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The 7 Best Beer Growlers For Takeout Brews

Best Beer Growler 00 Hero
Photo: DrinkTanks Travel Keg

As any good beer drinker will tell you: It is truly not about the vessel; it is about the liquid contents. And while that is true at initial pour, that argument hardly holds merit out on the open road as we have all come to know that a trusty beer growler can make the difference between a flat bust and a foamy must.

Though any bucket that doesn’t leak can be suitable for carrying your frosty favorites, there has been a slew of innovations in the drinkware scene over the past decade that have made their way into the ale arena. From ultra-insulated canteens that will keep your top-tier brews cold for days and days, to pressurized mini-kegs that keep a chokehold on their precious contents, delivering a draft-esque experience at home with little effort. We’ve picked our favorite of these growlers so you can get a taste of what these offerings are serving up.

Best Beer Growlers

Why Do You Need A Growler Anyway?

Have you ever opened up a can or bottle of beer and left it unfinished for whatever reason? You put it back into the fridge and then decide to drink the rest a day or two later. The problem is, it no longer tastes as good as it was when you first cracked it open. A growler not only keeps the air inside of your beer intact and the liquid cut off from any external air, thus preserving its flavor, but certain pressurized options can even keep the foam there as well, as though you had just pulled it from the tap itself.

Pressurized Vs. Non-Pressurized

Pressurized: Ready to step your game up? If you are in need of longer storage, better flavor, and objectively a higher quality experience, then break on through to the other side and pump yourself up with a pressurized growler. These units utilize CO2 cartridges after the growler is filled by your local microbrewery, giving a heady pour days after the suds hit the tank so you can always enjoy your beer the way it was meant to be consumed.

Non-Pressurized: The key to enjoying the best beer is to get it directly from the source, and the best way to not ruin that investment is with an insulated growler. Essentially water flasks but for beer, these non-pressurized options are meant to keep your suds intact for a couple of days after you come back from your trip to your local brewery. Breweries will have a selection of growlers available, but usually, you’ll find the old-school single-wall brown glass jugs marked with their flashiest logo. Instead, step up your game to a better-insulated pitcher that will keep your beer tastier, and for longer.

What To Look For

Materials/Insulation: While 90% of the growlers out there (rough guesstimate) are made of stainless steel, there are some options that are crafted from glass. It goes without saying that stainless steel, especially double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel, keeps your beer colder for much longer than other materials, but if you’re just looking for an easy way to transport beer from the brewery to your house, you can save money with glass options. Also, as a rule of thumb, alcoholic drinks shouldn’t be put in plastic vessels.

Size: Essentially every growler you’ll find will be 64oz in volume, which gives optimizes a reasonable amount to transport while letting you take advantage of those brewery-day pours.

Lid: Lids are a crucial, and overlooked, aspect to the growler’s construction. Many refrigerators won’t store a 64-ounce bottle with ease, so you’ll want something with a leakproof lid (which most of them are). This is also beneficial if you’re taking your half-gallon pour to the backcountry camping. Lids with better leakproof properties are ones with clamps on them, so look for those if you want to be extra careful.

Cornucopia Brands Amber Glass Growler (2 Pack)

Cornucopia Brands Amber Glass Growler
  • Small spout makes it easy to drink directly bottle
  • Smaller spout also helps keep foam when pouring
  • Handle could be larger
  • Breakable

Best Glass Growler: If you’re looking simply for an affordable option to transport your suds from brewery to home, pick up one of these 2-packs of Cornucopia’s Glass Growler. It may break when it falls but the amber glass itself is colored for protection against UV light that can alter the integrity of the beer. Likewise, the spout is smaller than the ones on its steel counterparts, which happens to be great for drinking straight from the vessel or preserving the head foam when pouring into a tumbler.

Type: Non-pressurized
Size: 64oz
Material: Glass

Coleman Insulated Stainless Steel Growler

  • Cap is permanently attached to handle
  • Carabiner-friendly handle
  • Plastic lid feels cheap
  • Price has gone up a lot

Best Budget Growler: Whether you are out in the backwoods or just hanging out in the backyard, an important quality to look for in a growler is that it is built to take a beating because chances are, there is going to be the potential for rough activity during the consumption of that vessel’s contents. Sticking to their heritage of well-built outdoor gear while adding some modern accents, the Coleman Insulated Stainless Steel Growler is durably constructed and classically styled to match your outdoor gear collection, while keeping your suds frosty for up to 76 hours. The double-wall vacuum-insulated 18/8 food-grade stainless steel jug is textured for better grip and the bolt-on BPA-free cap stays permanently attached to the handle, so you’ll neer have to worry about losing your lid on the trail.

Type: Non-pressurized
Size: 64oz
Material: 18/8 food-grade stainless steel

Stanley Classic Easy-Pour Growler

  • Easy to carry
  • Great leakproof lid design, also lined with steel
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Pouring can be messy

Best for Camping: Maintaining a balance between having a classic look and having a reliable product can be tough, as they just don’t make them like they used to, and those that they used to make don’t really perform to a modern standard. But when it’s a product that has been built the right way for over 100 years, you get a wonderful combination of style and servitude, as in the Stanley Classic Easy-Pour Growler. Keeping in line with the aesthetic of their legendarily dad-approved vacuum-insulated bottles, the Hammertone Green container is built from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel with a leakproof, BPA-free lid, same as in the rest of their classic line of drinkware. The large handle makes toting the jug from the truck to the fill station a minimal chore, and the dishwasher-safe certification guarantees you’ll never fight mold during storage.

Type: Non-pressurized
Size: 64oz
Material: 18/8 food-grade stainless steel

Miir Vacuum Insulated Growler

  • Really easy to pour
  • Powder-coated option is great for preventing slippage
  • Sleek appearance
  • Leaks are possible

Best for Sharing: Making improvements on everyday objects is a keystone goal in design, though it can be very difficult to reinvent a better mousetrap. While not completely filliping the world on its head, Miir does regularly step up to the plate in rethinking the norms for drinkware, and their Vacuum Insulated Growler is a fresh take on the classic pitcher silhouette. Starting with a threadless flip-top lid that seals in both liquid and precious carbonation, the Thermo 3D double-wall vacuum-insulated jug is a polished 18/8 food-grade stainless steel or can be finished with a Hardshell powder coat for added protection. Grabbing one of these growlers also does some good for the world, as Miir is not only a Certified B-Corp, they also allow you to track charitable contributions made in the result of each purchase with a unique Give Code on the bottom of each vessel.

Type: Non-pressurized
Size: 64oz (there is a 32oz option)
Material: 18/8 food-grade stainless steel

Hydro Flask 64oz Growler

  • Long neck helps with pouring
  • Brand is constantly improving design
  • Lid designed so beer won’t foam over
  • Incredibly durable
  • Slip-free powder-coated grip
  • Cap has fantastic construction but needs to be really tight to avoid leaks

Best Overall Non-Pressurized: Being the first one to the party isn’t always the choicest move – unless you’re the one with the freshly filled carafe of microbrew, then maybe getting a headstart on the festivities isn’t such a bad idea. Having the gut instinct that there had to be a better way to keep beer cold and delicious for longer, Hydro Flask essentially bucked the trend of non-insulated single-walled brown glass beer jugs with the introduction of the first stainless steel growler on the market, their 64oz Growler. Taking the concept that colder, fresher beer can be achieved by a superior bottle, the Hydro Flask Growler is TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation and topped off with the proprietary Fresh Carry system that uses a honeycomb insulation design, ensuring every pour from the longneck jug will result in tap-fresh tastes.

Type: Non-pressurized
Size: 64oz
Material: 18/8 food-grade stainless steel

DrinkTanks Travel Keg

  • Keeps cold for 45 hours
  • Holds 60psi of pressure
  • Comes with two CO2 cartridges
  • Easy to pour
  • Great for camping and hiking
  • N/A

Best Pressurized: The common theme of this guide is that bringing beer out with you can be a great idea – while we do not recommend mixing drinks with every activity, the responsible addition of some craft brew out in the world can be a great thing. Pressurized growlers are a great way to enjoy a bar-fresh beer from the comfort of your own campsite, and the DrinkTanks Travel Keg will make sure that your choice hoppy drafts pour as they were intended to, providing maximum enjoyment of these whistle-wetters. Holding beer cold for at least 45 hours, as in similar DrinkTank vessels, the Travel Keg holds up to 60 psi of pressure provided by included CO2 cartridges.

Type: Pressurized
Size: 64oz
Material: 18/8 food-grade stainless steel

GrowlerWerks uKeg Copper

  • Built-in tap-room-style tap
  • Has a fill-level indicator
  • Built-in pressure gauge
  • 128oz version available
  • Expensive
  • Tap could be a little sturdier

Best Aesthetic: If you are looking for a way to make a great impression on your guests before the real impact is made when they savor the fine taste you have with the beer on tap, don’t feel the pressure to pour from fancy bottled beers. Instead, grab the GrowlerWerks uKeg Copper and head down to your local microbrewery’s tap-room to fill it up with your favorite before heading home to wow your friends… or maybe just a roommate. The beautiful designer-looking double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel vessel is copper coated for an unmistakable look, and the integrated pressure gauge and Sight Glass fill level indicator make sure that every pint is as good as the first, while the interchangeable tap handle allows you to post the growler contents just like the pros.

Type: Pressurized
Size: 64oz, 128oz
Material: Copper-plated stainless steel

The Best Barrel-Aged Beer to Drink

Photo: Founders Brewing

Trying new things is always a good idea, especially if that involves beer. If you are looking to wet your whistle with some fresh new suds, check our guide to the best barrel-aged beer.