The second installment of innovation or gimmick includes the ever popular Growler. Another trend/fad in the U.S that is somehow finding some interest up here.
These large vessels have been a part of the beer industry for a long time and I can understand their use to some extent. For a brewpub who is a) brewing British styles of beer and b) is interested in allowing consumers to buy their beer and take it home.
Now what’s happening is the use of growlers in bars and restaurants instead of pitchers as a novel way of drinking beer. I’m not a fan of pitchers to begin with since they release the majority of carbonation on the first pour and the growler is no different.
The real problem is how does a normal bar actually fill this jug? What is happening in the States is this….the bar attaches a hose (most likely rubber or plastic) to the faucet and then pours the beer into the growler. Again two pours should result in a nice flat beer experience. YUM! Here’s a couple of other things to consider.
- how do you control the flow rate so that you don’t get too much foam?
- who is cleaning the pouring tube and how often?
- why do we need to see this when there is perfectly good glassware in the bar?
I have seen a pouring unit that allows a hygienic method of pouring into a growler that actually hooks up to a draught tap but it is expensive. This particular device actually inserts carbon dioxide into the growler first and then the beer. OK - this makes more sense but who decides how much CO2 is added.
Here’s a thought. Why don’t we concentrate on creating really good quality draught dispense systems and then train our bartenders how to pour beer properly. Those two little things might actually drive volume and quality at the same time.