The word “Crowler” is a bit of an ungainly portmanteau. Just try to get Siri to understand what you are saying. But no matter of voice recognition difficulties will slow down the latest trend in craft beer.
The Crowler is simply a 32-ounce can. That is where the “C” comes in. The “rowler” portion comes from the now traditional glass or steel growler that most breweries use in varying sizes.
There is not too much difference in filling one compared to the other. You scan the menu board to see which beers are offered in the crowler packaging and then place your order. The beertender adds CO2 and then purges the can before filling it straight from the tap. A machine seals the top, the name and ABV of the beer is written on the label, and the large can is handed to you like you bought one off the shelf.
There are pluses and minuses to both containers. A crowler is one and done. No need to clean and easy to recycle. Plus you don’t have to remember to bring it. It is also a perfect shareable size for two or three people and can be taken places where glass is not allowed.
The growler wins points for its re-use factor and comes in more sizes which makes it great for parties. Growler policy varies by brewery, but more places currently use them so add more points for near universal accessibility.
Keep in mind that both containers need to be drunk as fresh as possible. Oxygen and time are the enemy and they don’t care if it is aluminum or glass. I prefer the crowler due to size. I have heard too many tales of people pouring out the stale leftovers from a growler.
As of now King Harbor Brewing (at their harborside location) and Mumford Brewing are the only crowler outlets in L.A., but if the public takes to them then more may be installing the machines in the future.
The Beer of the Week is Sound Brewery‘s Bombshell Belgian blonde which is new to the L.A market. This Poulsbo, Washington, brewery specializes in Belgian ales and this spice-driven weizen tinged blonde is the perfect gateway to their line-up filled with dubbels and tripels.
Your Homework is to drink as fresh as possible. The aforementioned King Harbor Brewing will help you attain that goal tomorrow morning, August 14, at 10:30 am. That is when the “freshest IPA imaginable” will be released in Redondo Beach. You will have the opportunity to literally buy a bottle that was on the bottling line minutes before. No need to wait for it to get from brewery to distributor, and then to a store. Nope. It is the nearest thing to having a glass near the spigot of the tank.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.