Growler FillIt’s no secret that alcohol is a big seller with U.S. residents. In fact alcoholic beverage sales in the U.S. total at a whopping $219.52 billion. Alcohol providers range from wineries and liquor stores to bars and restaurants, but one of the most popular places to buy alcohol right now is at craft breweries.

And with the rise of craft breweries comes the rise of another long-used alcohol item: the growler. Growlers have been around for quite some time, but their complete history is unknown to the majority of people. But here’s a quick look at it so you have some fun trivia to share during future growler fills.

Turn of the Century

Around the end of the 19th century, beer was frequently carried home from pubs and breweries in small, galvanized buckets. The buckets were kept lidded to avoid any spills, but when liquid sloshed around inside of them, it produced a sort of gurgling, growling noise. The now commonly used term “growler” is said to have come from that sloshing noise combined with the sound of carbon dioxide escaping from underneath the bucket lid.


Prohibition wasn’t a good time for alcohol or drinkers in general, and even before the 18th amendment was added, some communities had started to outlaw growlers. Part of the reasoning for this was that people didn’t want alcohol brought into their homes.


Right after prohibition and just before WWII, a practice called “rushing the growler” was used. This involved city kids going into pubs for growler fills and then running them to workers either on lunch or to their parents just before dinner.

1950 – 1980s

The growler started to die out around 1950-60, as most bars has switched to plastic containers. But during the 1980s, the classic half-gallon growler came back in glass form and with screen printed logos on it. This was the advent of the growler we know today.

Now, growlers are everywhere. You can find them in liquor stores, supermarkets, and especially in craft breweries. They make for an easy, creative way to bring your favorite brews home, and even better, they’re completely reusable.