What if I told you that the next time you visit your local growler station, you don’t have to worry about cracking it open within the next few days? It’s a common issue amongst growler enthusiasts, you get a growler, and don’t end up opening it for a few days. When you finally do, it’s flat.
Until now, you had to, at least in most cases, open up and consume your growler of beer within a few days, maybe a week later at the most.
Well, those days may be coming to a close thanks to a new technology, typically reserved for beer bottling lines, is now making its way into the growler market. Here are some details.
It all started with customer complaints. Brothers Mark and Bill da Silva, owners of brew pubs in Connecticut, found that their customers were dissatisfied with the quality of their growler system. Mark, the brew master for the pubs (and for the Growler Station), took it upon himself to find a solution. He discovered a promising Russian growler system with a unique filling process that limits the beer’s oxygen exposure so it stays fresh for up to two or three months (vs. about three days with a standard filling process).
He and his brother shared the find with John O’Connell and Tony Lane, co-founders of sales and marketing firm S3 Consulting. O’Connell and Lane saw an opportunity for distribution in the U.S. The system was put to the test at one of the brothers’ pubs, and the results were impressive: oxygen-free, foam-free, longer-lasting craft beer.
Cheers, mate: the growler station’s John O’Connell saw potential in the european beer-to-go concept.
“It’s basically the same practice that a mass-bottling filling line for any beer company would use, and they have dialed it down to a single use,” O’Connell says.
How do they do it? Well, this graphic sums it up pretty well if the description didn’t do it for you. And did we mention they also do plastic bottle growler fills? Yep, sure do. Things are changing in the craft beer world again. Now, if we can just figure out a way to keep your beer fresh AFTER opening your growler….hmmm.