Your guide to growlers
Your craft beer can now be enjoyed within the safety of your home. Read this before you order and sip
The start of alcohol delivery has been one of the most exciting things to have happened in the beverage space after the lockdown. And, the one thing that's making craft beer aficionados grin ear-to-ear, is the introduction of growlers that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home.
In craft beer lingo, beer is served by crowler (can of beer), bomber (335 ml bottle) and growler (close to four pints). Christopher Champalle, head brewer at Lower Parel bar Toit, explains, "A growler is made from a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bottle and is often used to transport draft beer. It is commonly sold directly by the breweries or brewpubs from the draft dispense system as a means to sell take-out craft beer. The most common sizes are one or two litres; some breweries also sell beer growlers up to five litres."
Toit at Lower Parel is providing pick-up and deliveries for both food and alcohol and their one litre growlers that cost Rs 550
According to some legends, the idea of taking beer home from a local brewpub dates back to 1800. Back then, people would carry it in small buckets. It got the name growler due to the peculiar rumbling sound it would make when the carbon dioxide was released.
Let's talk shelf-life Craft beer is made in small batches and needs to be served fresh. So, the shelf life for the growlers too is limited. Unlike a pint that you buy from the liquor store, craft beer will come with an expiry date of less than a week. Nevil Timbadia, co-founder of Tapped Flight, a subscription-based craft beer delivery service, says, "Once you get the growler home, it is necessary to keep it refrigerated. If the bottle hasn't been opened, it will stay good for three to four days. Once opened, it should be consumed in one sitting." So, if you are planning ahead, we suggest that you check with the breweries for their recommended shelf life.
Taking it home While most of the city's microbreweries are offering home deliveries, if you are making a trip to your favourite brewery for pick up, a variety of factors will come into play—travel time, the temperature inside your vehicle, etc. Pankil Shah, chief guzzling officer and co-founder of Woodside Inn, Mumbai, says, "One need not carry an icebox as long as you can chill the beer within a couple of hours of filling the growler."
The perfect pour Now that your growler is home, it is recommended that you chill it before consuming it. Vipul Hirani, CEO of Crafters, explains, "Think of the growler as a bottle of beer. Just that the size is larger. Pour from the growler the same way as you do from a beer bottle. If any beer is left, use the cap to temporarily seal it. The customer needs to consume all the beer in the growler in one sitting, otherwise it will go flat." So, just the way you pour a pint, aim at getting a nice frothy head in order to open aroma and flavours.
Your flight at home The hospitality lockdown has given rise to some great innovations and the team behind the Tapped Beer Festival has come up with a subscription-based model called Tapped Flight. Each month, they plan on sending subscribers a mystery beer box with some new and rare beers. You can choose between a Curious Case Subscription (Beer Bottles) for R2,759/12 bottles or R5,500/24 bottles and a Swingin Growler Subscription (Craft Beer Growlers) for R2,700 for 4 litres and R5,200 for 8 litres.
Your Beer List To buy the growlers, you will need to place an order online with your favourite brewery to either pick-up or get it delivered home. The growlers, once empty, can be returned and refilled for next use. If you want to add a professional set-up to your home bar, you can also check out pressure kegs and growlers available on Kegworks.
Where to buy
You can buy growlers from Doolally outlets (one-litre bottles for Rs 500). Kadak is retailing their beers from The Finch in Powai and delivering their one-litre (Rs 599) and 2.5 litres (Rs 1,349) growlers in the neighboured. Toit at Lower Parel is also providing pick-up and deliveries for both food and alcohol and their one-litre growlers cost Rs 550. Woodside Inn is serving beers from Gateway Brewing Company, Great State Aleworks, Bombay Duck Brewing Company and 2 Down Beer Co in one-litre growlers starting Rs 795. If you bring your own growler, you can buy the beer for Rs 695. Independence Brewing Company's growlers are one of the best looking of the lot and they are offering one litre (Rs 600) + Rs 100 for the growler and 2.5 litres for Rs 1,500. Drifters Brewery is delivering all over Mumbai and charges Rs 550/litre. Effingut is delivering one and 2.5-litre growlers for beers and meads via their Colaba and Bandra outlets.
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