Local Toronto brewery Steam Whistle has taken another step to green their beer (previously) by using growlers to serve and distribute their beer. A growler is essentially a large bottle of beer which can be refilled – and there’s the green aspect. By using growlers people consume less resource-intensive cans and bottles (yes those can be recycled).
Throughout North America growlers are growing in popularity thanks to craft brewers who care about beer. You should see if your local brewery supports growlers!
Before bottled beer became economical and common after industrialization in the mid-1800’s, in the US if one wanted beer outside of the saloon, it was usually draught beer filled and carried out in a growler, aka a “can” or “bucket” of beer. Many different containers (including pitchers, other pottery or glass jars and jugs, etc) were used to carry beer home or to work – the most common “growler” was a 2 quart galvanized or enameled pail as seen in these illustrations. The term Growler is thought to have originated from the sound of escaping CO2 causing the lid to rattle or growl. The current North American use of glass growlers is estimated to have kept over 1 billion cans and bottles from going landfill each year.