Whether you're a craft beer enthusiast or kombucha lover, the best growlers let you fill up on your preferred drink and enjoy that fresh-from-the-tap taste no matter where you are. Not only are growlers eco- and budget-conscious, they're also an enjoyable way to sample small batches or exclusives and share them with friends.
Since there are many growler options to choose from, here are some helpful things to consider before you buy.
- Material: Opt for durable stainless steel and make sure it's double-walled, vacuum insulated. This means that the two walls of the growler have no air between them, and therefore "no heat or cold can transfer from the interior wall to the exterior wall," according to Homebrew Academy. The end result is that your beverage stays at your desired temperature for a long time — 24+ hours or more in the case of some products below.
- Ease of Handling: A slippery growler is not your friend so look for features like powder coating to prevent bottle sweat, a handle for portability and pour-ability, or even a carrying case for hassle-free toting.
- Ease of Cleaning: There's nothing barkeeps hate more than having to fill up a foul-smelling growler. If you're prone to putting off doing the dishes, look for a vessel that's dishwasher-safe or one that has a wide mouth for easy hand-washing.
- Lid Type: Whether you choose a screw top or a flip top is really a matter of personal preference since quality versions of each will maintain carbonation. Look for poly-seal screw tops or flip tops with a wire cage or pressure seal. "Both of these will form a tight seal and minimize the amount of oxygen leaking into the growler, which minimizes spoilage," according to John Jose, co-founder of Union Growler Company, in an interview with the Dallas Observer.
- Government Labels: Some states require bars and breweries to see a government warning label on the vessel before they will fill it. Ideally, your growler will have it printed on the bottom. If not, there are also self-adhesive labels — like the ones included at the bottom of this roundup — that you can add to your growler.
With all that in mind, it's time to shop growlers. All of the ones below are highly rated on Amazon and come backed by beer drinkers.
1. The Best Overall
Not only does the MiiR Insulated Growler have an impressive 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it also was Wirecutter's top pick for 'best growler' and it's consider by many beer connoisseurs to be the "total package". Made of medical grade stainless steel, this vessel is designed to last. It features double-wall vacuum insulation to keep your beverage cold for 24+ hours or hot for up to 12 hours, and has a hardshell powder coat to prevent sweating. The aesthetically pleasing handle makes it a breeze to carry and pour, and the pressure locking flip lock lid makes it leak- and spill-proof, all while sealing in carbonation.
Tip the vessel over to find the printed government label. The only caveat is that MiiR recommends hand-washing to preserve the powder coat, so there's no popping it in the dishwasher.
Helpful Review: "Tried a few other growlers, none even come close to the quality and finish of this one. Will be buying more as gifts."
2. The Best Pressurized Growler
For those who want a custom tap at home, the GrowlerWerks Stainless Steel uKeg is the way to go. Featuring double-wall, vacuum-insulated stainless steel construction to keep beer cold, and a carbonation cap that automatically regulates pressure for optimal carbonation, the uKeg keeps beer fresh for weeks. Thanks to the dispenser tap, you can easily pour beer without removing a cap, and there's an ergonomic handle for carrying.
You will have to take some care to clean it, but there are simple step-by-step instructions to follow. While there is no government label on the vessel, it has ample real estate for a self-adhesive one to be added.
Helpful Review: "I purchased this for my husband for Christmas[...]First of all, its aesthetically beautiful. Nice and classy looking enough that I let him set it out on our counter for storage with our other stainless steel appliances. It also works as advertised. He had it filled yesterday and the beer was great last night, and is just as fresh today. He had it sitting out for several hours last night and it kept the beer cold. It fits nicely for overnight storage in our refrigerator. Setting up the CO2 cartridge was easy, and the how to instructional videos available on the growlerwerks website are also convenient and easy to access. [...]"
3. The Easiest To Clean
If you're admittedly averse to doing the dishes, you might want to spring for the YETI Rambler, the only dishwasher-safe growler on this list. Made from durable stainless steel and featuring double-wall vacuum insulation, the 64-ounce vessel is ideal for beer but can also be used as a large water bottle or coffee thermos. It features a handle with a 3-finger grip for easy carrying, and the leak-proof TripleHaul screw top lid is going to keep carbonation locked in. Its only downside is that doesn't come with a government label.
Helpful Review: "Nice size. Beer growler also perfect for margaritas for tailgate parties etc. Yetis keep beverages cold for long periods of time. No need for large cooler in the trunk of car."
4. This Compact, Budget-Friendly Stainless Steel Growler
With the capacity to carry 33 ounces of liquid, this growler is the most compact on the list, making it ideal for carrying at festivals or simply storing in the fridge when space is limited. It's made of durable stainless steel which the brand says will keep your drinks cool for hours, but since it doesn't feature double-walled vacuum insulation, it's not going to be able to hold a chill for 24 hours like some other picks on this list. That said, it comes with a built-in, fold-down handle for easy carrying and the swing-top with wires for holding in carbonation.
It's easy to hand wash but not dishwasher-safe, and there is no government label. However, for portability and affordability, this little vessel deserves a place on this list.
Helpful Review: "Well built, Keeps beer cold a long time, Seals very well, keeps carbonation for up 5 days( I usually drink by then). Latch for seal was a little difficult at first but seal tight and doesn't come loose easily. Stainless steel easy to clean, and able to add stickers to outside to customize. I have used for 2 Months now. Very happy with purchase."
5. The Best Multipurpose Growler
The EcoVessel Boss Growler is the most versatile growler on this list. It comes with a removable stainless steel tea and fruit infuser, so you can use it for flavored water, iced tea, sangria, and more. Plus, thanks to its vacuum triple insulation, it has been tested to keep liquids cold for 36 hours and hot up to 8 hours. The dual-use, leak-proof lid has one small opening for easy pouring, and a larger opening for filling. It doesn't have a poly seal but reviewers noted that it kept carbonation well. For carrying, the lid strap gets the job done. Note: this doesn't come with a government label.
Helpful Review: "This insulated growler is great - a big improvement over glass growlers for both hot and cold drinks. Of course, the primary use case is carrying and keeping beer cold, which it does very well. Even after several hours on a warm day the beer inside was acceptably cool and refreshing. The seal on top is very tight too - beer stays fresh in here unopened for a couple days which beats the plain glass growlers and twist tops that your local brewery might use. [...]"
6. The One With A Carrying Case
If you're planning on hiking or picnicking with a growler in tow, the Yukon Insulated Beer Growler comes complete with a handy neoprene case that adds insulation and protection. The vessel's vacuum-insulated stainless steel construction promises to keep your brew cold for over 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.
This growler comes with the standard government warning label engraved on the bottom, and the screw top lid has a strong poly seal, ensuring that it's leak-proof and good at locking in carbonation. For care instructions, the brand recommends washing by hand and air drying.
Helpful Review: "LOVE THE CARRYING CASE! 64 ounces of beer is heavy, and the coating on the growler is kinda hard to grip. We slip that baby into the case and it makes life a heck of a lot easier. If you’re considering buying the case, DO IT."
Also Nice: These Self-Adhesive Labels So You Always Get Served
If you fall in love with one of the growlers above that doesn't have a government label already on it, these handy self-adhesive stickers turn any vessel into a legal one. This three-pack comes with three long-lasting, medium-sized labels, although large labels are also available.
Helpful Review: "Thanks. This was a lifesaver! I couldn't believe it when they refused to fill my new growler! Not anymore."
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