The growler has made it possible to bring fresh beer home from your favorite brewery. Normally that is a simple process, and the growler ends up in the fridge in minutes, not hours. Other times, however, it doesn’t. What if you’re taking it camping? What if the brewery is located in the middle of nowhere (Hill Farmstead)? What if, well, you just won’t be home for a while?
Luckily, there is another option: the insulated growler, which is designed to keep your beer cold longer. But how well do these really work? We picked some of the most popular ones on the market and tested them to see. The results were more than a little surprising.
All the growlers selected hold 64 ounces of beer. Each was filled with the same beer and brought to the same starting temperature (41° F). To bring the beer to one standard temperature, we popped them each in the fridge for a very short period of time. While this may have assisted some growlers to a small degree, it was the best way for us to manage the test and, frankly, you could do the same if you plan ahead. All were then kept in the same space at room temperature.
STANLEY CLASSIC VACUUM
MIIR STAINLESS INSULATED GROWLER
HYDRO FLASK INSULATED GROWLER
As expected, the insulated growlers easily outperformed their glass and stainless steel brethren. The standard brown glass growler approached room temperature within four hours. The stainless steel growler, while better, came close to room temperature in about six hours. The rest of the growlers, well, that’s a whole other story. The Klean Kanteen was the champion of the bunch, not reaching 68° F for a ridiculous 80+ hours, but all performed almost equally as well. See the chart for yourself.
We were shocked. We were impressed. We were wondering why we started this test on a Thursday and ended up devoting our weekend to taking temperature readings every couple of hours. Basically, these insulated growlers surpassed our wildest expectations. We figured they’d keep the beer cold for about a day, maybe a little more. Yeah, no.
The Klean Kanteen gets our highest stamp of approval, but you can’t go wrong with any of the insulated growlers we tested.