There are only so many times one is willing to see a good beer go to waste. Sometimes, you visit a brewery or bar and there is a great beer that is draft only, and after a couple pints you decide you want to take some home. You fill a growler and you happily go on your way with what is most likely about four pints of said beer. When home, you crack open the growler to have another pour, screw the cap back on your growler and place it in the fridge to save for later. The next day, you go back to finish off your growler only to find out that it’s mostly flat, oxidized, and no longer resembling that incredible beer you enjoyed the night before.
We all like to think we don’t let this happen and we don’t waste beer, but let’s be honest, this is the major problem with growlers. A problem Philadelphia’s Steve Mosaic decided to find a solution to back in May of 2011. After wasting too many growlers, Steve was hit with the idea of what would become the Growler Saver while homebrewing and filling some corny kegs. Steve realized there had to be a way to treat growlers in a similar fashion to how you would treat putting homebrew into a corny keg. For the next two years he worked on creating prototypes and perfecting his Growler Saver creation. In April of 2013, he launched a Kickstarter to help raise the funds necessary to make Growler Saver a reality. 479 backers later, he exceeded his goal of $30,000 and realized there was really a demand amongst beer drinkers for a Growler Saver-type product.
Growler Saver made its official launch in November of the same year with pickup events in the city and suburbs for all the local backers. As per part of the Kickstarter breakdown of levels, nine businesses started selling their Growler Savers at the same time and have been quickly selling out, with over 1,000 Growler Saver caps hitting the market.
So what exactly is the Growler Saver? It’s a special cap that allows you to purge CO2 into your growler as well as release it. After you are finished drinking your desired amount out of the growler, you replace the original cap with the Growler Saver cap and then pressurize it with CO2 with the accompanying CO2 filler. If done properly, your beer is sure to keep much better than a growler stored with a regular cap. The CO2 keeps the beer carbonated as well as keeps the beer from becoming oxidized. The growler can be opened and re-pressurized as many times as you’d like as well, so you can spread those 64 ounces of beer over the course of a week, if you can manage to go that long without drinking it all.
Beyond just saving growlers, the Growler Saver has also evolved into serving as a convenience to homebrewers. Like Steve’s original inspiration, the Growler Saver allows homebrewers to force carbonate growlers of homebrew in about 48 hours, rather than the two weeks it typically takes to carbonate, making for a great way to test out dry hopping techniques or just rush out a beer you’re anxious to try. It can also act as a Randall of sorts, so if you want to manipulate your favorite draft beers and infuse them with your own flavors, Growler Saver speeds up and simplifies the process. For instance, you could drop a couple vanilla beans into a growler of Lancaster Milk Stout, seal it with the Growler Saver, and within 24 hours, you have your own vanilla version of Lancaster Milk Stout.
For the time being, Steve is only selling the Growler Saver at wholesale, but you can find a list of retailers on growlersaver.com to get one of your own and not waste another growler.