Growler Cleaning 101

These little guys work hard for you. Show them you appreciate them and keep them clean.

In my time pouring beer I’ve seen (and smelled) some disgusting growlers. Airborne bacteria quickly turn beer into a vinegary mess. It’s hard to believe people would abuse a growler in such a way, but some finish their beer, cap it and let it sit until the next refill.

Beer is food. No one puts fresh food in unwashed containers that have been sitting around for weeks. Why would you do it with beer? Love your growlers well, and they’ll supply you with delicious beer for years to come. Here are a few tips for cleaning growlers:

    1. After your growler is empty, rinse it thoroughly, and rinse the cap too.
    2. Clean your growler (see options below).
    3. Dump the growler, rinse it and let it air dry with the cap off (and never cap a growler that is not dry).
    4. When you’re ready for a refill, rinse your growler, cap it and go.

Growler Cleaning Methods

  • Good – Run your water until it’s as hot as it gets, fill the growler with very hot water and leave the cap off and let it soak overnight. Don’t use dishwashing liquid, it can leave residue on the glass.
  • Better – Using unscented, dye-free OxyClean, fill the growler with 1 teaspoon of OxyClean and warm water and let it dissolve and sit about an hour.
  • Best – Get PBW at a local homebrew store, fill the growler with 1 teaspoon of PBW and warm water and let it dissolve and sit about an hour.

Keep those growlers clean, people. They will provide tasty beer for years to come.


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