The history of the growler is an interesting one. You could make various
connections over history from prohibition to the space program and it all
starts with a little metal pail. In the pre-prohibition era the beer
industry was fighting against itself. Women were commonly not allowed in
saloons or bars, as any alcohol consumption was seen as a vice, and women
were thought to have sensitive constitutions (or something to that effect).
Prostitutes were allowed in but often it was an ante-room and not the
saloon itself. At the same time images of sexy girls riding burly animals
were found on beer labels, what is now referred to commonly as
“breweriana”. To get the man out of the saloon and back home a
controversial idea came to pass, let the customer take it home with them.
It started with steel pails that held about two pints of liquid with a lid.
They did this reluctantly at first as they felt they were losing money on
the deal, and often arguments would come about when the patron disagreed
with the amount of suds dispensed in said pail.
Meanwhile the word temperance is starting come up more and more.
Prohibition is coming and the beer industry is trying to differentiate
itself from hard liquor in the public eye. Beer is starting to be cast as a
family drink almost a safer alternative for the man at home. Suddenly
saloons and bars now have what was euphemistically called a “family
entrance” which was effectively a window to the bar. This made it easier
for women (who again were commonly not allowed in the bars) and children
easier access to pick up the suds for the menfolk. Mind you children could
come into the bars to pick up the pails, but the family entrance gave way
to easier access for them too. The word “growler” comes from the rumbling
sounds that would come as the beer sloshed about inside the pail releasing
carbon dioxide. A smart kid could get a pole with hooks on it and pick up a
penny a pail by getting the product to the workers during lunchtime. Thus
the term “rushing the growler” was born, a term borrowed and modified from
the duck hunting world. Anti-Alcohol crusaders decried the fact that beer
was so easily brought home. They were not too happy that children could
take a sample along the way either. The beer industry cried right
back…yeah but the menfolk are home!
The growler has been around for some time, however the vessel itself has
seen various iterations. In the 80’s there was a place using waxed
cardboard containers for fill ups. Think chinese takeout containers. The
64oz glass iteration we all know and love gained real traction when one
entrepreneur came up with the idea of silk screening a logo on the classic
jug and the modern day growler was born, again.
Tenaya Creek Brewery has various growler size options for your take home
enjoyment. On Sundays you can bring in two standard size Tenaya growlers to
be filled and walk out only being charged for one! New to the lineup, and
drawing on a connection to our country’s space program, the Hydro Flask
growler. Double walled and vacuum sealed 18/8 stainless steel (18% chromium
and 8% nickel, a perfectly fine grade of stainless steel) this rugged,
durable, and nearly indestructible growler will keep your beer cold and
fresh for hours. I once left my Hydro Flask in the car during the peak of
summer here in Vegas with fresh ice and water in it. A day later I pulled
it out and there was still ice inside, with cold fresh water to drink. I
use that thing for everything! Get yours at Tenaya Creek with that handsome
logo on the side. It might save your life!
*Without a double walled vacuum container for the propellent, rocket ships
don’t go up.