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June 9, 2009

My growler

sam's growlerFor years, I've been meaning to post a photo of my growler. I don't know why it's taken me this long, but here it is.

Ain't she a beauty? Heh.

Honestly, I don't care too much what it looks like, as long as it holds beer. 

I picked up this growler a couple years ago at DuClaw Brewing Co. in Fells Point. If I remember corretly, it cost $15.

I had the option of paying an additional $10 to fill it with DuClaw beer, but I'm not a huge fan of DuClaw's stuff. 

This made for a rather awkward moment when I bought the growler ...

DuClaw bartender: So, what do you want to fill it with?

Me: Oh, I'm good, thanks.

DuClaw bartender: It's only $10 to fill it with our beer.

Me: (Laughing nervously) Heh, yes, well, I'm good, thanks. (Snatches growler, beelines for door)

The only downside to this particular growler is that it's hard to fill. Maybe all growlers are hard to fill. I don't know, since I've only had this one. But I've seen bartenders struggle for quite some time to fill my growler. It tends to foam up really quickly -- especially with Resurrection. And I pretty much exclusively fill this baby with Resurrection.

When it's full, I always keep a hand underneath it. I don't trust the tiny little loop near the top to hold all of the jug's weight, and I have this fear of it snapping off and showering the sidewalk with suds and shards of glass.

A number of Baltimore bars will fill your growler. I believe Brewer's Art doesn't mind filling them. Just make sure to go during off hours. I don't think any of the bartenders want to bother with a growler at midnight on a Friday.

I think you'd be surprised at the number of bars willing to fill your growler (even though it is technically illegal). Just ask 'em. I'll bet they're more than happy to.

Mmm. I'm thirsty. Are you thirsty? Oh wait, it's 7 a.m.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:26 AM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff


Good topic. I have a couple of growlers too, though they're the taller ones with the metal handles.

I think that you're prices are off. At DuClaw, it's $21.00 to buy a filled grower and refills are $7.00. With the exception of the Hellrazer IPA, I agree with your opinion on their beers.

You can also get a growler filling tube, on-line, cheap, (~ $10.00 or so?)

Those tubes are basically a piece beverage grade vinyl that slides over the end of the beer faucet. The tube is long enough to fill the growler from the bottom up, which takes car of the foaming issues. I can vouch that they work, as I have a kegerator and opt to fill my growlers when attending an event where I'm bringing my own beer.

Rick, maybe the prices have changed since I was there. Like I said, it was a while back.

I went to a neighborhood hardware store and picked up a plastic tube to fill the growler, but it didn't work so well. Maybe it's worth it to pay $10 for a vinyl one. I dunno, though. That's a lot of money for a hunk of plastic -- even a tubular one. Zink!

Also, wow, I've got a hairy arm.

Max's in Fells Point and "Baltimore Taphouse" on Potomac and Fleet have great draft selections and will fill growlers. Prices are between $15 and $20 depending on the brew.

The Brewery on The Avenue fills them.

The bartenders at DuClaw aren't exactly known for the stellar service. I wouldn't taint a growler or Resurrection with DuClaw beer anyway.

A growler filled with Resurrection is exactly what my boyfriend needs for his birthday this year! Where can I get a growler without tainting it with DuClaw beer? That place is a nightmare.

KB, the last time I checked, you could buy a growler like this one at DuClaw without having it filled (or "tainted") by DuClaw beer.

Sam, I was hoping to avoid having the same uncomfortable experience you had by buying the thing and DuClaw and awkwardly refusing their icky beer. But I guess I'll have to suck it up! Thanks for the b-day gift idea. I was really out of creative ideas this year!

You can also go to Pratt Street Ale House (The old Wharf Rat on Pratt St.) They have larger growlers on sale and I'm sure you can get it with or without the beer. Although, I hear their beer is better than DuClaw's...

Glenn, a correction: Max's Taphouse stopped filling growlers a while back, as did a couple other locations (State Line Liquors in Elkton being one), because some alcohol legal beagles said that said practice was illegal (see the whole growler ruckus that Sam linked above). Basically, they're waiting out possible pending changes in local/state law to make it legal. I don't know what Baltimore Taphouse's (formerly Growlers, of course) current policy is, but........

Stupid question, but I am curious as to how the beer is consumed. Do you have to drink it in one sitting, due to it going flat or is ok to recap it and enjoy it some other time?

Can you get growlers filled with Ressurection anywhere?

Chris, my growler usually keeps beer fresh for 2-3 days.

Baltbabs, it's best to call ahead and see if the bar 1) serves Resurrection and 2) fills growlers with it. Check the price, too, because that varies from bar to bar.

Idle Hour fills growlers with resurrection, last time i was in there.

speaking of growlers, i'm going to take some pictures of our growlers too. we have several and they are all totally sweet.


I've never had a growler last more than a day, but I'd take Sam's word for it. 2-3 days may be about right.


$10.00 is kinda pricey, for a chunk of plastic, however, if you purchase a good one, made out of beverage grade vinyl, it's worth it in the savings realized by filling your own growlers.

I think you can get them online at Kegworks.

This could have been a guest post over at Happy Drinker Rob's blog.

Brewers Art and Taphouse also both fill with Ressurrection - $13 a fill

The solution to foaming when filling a growler is to attach a piece of plastic hose to the tap that extends almost to the bottom of the growler. Slowly withdraw the growler as you fill, keeping the end of the hose submerged. It take a little practice, but it works.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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