Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Why are growler fills so expensive?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by atomic, May 18, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Lasering

    Lasering Disciple (301) Mar 19, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    No it didn't pass the big beer companies are preventing it? 32oz or 128oz makes no sense!
    PorterBoy14 likes this.
  2. chrisp450

    chrisp450 Disciple (311) Oct 23, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Damn that sucks. I was in Tampa a couple months back. Sounded like it was gonna happen. Such a weird law...
  3. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (744) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I am not saying it's a better deal. I am just saying for me personally it's more often than not more enjoyable. And it's the same reason most of us order draft beers over bottled beers when we are out at a bar that offers both options.
  4. Mersh

    Mersh Zealot (531) Mar 10, 2013 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    For a guy like me who has no distro access for this. It was a true delight to see.
  5. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (630) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    This might might be the dumbest response I have ever seen.
  6. rboinski

    rboinski Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 California

    Can you answer the question then?
    MasterCraft likes this.
  7. IrishHockey

    IrishHockey Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I like drinking my growler out of a paper bag.
    craigo19 likes this.
  8. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,476) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    You sir are a poor consumer.
  9. schnarr84

    schnarr84 Zealot (569) Nov 27, 2011 Alberta (Canada)

    because youll pay for it. stop paying for it, the price goes down. same for pretty much every consumer good. that being said, they definitely have their market and are enjoyable. just overpriced.
  10. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (744) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Kind of a stupid thing to say when you don't really know me. I didn't say I would pay a huge premium, but will pay more for fresh draft beer. And you guys all act like every time you fill a growler there is a fresh 6 pack of the same beer sitting on the shelves. Many small breweries don't even bottle their beer (Kane which is one of my favorite being one of them), so the option does not even exist even if you wanted bottles. When bars or any store that fills growlers get 1/2 kegs, the price is normally a lot cheaper than when they are tapping the same beer in sixtels, so there are plenty of places that do fill growlers at a reasonable price.
    ufmj and ESeab like this.
  11. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,083) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Some places are cheaper than others. Bars are more expensive for filling growlers than, say, a store like Joe Canals. You can get decent prices there, especially if you deduct bottle club and NJ craft beer membership. I agree with others on here that growlers are best suited for beers you can't get in bottles (Kane, Carton, etc.)
    GoGators likes this.
  12. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (512) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Basically what I use them for. If it's a beer that's only sold at the brewery/brewpub on draft, or a beer that I can't easily find in bottles/cans, then I get a growler. I rarely get a growler of something I can just grab a 4 pack, 6 pack, 12 pack, or case of.

    Sometimes the breweries themselves have better prices. I've noticed the higher growler fill prices tend to be at bottle shops, bars, etc.
    DrStiffington likes this.
  13. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Daisy Cutter is canned, not bottled. If you're giving up a first born in a trade, it's because you're trying to acquire either Double Daisy Cutter, or Galactic Double Daisy Cutter.

    To the OP's point... I agree. Why buy a 64 oz. growler of garden variety Daisy Cutter if you can buy 4 16 oz cans, drink them at your leisure without concerning yourself with your beer going flat, and get it more cheaply to boot.

    Beer is the only thing I see in stores, where buying in "bulk" doesn't drive down the unit price. I expect the price per ounce to me more expensive when I'm buying 12, 15 or 22 oz of something, than it is when I buy 64 ounces of it without all the packaging that's involved in the other formats to boot.

    Edit: Apologies. Just realized a lot of this had already been touched upon.
  14. paulys55

    paulys55 Zealot (587) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Sixtels are the bombers of kegged beer.:slight_frown:
  15. Squatchito

    Squatchito Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2007 Virginia

    There are 2 major reasons for it at my store:

    1. We are using sixtels and quarters.
    2. There can be a surprising amount of loss associated with this. Samples, overflow(for those of us without counter pressure systems), the inevitable fraction fill when a keg kicks.
    dmfc906, MasterCraft and TongoRad like this.
  16. pitweasel

    pitweasel Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2007 New York

    Let's look at it a different way: why are bars so expensive?

    Think about what you pay for a pint of something when you go to a bar. Chances are, two pints will cost as much as, or even more than, a six pack. So why go to a bar in the first place?

    Now, if you're on board with the idea of going to bars, let's look at growlers again. $12 for a growler fill? That's only $3 a pint from that keg. Bet you were going to pay at least $5 for that if you'd just bought a single pint. That growler fill is only 60% of the cost of buying that beer on tap by the pint.

    Personally, I don't do growlers to begin with because four pints and I just don't get along. Yep, I'm a lightweight. But if I had a mini growler, and there was a beer on tap that I really wanted to try but wasn't sold in bottles (or only sold by the case near me), I'd certainly entertain the idea.
  17. kpacedo

    kpacedo Initiate (99) Nov 24, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Wow those are incredible prices. Filling a double jack at firestone will cost you $25 without the price of growler. Best growler option I have seen is pliny for $14.
  18. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,463) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    You pay for the inconvenience.
  19. Marty91

    Marty91 Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I like to look like a hipster
  20. rjniles

    rjniles Initiate (141) Aug 30, 2012 South Carolina

    I have been spoiled by a local brewpub. Quigley's in Pawleys Island SC has a Wednesday special, 64 ounce growler fill for $5.00. And they have a very respectable IPA.
    craigo19 likes this.
  21. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Poo-Bah (2,148) Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Same reason a 22oz bottle is so damn expensive. Cause they can.
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  22. jaxon53

    jaxon53 Meyvn (1,132) Mar 1, 2006 Connecticut
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I sometimes buy growlers of stuff I can regularly get. Most likely fresher from the brewery in a growler than the stuff on the shelf at your local store. It's just a matter of wanting to pay...
  23. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Bear Republic will charge you something near $15 for a growler fill of Racer 5, and somewhere near $8 for the Growler.

    Café Racer 15 comes on tap, the Growler fill is somewhere around $25 or $30, I can't remember (which is fine) but the same Growler now goes for $20. Not a fan of this business practice at all which I find complete BS.

    OP - My only answer is because the market is bearing that price.
  24. mporter13

    mporter13 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    A growler of HotD Adam is always a good deal at least!
  25. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (463) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    If you're buying a growler at the brewery, you're probably getting the freshest beer possible, which I think should have some additional value to the consumer.

    If you're buying your growler at a restaurant/bar or brewpub, then you are going to pay prices that are relative to the costs of running a bar/restaurant, which has way more overhead costs than a bottle shop. For that reason I don't understand why someone would buy a growler at a bar, unless it was a beer they couldn't get in a bottle anywhere.

    EDIT: The other reason growler prices at the brewery are relatively high is that most breweries sell the vast majority of their beer through local or regional shops and bars. If the brewery undercuts the price the local sellers that the brewery depends upon may decide to stop carrying that brewery's beers.
  26. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (510) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Why would you want either of these beers in a growler when there are so many other beers at each place that will never make it to the store that are so much the better?
  27. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,238) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I rarely curse but fuck yeah! I DID buy some Ivan The Terrible in Growlers for around that price though, so I shouldn't bitch.:wink:
  28. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2008 California

    $12 dollars is cheap! Russian River charges $14 for growler fills, which is pretty standard. In San Francisco, the cheapest refill I've seen is $16.
  29. Sparty2014

    Sparty2014 Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2013 Michigan

  30. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (744) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

  31. Jake1605

    Jake1605 Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2009 Missouri

    Service/convenience charge.
  32. atomic

    atomic Disciple (328) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Thats the question I'm asking... Who is actually buying this?
  33. Hannibalism

    Hannibalism Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2008 California

    Exactly, I just got a growler of '10 Stone IRS and it was less expensive than I thought it was gonna be. Stone's growler fills are reasonably priced.
  34. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,647) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    OP: I'm not convinced. IF we go by the bar/ brewpub price then the growler price reflects the 'service charge' for what is off-premise consumption. (That is, it might be cheaper than 4 pints at the bar... But you're not drinking at the bar.) if we go by the price per sixer then it comes out to be more for less, typically. For this reason you won't find me filling a growler at Bear republic or Lagunitas of their regular line-up. The only rational which I can justify a growler fill, especially if its something I can find on the shelves, is if I think of the price per bomber. Then a fill at RR results in a savings vs buying 4 bottles.
  35. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Given equal age, a keg may taste fresher since there is less oxygen per volume of beer in a keg than smaller containers. Of course if you are then pouring it into a growler, depending on how they are filled, and how long you wait to drink it, and temperature the growler is stored at, that advantage can easily be negated.
  36. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Poo-Bah (1,927) Oct 3, 2007 New York

    Because its "draft" and not bottled. Likely a bit more fresh if they have a good turnover. Also, may be draft only options or limited release stuff.

    Anyone else have an "emergency" empty growler stashed in their car?
    craigo19 likes this.
  37. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Crusader (740) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Growler steal of the weekend...Columbus Bodhi DIPA...$8.99 for 64oz fill...i bought 2!!!
  38. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Correct me if I am wrong, but growler beer is draft beer, no? Some people may be willing to pay extra because they prefer draft beer to canned beer.
  39. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (477) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Growler beer is draft beer and differs from bottled with most domestics in that it is not pasteurized.
  40. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    This is the answer really...I never even consider growlers unless it is something that is draft only/not available bottled because the growler always comes out more expensive and I honestly can't tell the difference taste wise (as long as their freshness is similar).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.