no bacteria inside that may infect the liquid and then the final step is to inspect each lid. We do this to not only ensure that the beer will taste fresh and the best it can be, but also for safety purposes. These steps allow us to stand behind our product, and our packaging, in the event something negative should transpire.

We hear that, but I thoroughly cleaned my growler/howler before showing up to your store!
We’re sure that you did and we’re sure that you cleaned it well, but we don’t want to take the risk of filling one and having the customer have a bad experience due to left over soap residue, knarly bacteria clinging to the wall of the vessel, etc. Also, with our filling system, we know each growler/howler that we go to fill has already passed our safety inspection, thus they shouldn’t explode in said filler.

Why don’t you fill straight from the taps? Why always pre-fill?
Nothing against the other breweries out there that push a hose into your growler, pull on the tap handle and fill your growler, but that isn’t good for the beer. Oxygen is beer’s worst enemy. Our growler/howler filler purges the vessel of any unwanted oxygen, fills the vessel in consistent fashion, and allows us to counter pressure the vessel upon completion so that it lasts much longer than those that are filled straight from a tap. Our growlers/howlers have been known to last for more than 30 days (unopened) if stored correctly in a fridge. This takes time and it can get quite busy in the retail store, so we do pre-fill due to time constraints.

Growler/Howler Deposit – $5
With your first growler/howler purchase, individuals will be required to pay a $5 deposit on the growler itself. Once you’ve consumed the contents in the growler/howler, either return the empty bottle for your $5 refund, or swap for a new beer and pay no deposit.

GLB Rules to properly enjoy the beer in your growler/howler

  1. Keep refrigerated with the cap tight and avoid exposure to sunlight…But why wait, crack ‘er open and get into it!
  2. The beer in this here fancy growler is best consumed within the first 48 hours after purchase. However, once you crack the lid, drink within 12 hours.
  3. Enjoy the beer! And when you’ve drained every last drop, return your growler to the brewery nice and clean and we’ll repeat the above steps with you once again