Cleaner, Greener Growlers

Innovation by | Apr 2015 | Issue #99

While convenient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective, the increasingly popular growler can present problems to brewers and tap houses: No matter how incredible the beer, it’s ultimately influenced by what’s going on inside the growler. And breweries and bars that serve beer for on-site consumption in spotless, properly prepared draft-ready glassware find that customers’ growlers aren’t always as clean.

“Pouring lovingly crafted beer into a dirty growler risks compromising the quality of the beer and the brewery’s reputation in the process,” says Jonathan Ettlie, brewing ambassador for National Chemicals, Inc., a company that manufactures a number of cleaning items for brewers and beer bars. That’s why they created the Craft Meister Growler Cleaning Tablets.

A bartender can fill the customer’s icky 64-ounce growler with hot tap water, drop in a cleaning tablet, and in about 20 minutes—the time it takes to enjoy a quick pint at the bar—the growler will be spotless. After following any additional health department sanitation requirements, the growler is beer-ready. All this, without a lot of scrubbing from the bartender.

“The tablets clean with a mixture of specialty detergents and active foaming oxygen,” Ettlie says, adding that other products can leave deposits that can affect the aroma and head retention of the beer. “We formulated the tablets with draft-ready glassware detergents that rinse clean with no residues, dyes or fragrances left behind.” The tablets also are non-caustic and safe on skin, plus the active ingredients break down into naturally occurring minerals and compounds that don’t affect municipal water supplies.

At 20 cents per use, a soaking with a Craft Meister Growler Cleaning Tablet is no doubt cheaper than a beertender’s time to wash the growler, too. Tablets are available at many homebrew shops, online stores and in packages of 25 for $4.99 at