The rise of local, regional, and home breweries has ushered in a golden era for beer aficionados. Trying out the neighbor’s new homebrew or picking up a favorite draft from the local brewery means securing a quality beer growler.
Growlers are glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bottles used to store and transport draft beer fresh from the keg. Bringing home and sharing the local brewery’s latest concoction is a cinch with a quality growler. This guide explores which materials, volumes, and features define the best growler options for bringing home that delicious brew.
- BEST OVERALL: Stanley Classic Easy-Pour Growler 64oz
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Yukon Growlers Insulated Beer Growler
- UPGRADE PICK: GrowlerWerks uKeg Go Carbonated Growler
- BEST COMBO: Stanley The Outdoor Growler Gift Set
- BEST FOR HOME BREWERS: 2 Pack ~ 32oz Amber Glass Growlers with Polycone Lids
What to Consider When Buying Beer Growlers
Growlers all perform the same function, but they don’t all achieve it in the same way. When identifying the best growlers for to-go beer, take size, insulative properties, and ease of transport into consideration.
Capacity is critical when choosing the best growlers. A couple of things to think about are how often and how much beer you need to transport. If a trip to the local microbrewery once a month is your speed, larger growlers will get more beer home at once.
Most manufacturers label volume in ounces. When considering size, keep in mind that a standard can of beer holds 12 ounces and go from there. Growlers tend to run the spectrum from 32 to 128 ounces. Keep in mind that one of the primary uses of growlers is convenient transport. Too much liquid can be heavy and tiresome to carry over long distances.
Insulation is essential. Glass growlers are cheaper but have less insulative properties than some. Growlers with insulative-foam and vacuum seals can keep beer cold for several hours. Some kits even offer attachments for CO2 cartridges that maintain carbonation, so the beer keeps that refreshing fizz.
Insulation not only keeps beverages cool, but it keeps them hot, too. Many highly insulated growlers make excellent receptacles for warm content like coffee or soup. A well-insulated growler can keep beer cold and fresh on the weekends while pulling lunch duty during the week.
Growlers are made for one thing: transporting beer. Because of their large size, the circumference of a growler often preempts easy handling. When identifying the best growler for to-go beer, check out what options there are to handle and pour with ease.
Many growlers come with single handles ideal for easy carrying and pouring, but not all have handles. Some also keep equipped with slings for hands-free carrying, while simple growlers have no handles at all. Consider the duration and distance you wish to transport the growler and choose the best carrying option for you.
Our Top Picks
The market for the best growlers for to-go beer includes a lot of options. Our top picks are excellent choices based on characteristics like ease-of-transport, insulation, and capacity. Read on to discover some of the best options for getting beer where it needs to be.
Stanley has been building insulated drinkware since 1913. They bring everything they learned in the construction of the Stanley Classic Easy-Pour growler. With a capacity of 64 ounces, just over five bottles of beer fit into this insulated growler.
This top pick by Stanley offers a vacuum-insulated growler with foam, steel, and a secure latch to keep the contents cold and carbonated for up to 18 hours. The heavy-duty handle allows for easy carrying and one-handed pouring.
The Classic is dishwasher safe and includes a removable lid gasket for easy cleaning. The growler’s inner portion is lined with steel, so no unwelcome plastic flavors leach into the beer within. Overall, Stanley offers a functional, well-constructed, and easy to use growler with more than 100 years of development behind the design.
For a lot of the functionality of the Stanley at a lower price point, check out Yukon Growlers Insulated Beer Growler. The 64-ounce capacity transports more than five bottles worth of beer at once. Stainless steel construction protects against dings and dents while polypropylene threads and a tightly secured lid prevents leakage.
One test showed this growler losing about 7 degrees Fahrenheit over a 24-hour timeframe, making it great for camping or other outdoor adventures. It does not have a handle but comes with a neoprene sling that makes carrying easy while protecting the body from damage.
GrowlerWerks uKeg Go is practically the same thing as carrying a mini-keg around. With a whopping 128-ounce capacity, this insulated growler holds more than 10 bottles of beer. The double-walled insulation keeps beer cold, and optional CO2 cartridges make it possible to maintain carbonation over long periods.
What sets the uKeg apart is the lid. Like a full-size keg, it comes with a tap that dispenses beer just like a draft pulled from a bar or brewery. The tap works best with the CO2 cartridge in place, but the excellent seal on the lid ensures coldness over long periods.
The uKeg is essentially a party in a bottle, but its large capacity and extras make it a must-have for only the most passionate beer enthusiasts. This growler is large and not necessarily convenient to haul around, but it provides an excellent beer drinking experience once it arrives.
This growler combo is an excellent choice for sharing a beer on the go. Stanley’s 64-ounce insulated growler holds just over five bottles of beer. The sturdy handle makes single-handed carrying and pouring simple. Vacuum-sealed foam insulation keeps beer cold for up to 24 hours. A secure locking mechanism prevents spills and leakage, and the growler is dishwasher safe for ease of cleaning.
What makes this growler shine is the four, 12-ounce stainless steel tumblers included in the set that are perfect for sharing a favorite beverage. The tumblers are stackable for easy storage and come in burgundy, green, navy, and gray to help differentiate which cup belongs to whom. Designed with travel in mind, Stanley’s gift set is the right choice for those who wish to take beer on the go and share it with friends.
This set of glass growlers may not have the insulative or carrying characteristics of other choices on this list, but they make an excellent choice for the home brewer who wishes to share their latest concoction.
Each of these glass growlers boasts a 32-ounce capacity. Their resealable polycone-lined cap will not rust and keeps the beer fresh and ready to drink. While the glass construction is more fragile and less insulative than some of the other offerings on this list, a set of these affordable growlers allows a homebrewer to store and gift beer easily with minimum cost.
FAQs About the Best Growlers for To-Go Beer
If you still have some lingering questions about the best growler for to-go beer, you’re in the right place. Read through these frequently asked questions to get a head start on what you need to know.
Q. What size growler should I get?
That depends on personal preference, but most growlers can accommodate several beers. A standard beer bottle holds 12 ounces, so use that as a reference when selecting a size.
Q. How important is insulation?
Insulation can keep beer cold for hours. If you plan to take your favorite brew on trips, insulation is key. However, glass or other poorly insulated growlers still work great for shorter shopping trips.
Q. How do I care for my growler?
Most growlers are dishwasher safe. Regular cleaning preserves the flavor of the beer. Beer will go bad, so don’t keep it in the growler for too long.