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Growlers--how long will they last?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by rgdp, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. rgdp

    rgdp Aspirant (40) California Aug 21, 2013

    I got a one liter growler of HF Arthur in a trade. It's a pop top and it's taped off. Any thoughts on how long I have to get into it or if it's already a goner? I emailed the brewery and they recommend within seven days days after purchase. I'm way beyond that. Penny for your thoughts. Thanks!
  2. rgdp

    rgdp Aspirant (40) California Aug 21, 2013

    Woops...it's Edward, not Arthur. Not that it's of consequence.
  3. lookrider

    lookrider Savant (435) Pennsylvania Apr 22, 2007

    I drank a growler of Ephraim 5 weeks after it was filled and it was the best IPA that I've ever had.
  4. eatabagofbooger

    eatabagofbooger Savant (340) Oregon Mar 27, 2009

    I've only had Edward once, and it seems like the hop character is of such a nature that, regardless of whether it's bottled or growlered, it would be best fresh. As for how growlers last as compared to bottles, it depends. Counter-pressure filled growlers can last a while. At Pegs, they don't pressure fill, but they don't leave any room at the top; the idea being that if there's no room for air, it won't go bad as quickly. One case isn't exactly a great sample size, but the 2 month old growler of Rarer Dos I had this past Winter was fantastic and well carbonated. I hear a lot about 7 or 14 day limits suggested either in general or by the brewery for specific beers, but this seems to be a case of erring on the side of caution. Only one way to find out, though...
  5. Cubatobaco

    Cubatobaco Advocate (660) Virginia Jan 27, 2013

    With IPA's, I tend to treat them in the same regard as the milk in my fridge. :)
    Jnashed and MADhombrewer like this.
  6. Davl22

    Davl22 Savant (255) New Hampshire Sep 27, 2011

    I had a growler of HF What Is Enlightenment? that was in my fridge for 2 months, it was still incerdible. I think the key is keeping it cold.
    Cubatobaco likes this.
  7. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Advocate (550) Oregon Aug 19, 2009

    Me too. For cereal only.
    aguryev, rgdp, kristougher and 2 others like this.
  8. cj8311

    cj8311 Savant (360) Maryland Nov 12, 2008

    counter filled growler of Goose Island The Illinois was perfectly carbonated after 34 days in the fridge for me. Screw top and taped. I dont know how it "held up" b/c I've never had it fresh and keeping it that long was due to circumstance rather than a "plan". So perhaps this comment is worthless...
  9. Three weeks was the number I've heard but I've never held onto a growler for any length of time.

    No matter what we say, I recommend opening at the earliest available convenience and giver 'er a go. There's nothing the internet can really do for you on this one, you need to try it.
  10. Resuin

    Resuin Champion (915) Massachusetts Jun 18, 2012

    I just found a growler of a stout that I opened 2 months ago - is there any harm in trying it? A bit less than half full. Obviously it'll be flat, but is it worth a shot?
  11. Resuin - always worth a shot. The great thing about beer is it doesn't go bad in a harmful way. But yeah, you probably will take a couple sips and pour the rest at this point :D
  12. NMBeerSnob

    NMBeerSnob Aspirant (30) Arizona Feb 5, 2015

    Over the Christmas holidays, I opened a 32 oz. growler of Ruination IPA (Stone Brewing) that was 14 months old. That's right -- brought from the brewery in October of 2013 and opened December 2014; ALWAYS (trip home and all ...) stored 1) in the dark, 2) in the fridge, and 3) on its side so the pressure would force a little been into the seal and keep the CO2 within.

    Each of three knowledgeable beer drinkers had a glass, wiping out the growler. Result: Kudos all around. Not only was it perfectly good, the aging had, if anything, improved it slightly.

    That said, I wouldn't hold out much hope for lower ABV lower IBU beers stored in a growler that long.
  13. oldsailor

    oldsailor Advocate (615) Nevada Mar 18, 2008

    I feel it's all a crap shoot when it comes to growlers. I've had some that I've kept for 3-4 months with no noticeable loss of carbonation or flavor (though it was a high ABV stout). I've also had some that didn't last a couple days without being compromised, although it could have been a bad fill too.

    For lighter beers or IPA's that are meant to be consumed fresh, I wouldn't go more than a few weeks tops as the exposure to the outside elements they have when filled starts their deterioration.