For those who have a thirst for good beer and a sense of wanderlust, a clean beer growler is essential. Keeping your growler clean makes your beer taste best — taking a few simple steps will keep your premium brew in premium condition, wherever your travels take you.
- Always start with a clean growler: Adding your favorite IPA or stout to a clean growler will ensure it tastes the way the brewer intended. As with brewing, sterile conditions — or the closest you can get to sterile — will allow the flavor of the beer to be the only thing you taste.
- Rinse with hot water: When possible, rinse your growler shortly after use to keep residue and buildup to a minimum. If hot water isn’t available, well, you may be travelling just right, through the heart of the Michigan or Colorado backcountry, for example. Use cold water if necessary (preferably from a cold, clear trout stream) and keep your jug as clean as possible until you return to civilization.
- Use a wire brush and soap: If your growler develops any kind of build up, use a small amount of soap and scrub the interior with a wire brush (available at your local homebrew shop). Be sure to rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove any soap. There’s nothing worse than the wrong kind of suds on the head of your favorite microbrew.
- Keep the lid off: Store your growler upside down, with the lid off in a clean environment. This will prevent the inside of your growler from growling stale, and will discourage and lingering cultures from taking hold. If you forget where you stored your lids, most breweries will have extra on-hand.
- Ask your bartender for help: You should always arrive with a clean growler — it’s not the bartender’s job to clean your Journey Jug for you. That said, if you’ve established a good relationship with your local brewery, your barkeep may be willing to help out with a quick dunk in the sanitizer sink*. Asking politely and tipping well will surely help your cause.
*Pro tip: You can get ahold of your own no-rinse sanitizer at your local homebrew shop. Some even carry spare Journey Jugs.
Bonus: Don’t dirty your growler with less-than-premium beers. Make sure you’re only drinking the best.
Do you have any tips for cleaning your Journey Jug? What do you find works best for keeping your growler sanitized?