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Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best growlers

There's nothing like sipping a cold, carbonated beer on a hot day (or a cool day, for that matter), but if you brew your own beer or your favorite draft isn't available in cans or bottles, you might want to add a beer growler to your bar setup.

All you need to do now is pick the best beer growler to fit your needs. Easy, right? Not necessarily. You'll find thousands of growlers on the market, with a range of different varieties, materials, shapes, and sizes available, so choosing just one can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we're here to help.

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Using a growler is an easy way to transport beer – it's lighter and less awkward to carry than the equivalent volume or beer in bottles or cans.

Types of growlers

Insulated growlers

Insulated growlers are usually made from double-walled stainless steel. The vacuum between the two walls helps the liquid inside stay at the temperature it was when it was poured inside. So, chilled beers will stay cool and those served at room temperature should remain tepid. These are probably the most popular variety of modern growler, and rightly so. Some models can keep beer chilled for as long as 48 hours, so they're perfect for taking to music festivals (if outside booze is allowed in) or on camping trips.

Pressurized growlers

Pressurized growlers are part keg, part growler. They have a built-in tap so you can enjoy a glass or two of the beer inside without exposing the contents to air and spoiling it. As such, there's no need to drink the full growler within a few hours of opening it. Pressurized models use CO2 cartridges and variable pressure regulation caps to maintain the perfect amount of carbonation for as long as two weeks. While they have plenty of benefits, this style of growler is costlier, bulkier, and harder to clean that other options.

Glass growlers

Glass growlers are the original growlers, though they're starting to fall out of favor now as insulated models become more readily available. Glass growlers are simple and inexpensive, but they don't have any insulating properties, so they're not the best option if you want a growler that will keep your beer chilled. Many craft breweries offer glass growlers printed with their logos. While these make a nice souvenir, you might find them more practical as a home-bar decoration.

Considerations for selecting a growler


Think about how much beer you'll want to store or transport. The most common growler sizes are 32 and 64 ounces (the equivalent of just under three and just under six standard bottles of beer) but we've seen pressurized beer growlers that hold as much as 128 fluid ounces. The 64-ounce growler is a fine choice for someone who might normally take a six-pack to a party or to enjoy at home over the weekend.


Due to the popularity of insulated beer growlers, the vast majority of those on the market today are made from stainless steel. Not only do double walled designs keep your beer at the desired temperature, they’re also a lightweight and durable material. Glass is another common option, but it's not nearly as durable and is unlikely to survive a fall onto a hard surface.

Exterior finish

Most stainless-steel growlers have a powder coated exterior finish that's specially designed to avoid condensation. Without this, piles of condensation will form on the outside of your beer growler when you're transporting cold beer on a warm day. If you put your growler in your bag, the condensation can make other items inside wet. You might also want to consider the color finish out your chosen growler. Sure, it's not the most important factor, but an attractive color or pattern can be a decent tiebreaker between two growlers of equal quality.


Although compact growlers are easier and lighter to transport than large models, it's not the only factor in portability. If you're likely to carry your beer growler in your hand, rather than in a backpack or tote, it should have a decently proportioned handle that's comfortable to hold.

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Growler Prices


You can find basic models starting at around $10 to $20, with glass being the cheapest option.


These growlers, such as decent insulated models, cost roughly $20 to $60.


If you want a high-end growler, such as a pressurized model, expect to pay $60 to $150.


  • Check the lid type on your chosen beer growler. The lid is important for keeping the growler properly sealed and maintaining carbonation. Some users find flip top lids more convenient than screw caps.
  • Think about how often you'll use your growler. If you're a huge beer connoisseur who's always trying out new options at your local brewery or you make beer at home, you'll probably want a high-end model, whereas a cheaper option will do for occasional use.
  • Consider the quality of the rim on your chosen growler. A growler is meant for drinking from, so it should be something you feel comfortable taking a swig out of.
  • Decide if you want a growler that will keep your beer chilled. An insulated beer growler can keep beer cold for a day or more, even without refrigeration.
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Did you know?
A growler keeps beer tasting fresh and retains carbonation for days.
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You can store or share your own home brew using a beer growler.


Q. What's the best way to fill a growler?

A. When filling a growler from a keg or with a beer on draft, you can fill it straight from the tap as is, but you tend to get lots of head, so you must overfill it to remove the excess head, which is wasteful. The better way is to fill it from the bottom up, using an extension tube that fits on the tap. This produces less foam, so you're left with less spillage and wasted beer.

Q. How can I keep my beer growler clean?

A. It's important to thoroughly clean your growler between uses. Not only could harmful bacteria grow if you don't, but the taste of stale beer will taint the next brew you put inside. After use, fill your growler with hot, slightly soapy water and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, use a bottle brush to thoroughly scrub the inside – without a brush you won't be able to properly clean out the old beer. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all dish soap residue and leave it upside down to dry on a dish rack. When it's completely dry, store it with the lid off to allow air circulation.

Q. How long will a growler keep my beer fresh?

A. If your growler is filled right to the brim and you refrigerate it when you return home, the contents will stay fresh for as long as four to six days. Once opened, the beer is best consumed within four to six hours. The exception to this is pressurized beer growlers, which utilize CO2 cartridges to keep beer fresh for up to two weeks, even after pouring yourself a mug.

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