For all beer lovers out there, we all know a growler is a must-have, right? It’s a great way to get fresh beer from our favorite brewery, and it’s also perfect for sharing with friends. But if you’re not careful, your growler of beer can go bad quickly.
So how long does beer in a growler last? Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Will Beer Last In A Growler?
An opened growler of beer lasts about 36 hrs after opening. After that, the beer could taste flat and lose its flavor. However, this time can also vary on some factors, such as temperature and the quality of the beer itself.
If unopened, you can expect your growler to stay fresh (if properly sealed) for up to two weeks or more, though some beers may start to lose their flavor and carbonation in less than a week.
But with proper care, you can extend the life of your growler’s contents and enjoy fresh beer for weeks to come.
Factors That Affect Its Shelf Life
How It Was Filled
If you fill your growler using a counter-pressure filler, it will last for weeks. If it is filled from a tap system using a standard fill, it would only last 1-3 days due to oxidation.
A growler that has been filled using the carbon dioxide filling method will last for weeks because the CO2 in the beer will keep it from going flat.
If you see your local brewery using some kind of vacuum pump to clear air out before filling, expect your favorite craft beer to last long.
Clear glass growlers have the shortest shelf life of all the growler types because sunlight can penetrate them easily and does not insulate the beer well.
The amber-colored glass type growler is better than the clear one because it can protect the beer from direct sunlight.
Plastic growlers are more durable but can impart an off flavor to the beer because they are not as airtight as glass or stainless steel growlers.
Growlers made from ceramic materials and stainless steel are the best, they don’t impart any off flavors, and your favorite craft beers can last longer.
Regular growlers have a shorter life span than pressurized growlers because they are not sealed as tightly and may allow oxygen to enter the growler, making the beer taste flat. But if sealed properly and stored nicely, it can still last for a week or beyond.
A pressurized growler keeps your beer fresh and carbonated for a longer period (like a few months) than a traditional growler. This is because the pressure in the growler prevents oxygen from entering and affecting the beer. A pressurized growler is recommended to use during camping or night outs.
How It’s Stored
The way you store beer growler also determines how long it will last. If you store it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, that craft beer will much more likely remain fresh for a longer period. Otherwise, if you store them carelessly, then they can go bad before you know it.
Should You Drink A Whole Growler At Once?
Not really. Though you’re not required to finish a whole growler of beer once opened, it should be put back in the fridge or consumed within a day or two.
The reason is that once opened, the beer in a growler will last only about 36 hrs due to oxidation and loss of carbonation that may speed up after opening.
Will Beer Go Bad If Left In A Growler For Too Long?
Yes. Beer stored in a growler can go bad if left for too long. It may develop off-flavors and become sour. If left unopened, it must be stored in a cool, dark place and should be consumed within two weeks from purchase.
If you plan to store your favorite brews for months, try to use pressurized growlers, as they can store beers for a longer period
Does It Need To Be Refrigerated To Last Longer?
No. It is not necessary to refrigerate, but doing so will help keep the beer last longer. The fridge has the perfect temperature and can protect the draft beer against sunlight, so you could say that the fridge is the perfect place to store your growler.
Tips To Storing Growlers To Make Beer Last Longer
- Keep your beer growler in a cool, dark place.
- If you are not going to drink it right away, store it in the fridge and make sure to put back the lid immediately after pouring.
- Make sure the growler is airtight before storing it. You can do this by using a rubber stopper or a screw-on lid.
- Clean your growler regularly with hot water and soap to prevent bacteria from growing inside of it.
- Growlers are also used to transport beer after filling from the brewery, but make sure to protect beer from heat and sunlight.
- Upon choosing, look for top-fermented ones, which usually have a creamy head or what they call a white cap.
How long does beer last in an insulated growler?
Most beers will last for about 2-3 days in an insulated growler. Insulated growlers help keep your beer cold for a longer period of time, which helps preserve the beer’s flavor and quality.
What do you do with old beer growlers?
Old growlers that are undamaged can be reused. You can clean it thoroughly and fill again at your local breweries or pub (which is preferred by the beer industry) or return it to their respective breweries (if it is labeled) for them to recycle.
How long does a growler last in the fridge?
Once opened and put into the fridge, beer growlers can last up to 36 hrs. It could last for a few days or even months if it’s unopened (especially if it’s stored in pressurized growlers). The cold temperature greatly affects the lifespan of beers in a positive way. 
Overall, beer in a growler can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, it is important to remember that the fresher the beer is, the better it will taste. For this reason, it is always best to consume your growler within a day or two of filling it up.
Knowing how much beer you would like to consume before purchasing is also important. If you plan only to take a few shots, you can also purchase the smaller version, known as “crowlers.”
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