If you’ve ever taken your growlers to a brewery or a bar to have them filled, you may have witnessed some of the greater atrocities in beer philosophy: too much foam, not enough, or simply too much wasted beer in an effort to avoid too much foam! If you keg your own beer (or work in a bar) and want to know the secrets to a perfect growler fill, follow these five steps — no beer barbarity required.
- Chill your growler. Note that we said chilled, not frozen. The ice crystals created from popping your growler in the freezer is apt to produce more foam, so a few minutes in the fridge is all you need.
- Connect a foot of tubing to the faucet. Half-inch siphon tubing will be enough — just make sure it fits snugly. There are even plugs that are specifically designed to connect a length of tubing to the faucet if you fill your growler often, but plain, regular tubing will be enough to do the trick.
- Drop the serving pressure. Although serving pressure tends to exist within the 10 to 15 PSI range, growler fills require a more gentle touch. Instead, drop your regulator down to between two and four PSI: just enough to get the beer through the faucet.
- Fill ‘er up. Thread the free end of the tube into your growler just and let that baby go. Don’t walk away, though; stand and monitor the pour to ensure you don’t waste a single drop.
- Enjoy! Though many modern growlers keep their carbonation contained, until you’ve tried it a few times, assume that it’s going to be flat within a few hours; enjoy the fruits of your labor immediately rather than waiting.
With so many different types of beer (and craft beer!) in existence, it is truly a shame to see so little effort and attention given to growler fills. Small and independent breweries now control 12% of the market, and they deserve better than to have their beer squandered thanks to improper growler fill techniques. Hopefully, this article has taught you the importance of perfect growler fills — as well as their payoffs.