It didn't take long for the growler, a glass or ceramic to-go beer vessel, to catch fire in the local craft beer community. But in light of a more recent invention, it's quickly becoming old news.
Welcome the crowler, an aluminum can that can be filled and sealed on-site to take beer to-go. A cousin of the growler, this method of transporting beer stormed Dallas-Fort Worth late last year after Lone Star Taps and Caps in Lewisville became the first retail location in the country to own the machine that made it possible.
And if you need proof of its local popularity, consider this: Dallas craft beer staple Craft and Growler, which was one of the area's first (and best in our opinion) growler-focused bars, will soon have a crowler machine of its own, confirmed owner Kevin Afghani.
Drinkers can expect to get a fill by mid-August, Afghani said, after he orders custom labels and re-models the back bar to fit the machine. Generally, crowlers come in 32 ounces, but Afghani hopes to expand offerings to a 16-ounce crowler as well "since craft beer clientele enjoy trying many different beers per session," he said by email.
"I think it'll be a great additional offering for our customers, who sometimes need the transportability of canned beer, or forgot to bring their growlers to our store," Afghani added.
Invented by Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, beer nerds tout the crowler as a more easily transportable option than the growler and say it keeps the beer fresh longer because of lack of exposure to light and oxygen. And because crowlers are one-time use cans, there's less risk for beer contamination than in a glass growler.
Afghani crowd-sourced a beer-centric group on Facebook before ultimately making his decision, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Crowlers are "more convenient," said one commenter. "Don't always have to carry around a Growler or purchase a new one when you see something nice on tap and don't have one on hand. There is a time and place for Growlers. I have to say Crowlers are a game changer."
Craft and Growler joins a handful of other business in North Texas in on the trend. Here's where you can fill a crowler locally: