How to Get a Perfect Growler Fill - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

How to Get a Perfect Growler Fill

Story: Tracy Howard Garton


Growler Fill_CRDT istock:cveltriCraving a cold one? Nothing beats a frothy pint pulled fresh from the tap, and thanks to the growing popularity of growlers, brewery-fresh beer is closer than ever. But not all growler fills are created equal, so we checked in with Matt Barclay, beer expert and former cellar master at Sycamore in Brooklyn for some insider tips. First, Barclay advises getting your growler filled at a spot that uses hoses leading from the tap to the bottom of your growler. This decreases the amount of head going into the bottle (also decreasing the amount of oxygen the beer is exposed to) and conserves carbonation. Some spots, like 99 Bottles just outside Seattle, take it one step further, implementing counter-pressure machines that blast growlers with carbon dioxide before and after filling to help purge oxygen, and that fill under pressure, helping preserve the beer for weeks, if left unopened. If hoses and counter-pressure machines are no where in sight and you’re still thirsty for a fill, a few simple requests can help your beer taste tip-top—ask the person behind the bar to either rinse your growler with cold water or stash it in the cooler for a few minutes while you wait—filling cold beer into a cold growler will help hold more carbon dioxide. Also, make sure your growler is filled to the very tip-tip—less head space means less chance of oxygen affecting the flavor. Barclay’s final tip? “Keep it cold!” he says. “Carbon dioxide stays in suspension much better at low temperatures,” meaning better bubbles, and beer just as the brewer intended.

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