With the quick growth in growler popularity, understanding proper cleanliness methods for the containers helps ensure you enjoy your favorite draft beer in a safe manner. Follow this advice if filling growlers yourself, such as with home brewing, but also ensure any professionally run growler stations you frequent follow proper health and safety measures and maintain compliance with state and local regulations. For example, Quick N Shine has an A+ rating with the Maricopa County Health Department.
Keep it Clean
The easiest way to maintain the cleanliness of your growler is to clean it immediately after pouring the last of your beer. Rinsing it with hot water quickly does most of the work for you.
If you use a cleanser on the growler, do not use anything with a fat or oil base. These are very difficult to rinse completely clean and typically leave a residue. Homebrew cleansers work best when cleaning a growler. Additionally, a brush such as those used to clean baby bottles allow you to scrub inside, especially necessary if you allowed the growler to sit for any period after emptying the beer. Do not use a wire or metal brush on a glass or ceramic bottle.
After cleaning, allow the growler to air dry. Using a towel leaves fibers behind. Place it upside down, preferably at an angle to allow it to dry quicker.
When you take it to fill, if they offer to sanitize your growler, say, “Yes, please.” Even if you already cleaned it, this extra step helps ensure your beer tastes fresh.
General Growler Safety
Extreme temperatures may cause a full growler to shatter or explode. Do not freeze your growler, leave it in a hot car, or even leave it on the counter in an air-conditioned house. Properly stored beer is safe beer; this means a cold, dark place. In addition, only use a container designed to carry carbonated beer with a pressure rating equal to, or greater than, the carbonation pressure of your chosen brew.
Do not overfill your growler. If the container has a fill line, do not exceed it. If it does not have a fill line, only fill it to about 95 percent of capacity. If your growler uses a threaded, screw cap type closure, use plastic if possible. Plastic closures offer better ventilation in the event your beer becomes over-pressurized.
Before filling your growler, perform a quick visual inspection. If you see flaws, such as chips, cracks, or pitted surfaces, it’s time for a new container. These types of flaws may reduce your growler’s pressure strength.
Maintain Hygienic Conditions
If you fill a growler yourself, with either your own home brew or a keg, all of your filling equipment must be hygienic for the best tasting, highest quality beer. Clean your draught beer lines at least every other week. Each time you fill the growler, clean the faucet and filling tube. This means rinsing immediately after filling, cleaning thoroughly, sanitizing, and air drying.
Fill It Up!
Your growler is clean and ready for your favorite brew. Bring it on down to Quick N Shine, where we have dozens of great beers at our growler station as well as a properly trained staff to give you a delicious, clean pour every time.