Monday, December 1, 2014

The Growler II

No, the man pictured with the warm smile is not the growler.  It's the jug in his hands which is still called a growler and in use today at various craft brewery establishments.  

They are certainly old ... back in the late 1800s, beer was the normal lunchtime quaff as one ate one's homemade sandwich.  (This may be due to the lack of potable water in those days.) 

A man was specifically charged with going to the nearest saloon and bringing beer back to the work site - that was his job.  He could carry several pails on a long, notched pole. 

Worksite growlers were definitely not as aesthetically designed as what is pictured above.   In fact, the "work growlers" were buckets or pais with a lid or not.

The amount of beer sold by the pail was called a pint, but in reality it was a quart due to the foamy head contained therein.    "So, how much?" you say.

Sit down.  The price was from 5 to 15 cents (cents) per pail.  But then you did have to drink it out of the pail.  People weren't as fancy then and made do without stemmed or flat-base red and white wine glasses and champagne flutes. 

There is reportedly a big to-do in the beer world among connoisseurs who believe that growlers are a great idea!  If you can't down that much beer in a sitting (to which I would say "pussies") it reseals and hops back into the refrigerator.  Critics decry to the sky the beer's taste after being abused like that. 

Routinely using a growler is a nod of the head to the tree huggers and eco-freaks, but the growler has to be sterilized between trips to the beer guy.  Presumably you can rinse out the growler at home and the brewery will sterilize it for a refill. 

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