Why Beer Growlers are Bad for your Brew

Andrew Knowlton for Bon Appetit:

“It’s more of a love-hate relationship,” [Garrett] Oliver, [brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery] told me on the phone last week, on tour to promote the Oxford tome. “Brewers love the opportunity to get some beers that are not in bottles in front of a general public, and certainly beer drinkers love them.”

But? “Brewers tend to hate them. Growlers are basically beer destroyers. They’re often unsanitary, and the refilling process mixes in a lot of oxygen–the tiniest amount of oxygen kills beer so quickly. Then, if you walk across the street with say, an IPA, in full sunlight, with a clear growler, the beer will skunk before you get to your car.”

That quickly? “That quickly! For the brewer, this is like if you went to a nice restaurant, ordered something great, and then took the beautifully presented plate of food, scraped it into a bag, put that bag in the fridge for 3 days, microwaved it, and then based your opinion of that restaurant on your bag of old food.”

Oliver is also the co-editor of the The Oxford Companion to Beer, which sounds like essential reading for any beer enthusiast.

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