Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Growler News

We began filling growlers nearly 15 years ago at Portsmouth Brewery. A lot has changed since then, but nothing more significant than the overall increase in growler culture. We now have eight breweries filling growlers on the Seacoast. Countless beer drinkers, Seacoasters and brewery tourists alike, love a freshly-filled bottle of draft beer and that means overall growler literacy has increased.

 This change in growler culture and awareness has given us an opportunity to change our growler program as well.

Beginning July 1, the Portsmouth Brewery will no longer exchange your dirty growler for a clean one when you come in for a fill. You will be responsible for cleaning your own growler and we know a whole heck of a lot of you know how that works. If not, here are some guidelines.
Cleaning your own growler is important because we will not fill dirty growlers. If we did, the beer would taste bad, leading you to not only think maybe we weren’t good at brewing beer, but you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beer you just bought. For those of you who aren’t used to cleaning your growler, here are some helpful instructions on how to keep your growler in prime filling condition. We will be checking the bottles you bring in, but beginning July 1, exchanges will stop. Hopefully, you all can begin using the new system now so that cut-off date passes painlessly.

Another change we’re excited to tell you about is a second size of growler. The new bottle, available exclusively at the new Smuttynose Brewery at Towle Farm, will hold 32 ounces of beer, just two pints. We like these for several reasons:
    -They’re a better size for stronger beers.
    -There’s less of a chance that beer will sit in your fridge going flat and oxidizing, because it’s half the size of the classic model.
    -Best of all, you’ll be able to use them at both Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery! Each brewery’s logo is on the bottle. When you fill it, we’ll write the brand name of the beer under the appropriate company’s logo, so you’ll know what’s what. The pencil wipes off with a wet paper towel, so the bottle will be blank and ready for your next fill.
    -Each bottle is $2. Fills will either be $6. $9 or $12 depending on the beer. Sales at Towle Farm start this Friday, June 13.

Cleaning Your Growler


1) As soon as you’ve emptied the growler, please give it a few good rinses with water, allowing the bottle to drain fully between rinses. If there are any residual deposits after the rinse, keep going; you don’t want that stuff drying on! You can always clean it later, but a prompt rinse will save you lots of future hassle.

2) Allow your growler to dry completely before replacing the top. Residual moisture can easily lead to residual grossness and neither you, nor we, want any residual grossness in the beer. Residual grossness is also more difficult to clean.

3)  If you slack off (we all do from time to time) and your growler gets gross, you can either clean it with soft-tipped bottle brush and light detergent, or you can buy a fresh bottle for $2. We will also be selling growler-cleaning tablets in both retail stores, for your convenience.

We'll see you at the pub!


  1. I don't mind cleaning my growler, I always do and store them uncapped to make sure they stay dry. However, I do go to different shops and brewpubs, and I would like to use my 32 oz growlers at any location. If there is a Federal Warning on my growler, do I have to use a "Smutty" growler at Smutty and a different growler at my other favorite beer store? In other words, you do fill other growlers, right?

  2. Great questions, cm. The answer is no, but it doesn't have anything to do with federal warnings. We are legally required to be sure the outside of the bottle accurately reflects its contents. This is why we (and everyone else in NH) fills their own growlers.

  3. Are their plans to list the currently available growler fills at Smuty via the website/Facebook/twitter, etc?


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