Growlers--how long will they last?

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

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  1. rgdp

    rgdp Initiate (0) Aug 21, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (0) Aug 21, 2013 California
    Beer Trader's Edward, not Arthur. Not that it's of consequence.
  3. lookrider

    lookrider Defender (612) Apr 22, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (60) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    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 Crusader (718) Jan 27, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

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

    Davl22 Disciple (364) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2009 Oregon

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

    cj8311 Aspirant (232) Nov 12, 2008 Maryland

    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. JasonLovesBeer

    JasonLovesBeer Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2013 British Columbia (Canada)

    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 Meyvn (1,279) Jun 18, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    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. JasonLovesBeer

    JasonLovesBeer Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2013 British Columbia (Canada)

    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 :grinning:
  12. NMBeerSnob

    NMBeerSnob Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2015 Arizona

    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 Disciple (393) Mar 18, 2008 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    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.
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