Craft beer is booming, and all beer connoisseurs will be aware of how significant it’s popularity is! Those who love craft beer will always be looking for the best ways that they can bring their favourite flavours to and from breweries, and the best solution has been the beer growler. Funny name, right? Well, the beer growler is essentially a vessel for the transport of beer – and it sounds so much better than “jug”!
It’s airtight, usually made from glass or ceramic and the whole purpose is to move your beer from place to place without compromising on the quality of the beer. Beer can be preserved for a length of time, anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, with some keeping craft beer fresh for even longer. Of course, this will depend on the retailer and their ability to vacuum pump your growler with the right level of CO2 before they fill it with beer.
The one thing that a beer growler can do for the drinker is to give them an experience that is like being straight from the tap. It’s the most preferred drinking experience; it’s why people love to go to the pub. However, if you could bring that pub experience home with you, wouldn’t you do it?
A Little Bit Of History
It’s surprising that there are still so many out there that don’t know the use of a growler, and if you are one of those poor unfortunate souls, then sit back and take in a little history.
Many theories are bandied about when it comes to the beer growler, but there is one that says that galvanized pails used to be used in the early 19th century as a method of beer transportation.
People would take their pails to the local pubs and then take their beer home. The problem is that the beer would slosh, agitating the CO2 and a “growling” was heard because of the escaping gas. Ah, the growler was born, but the name wasn’t coined until 1893.
By the turn of the century, there was a term called “rushing the growler”, which meant that children would take their growler to a pub and then transport it either home or to the workplace of their father’s. The fact children were bringing beer to their father’s meant that growlers were – for a time – outlawed. They lost their popularity for a while, but it wasn’t for long at all. It eventually became popular again, and the present form of the pressurized growler is now widely used to get craft beer from A to B as quickly as possible.
Of course, the stories may not be entirely accurate – we’re talking the history of beer, and it’s likely that some of the facts are from the mind of someone with beer on the brain. Growlers are, technically, “beer to go”, and because of growlers, beer can go anywhere.
The Big Picture: uKeg Pressurized Growler
Most long-term beer drinkers have – shockingly – never heard of a beer transportation vessel, let alone a pressurized growler. Not only is a growler a great, reusable item to have at home, but the uKeg Pressurized Growler by Growlerwerks is one of the best ways to transport brewery-only releases of craft beer that are otherwise not distributed yet. The uKeg does precisely what it sounds like it would do. It’s a tiny, portable, mini keg, perfect for an on-tap experience at home. The simple growlers out there haven’t been insulated, and the cap is not tight enough or built well enough to contain the carbonation of the beer. This leads to a flat beer that ends up flavourless, too, which really isn’t what you want!
Beautiful, Functional, Attractive
When it comes to beer growlers, it’s always better to buy a brand that knows what it is talking about, and GrowlerWerks have created the uKeg Pressurized Growler. It’s sleek, stainless steel, heavy-duty and is for those who are serious in their beer drinking endeavours. It’s an investment, but it does mean that you are one step away from enjoying fresh, bubbly craft beer precisely the way that it should be appreciated.
It also means that there is less of a chance of oxygen ruining the beer, too! It stays insulated, so when you are out all day long, you can come back to a glass of perfectly poured, ice cold beer. Beautiful at the end of the longest work day!
How To Use Your uKeg Pressurized Growler
The uKeg Pressurized Growler may seem like a complicated vessel, but it’s straightforward once you know how. You don’t need to be overwhelmed with the steps that are involved either: it’s super easy. There are two sizes that the uKeg Pressurized Growler comes in; the 64-ounce and the 128-ounce. You can choose to buy both of these sizes in either the silver material or the copper-plated.
The 64-ounce size is the most popular of the two, as it can fit better into refrigerators and coolers for the beach. It stands at 10.9inches tall, and you can get around four or five glasses of beer out of that which is more than enough for a few days! The thing is, the uKeg Pressurized Growler could keep your beer carbonated for a couple of weeks, meaning that it’s the perfect item for your next garden party. Despite all of these fantastic features, the most significant innovation of the uKeg is in the pressurized cap. It’s designed to ensure that your craft beer choice is perfectly turned out with every pour.
- Make sure that the dial is in the off position before you do anything.
- Turn the cap to the off position before you drop an 8-gram carbon dioxide cartridge into the sleeve, and screw it shut.
- Tighten the sleeve quickly; otherwise, you will hear air escaping, and that’s not what you need!
- Give the entire uKeg Pressurized Growler a thorough cleaning (instructions to follow) before you fill it up with your favourite beer.
- Fill the growler with your choice of beer from your local bar/pub.
- After you’ve filled the growler, make sure that the tap is locked securely.
- Screw the cap onto the growler securely and slowly turn up the pressure until the gauge reflects the appropriate pounds per square inch.
- The pressure gauge on the front will tell you how many pounds per square inch of pressure is sitting inside the growler, which allows you to adjust the dial correctly.
CO2 cartridges can be bought in a pack of 10 online, and you will find that the last pint of beer is going to be just as fresh as the first one from your uKeg Pressurized Growler by GrowlerWerks. Each of the carbon dioxide cartridges pressurize just one uKeg’s worth of beer.
Cleaning Your uKeg Pressurized Growler
In the same way you would use a regular growler, the uKeg Pressurized Growler requires a wash through with hot water and a drip dry. There’s an embossed line on the inside of the growler to indicate where you can fill it to, as the sight glass on the outside only goes up as far as three pints. Before you fill your uKeg Pressurized Growler for the first time, or for deeper cleans every few fills, follow the steps below. For general cleanings, gently wash with soap and water and don’t scrub too hard – you don’t want to damage the material.
- Take off the cap and fill the uKeg with hot water.
- Dump the water out twice before moving onto the next step.
- Rinse the uKeg Pressurized Growler cap and the sleeve that holds the cartridge with some hot water.
- Fill the uKeg with hot water alongside a tablespoon of baking soda.
- Shake it up and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Empty it out and rinse everything thoroughly, moving the handle around while you flush.
- Let it drip dry with the tap open to thoroughly dry.
- And finally, the last thing to clean out is the tap line. It’s fiddly, but the baking soda and water trick works really well here. You’ll need some patience with it, but it’s worth a thorough clean if you want delicious beer and not one that tastes like bacteria build-up.
The uKeg Pressurized Growler by GrowlerWerks gives the user a standard list of pounds per square inch needed for the different beer styles out there. For example, cream ale requires way less pressure than a lager would, and it’s up to you to decide whether you use less pressure on your choice of drink. A pressurized growler can give the best fizz and it doesn’t go flat, so make sure that you follow the instructions when you set yours up.
The Perfect Camping Companion
One thing that GrowlerWerks says about its uKeg Pressurized Growler is that it’s the perfect camping companion. It’s a place you can take your drinks to, sitting around with friends and being able to enjoy on-tap beer experiences while in the fresh air. You can stop at a brewery on the way to your destination, and yet you have to be smart about what you do with your uKeg.
You have to be smart and not place your uKeg net to the fire, or out in the open sunshine. If you want a keg to pour great bear, then you need to consider the fact that rising temperatures make CO2 expand, which can make the pressure gauge alert you to the new and alarming levels that have been increased on the inside. It’s not something that insulates all that well, and while it’s made of stainless steel rather than the growlers that are made of glass, it’s not worth the risk of an explosive uKeg.
Not only that, but leaving your uKeg Pressurized Growler out in high temperatures can make sure your beer is warm and foamy – not crisp and tasty. There’s nothing more disappointing than going back to your uKeg only to discover that you have a pint glass of foam instead of delicious beer, right?
There are some downsides, of course. The uKeg Pressurized Growler may be one of the best out there, but it can still leak on occasion. It’s not immune to the odd spray or foamy dribble and usually at the most inconvenient of moments. You can tighten the cap with a knife and the right tools and double – and triple – check that the entire thing is sealed, but it can still spray at you if the pressure is knocked slightly. Always carry a towel with you if you’re camping – just in case.
Most campsites now prohibit glass due to health and safety, which is one of the biggest reasons that the uKeg is a useful addition to your camping equipment; even if you do have to keep it in the cooler, so it doesn’t go funny in the sunshine.
One of the best things about the uKeg Pressurized Growler is its portability. It’s not just for camping trips, but for your refrigerator at home, too. You could host a garden party on a hot, summer’s day and help yourself to leisurely pints of freshly poured, cold craft beer at any time you want. It’s the more expensive option, sure, and yes, it does require more maintenance. However, it’s one of the best out there on the market today.
You get to close your eyes and taste the freshest beer poured from your own refrigerator, which can make a huge difference to your evening. You can fill your uKeg with confidence, knowing that you have a beer that will stay carbonated for a few weeks while keeping it cold all day. The durable 18/8 insulation will keep your beer as cold as you like it all day long
Founder of yourbeer.info and a self certified expert beer drinker…