Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Growlers and Minnesota

Growler storage in my trunk
My first knowledge of recent changes in Minnesota beer laws was Harriet Brewing's policy for growler refills. Bring in your Harriet growlers before September 1st and get $5 back. Brought mine in today and filled up Fulton and Fitger's growlers with Harriet brew.

I decided to take advantage of Harriet's policy to make some room in my trunk. A couple years ago, I walked into the Container Store in Edina with a growler and proceeded to test it in each type of storage system. I finally found a archival box that fit 12 growlers perfectly. To date, I haven't had a growler break in the back. This was my solution to Minnesota's requirement to turn in an empty growler in exchange for a pre-filled one, and a lack of storage space in my house.

Now I'm torn. While it's nice to have three fewer growlers in my collection, I like the pre-filled growlers. They store exceptionally well in the beer fridge until opened and, in my opinion, have a significantly better carbonation retention than those filled from the tap. My problem is that I only like it in Minnesota.  When travelling, I, for obvious reasons, prefer to get beer in my own growlers.  I will rarely purchase a growler from out of state to bring home because of the waste.

My double standard extends to the present system.  I'm hoping that my favorite places like Town Hall Brewery continue to pre-fill growlers while others I visit less frequently can change with my blessing. It's just a bit more work to wash and sanitize before visiting a brewery. Less spontaneous but it'll work. Asking bartenders to not rinse the growler with water and pour on the foam will take more effort. Besides, I have my trunk system in place alreadyeven the guys of the food truck tonight were impressed by my system. We'll see how long I will need it.


  1. While I've never done a side by side comparison of carbonation retention it makes sense that pre-filled growlers are superior. That being said, moving to a state where anyone will fill any growler, it's nice not to have to keep such a stash of growlers. Additionally, it allows the filling of Hydroflask growlers. I have a full sized one, and just recently got a 1/2 sized (32oz) one. They can't be beat in situations where refrigeration is an issue (in multiple studies they have been proven to retain their temperature for 24 hours regardless of ambient temp).

  2. I don't think I've done side by side, but should try now that it's easier to do. My evidence is anecdotal and based on noticing how growlers pour from pint to pint. I also buy three growlers at a time and it takes a while to drink them all, so differences appear.