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Your Beermonger: Something to Crow(ler) About

This sponsored column is written by Todd Himes, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway). Sign up for the email newsletter and receive exclusive discounts and offers. Order from Arrowine’s expanding online store for curbside pickup.

Hey, everybody! It’s Your Beermonger here, Todd, from Arrowine.

As I write this, I sit in front of possibly one of my favorite parts of our store. You might think I, as a former cheesemonger, would gravitate toward the cheese case here, though my heart really lies toward the end of the case with all the cured meats. (If you don’t already know from our Weekly Whey-In emails, the Olympia Provisions Landrauchschinken is back in stock and still as fun to pronounce as ever!) Or, you might find me browsing the Spanish wine section and occasionally hovering around the Txakoli, dreaming about a trip to San Sebastian and eating tinned fish and Iberico ham. However, where you are most likely to find me in the store at any given moment would be here in front of our 12 taps of beer that are available to go in the familiar form of growlers and the, as I am finding out, slightly less familiar form of “crowlers.”

The crowler is a 32-ounce can we are able to fill and seal here in-store. This makes the crowler a single-use carrier and, with no way to reseal, you’ve got to enjoy all 32 ounces in one sitting. They will last a little bit longer than a resealable glass growler will before opening.

The crowler technology was first introduced by Oskar Blues back in 2013, which as you may remember, laid claim as the first craft brewery to release beer exclusively in cans. The format spread fairly quickly throughout brewery taprooms but less so into retailers. Crowlers carry many of the advantages that cans have — they are lighter weight, airtight when sealed properly, don’t allow light to reach the beer and are much less susceptible to damage. That unbreakable factor also allows a Crowler to go with you poolside, to the beach or on a hike in the woods. It does take a little bit more effort to crush a 32-ounce can, but it’s worth it to not lug an empty glass jug around with you.

The crowler is designed to be a one-time-use vessel, as opposed to the near-infinite use of glass growlers (you know, provided that they don’t fall over in your trunk and get banged all around). That also means you won’t, like me, end up with a large collection of glass growlers taking up space and collecting dust. Sure, they do make great souvenirs from breweries far away, and they can also be a great way to show support for your favorite locals. But, in many cases, you end up with way more than you can conceivably use at any time.

Meanwhile, you get a crowler, maybe snap your pic for the ‘Gram or Untappd, drink the delicious beverage stored inside, then send the can off to be recycled, and everything starts anew. No empties sitting around collecting dust or other — shall we say — growths… That’s one thing you see when you’re filling lots of glass growlers for folks, a lot of nasty empties. (Quick side note: We spray everything down with a little Star-San here before filling, but that won’t fix everything, so please make sure those growlers are clean beforehand or just grab yourself a sparkly new crowler!)

As a way to get you familiar with this new format we’re going to start offering $2 off all crowler fills on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the rest of the month of July. Check out what we’ve got on tap, then come on by!


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