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The Importance of a Clean Growler

The Importance of a Clean Growler: The Time We Take is Worth the Wait!

Planning on stopping by the brewery to get a growler of your favorite Makai craft beer filled before heading out for a fun evening? In case you’re in a hurry, know before you go: it’s not as simple as just “filling a growler.” It has to be thoroughly cleaned. Here’s why.

Dirty, unsanitized growlers affect product quality, consistency, and safety. All things that we take very seriously here at Makai Brewing Company. When a growler has leftover residue from a previous fill, and it hasn’t been cleaned, harmful bacteria and microorganisms can grow in it. That bacteria taints the product that we fill it with, causing it to taste flat or stale and smell odd. That can also mean a shorter shelf life for the beer. Also, if the previous beer was a different type, it can give you an inconsistent product. But a dirty growler doesn’t just affect you.

Contaminated growlers also contaminate our taps when they come in contact. That means we are pouring a bad product for everyone else. That’s why we have a strict cleaning protocol in place.

We use a three-tier sink system. One is for washing the growler, the second is for rinsing, and the third is for sanitizing. We dip the growler into each sink and then pump a little CO2 into the bottom which helps the beer stay carbonated. We then put on a fresh cap and seal it with tape per The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control. We also have to write a label for it with the name of the beer, the ABV%, and the date that we poured it—again to comply with NCABC. While the process might not sound super lengthy, those several steps do take time—especially when we’re extra busy.

Please remember. We’re not a bottle shop. We’re not a local pub that sells beer made by others. We’re not a self-serve beer-filling station. We are an award-winning microbrewery that spends countless hours on the brewing process and cleaning and sanitizing our tanks, inside and out, because we want our customers to have the best possible experience when drinking our beers.

So, the next time you come in to have your growler filled, and the tap room is really busy, be patient, enjoy a pint, and know that the beer we’re filling will taste just like it did when it left the brewery.