The Session #60: Growlers Galore

The SessionToday is The Session‘s Diamond Anniversary! (Although technically it would be its “mensiversary” for the Latin and date geeks among you.) The Session is a monthly collaborative beer blogging event where a different host for each month suggests a topic, and on the first Friday of that month everyone who wants to participate writes about that topic. (As simple as that!) Our host then collects links to all the other Session posts for easy reading.

This month’s host is Kendall Jones of the Washington Beer Blog, and the topic he has selected is “Growlers Galore“:

These days people take growlers for granted. In my neck of the woods, growlers are a relatively new phenomenon. I don’t recall exactly when they appeared on the local beer scene but it could not have been more than eight or ten years ago. Maybe they existed in obscurity before. My memory fails me. Today growlers are everywhere. I think. Growlers are very common around the Pacific Northwest, anyway. I cannot speak to their popularity elsewhere. I’d love to know.

Tell us about your growler collection. Tell us why you love growlers or why you hate them. What is the most ridiculous growler you’ve ever seen? Tell us about your local growler filling station. Ever suffer a messy growler mishap? Anything related to growlers is acceptable.

I haven’t taken to collecting growlers in the same way that I would collect bottles, partially because I don’t have the room—indeed I did a major purge of my bottle “collection” about a year ago and I still really don’t have room for more—and partially because the growlers I have are a reusable commodity: I keep getting them refilled!

I only have a small number of growlers though: two from 10 Barrel Brewing, one a Rogue Dead Guy growler, one from Hopworks Urban Brewery, and one from Steelhead Brewing in Eugene. Those are my clean and reusable set, and all are the standard brown glass, half-gallon “jug” style without much fanfare; I have another fancier one from Southern Oregon Brewing with a ceramic flip top and metal handle that my brother gave me, but it’s not in good enough condition to fill unfortunately.

But for me these are “working” growlers: I’ve taken to always carrying one or two in the car with me on the off-chance that I’ll be near a brewery, and for the most part I’m unconcerned about the decor on the bottle. And fortunately that decor doesn’t matter as I live in a state (Oregon) that has lenient enough beer laws to allow breweries to fill any growler that comes in the door, even ones from other breweries (indeed, some breweries will fill just about any lidded container you bring in), unlike, say California or South Dakota that will only let you fill a growler if said growler is from that same brewery.

So I love having a growler on hand, but not for a collectible purpose, for me it’s almost entirely functional. Don’t get me wrong—having a Hopworks growler is cool but what’s even cooler is being able to fill it with fresh beer from Deschutes, or Brewers Union, or Barley Brown’s, or any number of other Oregon breweries anytime I’m in their neighborhood. It’s hard to beat that.