Crowlers – recyclable 32 oz. cans that can be filled and sealed with the beer of your choice as an alternative to other growler formats – have grown in popularity since being launched by Oskar Blues within the past couple of years. The innovation recently made its way into South Carolina after Columbia’s Green’s Warehouse on Piney Grove unveiled the first crowler setup in the state.
If you’re unfamiliar with Crowlers (short for can growlers), they basically work as follows: An empty, lidless 32 oz. aluminum can is purged with CO2 before being filled as you would with a standard glass, plastic or steel growler. A lid is then placed on the can, which is sealed and ready to go. (You can see the one at Green’s in action here.)
Unlike other growlers, Crowlers can’t be re-sealed after opening, but when you’re finished you can simply recycle the can and go about your way. But also unlike other growlers, Crowlers can be taken anywhere cans are allowed (pools, beaches, etc.); they’re lightweight, lightproof and more eco-friendly; and they can be purchased on the fly without the worry of having to add another glass growler to your collection.
Last summer while on a trip to Florida, I picked up Crowlers at both Cigar City and Cycle Brewing, and I can attest that while they may seem like a novelty, they work. The cans are easier to lug around than growlers, the product is just as fresh (if not fresher) as out of a standard growler and – best of all – they allow you to pick up 32 ounces of something while out whether you have a growler already on you.
According to Green’s, a nominal fee will be charged for each new Crowler purchased. The system is up and running now.