The Rise of Crowlers: Blurring the Line Between Cans and Growlers


In recent years, a new trend has been taking the craft beer industry by storm - the rise of crowlers. These innovative containers have been blurring the line between cans and growlers, providing beer enthusiasts with a unique way to enjoy their favorite brews. With their convenience, freshness, and versatility, crowlers are becoming increasingly popular among breweries and consumers alike. In this article, we will delve into the world of crowlers, exploring their origins, benefits, and impact on the craft beer scene.

Origins of Crowlers: The Marriage of Cans and Growlers

The concept of crowlers emerged in response to the limitations of both cans and traditional glass growlers. While cans offered better portability and durability, they were often limited in volume and lacked the flexibility of refillable containers. On the other hand, growlers allowed consumers to take home larger quantities of draft beer, but their glass construction made them prone to breakage and limited their shelf life. Crowlers sought to bridge this gap by combining the best of both worlds.

The birth of the crowler can be attributed to Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. In 2011, the brewery introduced a custom-built canning machine capable of filling 32-ounce cans with draft beer. This innovative invention allowed beer to be canned on the spot, offering freshness and giving consumers the ability to take their favorite draft beer home. The crowler, a portmanteau of "can" and "growler," was born.

The Benefits of Crowlers: Freshness, Convenience, and Versatility

Crowlers have quickly gained popularity due to their numerous benefits. One of the key advantages is the preservation of freshness. Unlike traditional growlers, which rely on a simple cap to seal the beer, crowlers are sealed using the same technology as canned beer. This airtight seal prevents oxygen from entering the container, protecting the flavor and quality of the beer for a longer period.

The convenience offered by crowlers is another notable advantage. Unlike growlers, which need to be cleaned and returned to the brewery for refilling, crowlers are designed to be single-use containers. Consumers can simply purchase a crowler filled with their favorite beer and enjoy it at their leisure. This eliminates the hassle of cleaning and returning containers, making it a more convenient option for both breweries and beer enthusiasts.

Furthermore, crowlers are highly versatile. They come in different sizes, typically 32 or 64 ounces, allowing consumers to choose the quantity that best suits their needs. Additionally, crowlers can be easily transported, making them ideal for outdoor events, picnics, or parties. Their compact size and lightweight construction make them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy a cold craft beer on their adventures.

The Impact on Breweries and the Craft Beer Scene

The rise of crowlers has had a significant impact on breweries and the craft beer scene as a whole. From a business perspective, crowlers offer breweries the opportunity to expand their reach and increase revenue. With the convenience and portability of crowlers, breweries can sell their beer directly to consumers on-site, eliminating the need for third-party distributors. This direct-to-consumer approach allows breweries to establish a stronger connection with their customers and retain a larger portion of the profits.

Moreover, crowlers provide breweries with a platform for experimentation and innovation. Craft breweries thrive on creativity and constantly strive to push the boundaries of flavor. Crowlers enable brewers to offer limited-edition releases, unique collaborations, and small-batch experiments directly to their customers. This fosters a sense of excitement and exclusivity, driving beer enthusiasts to visit breweries in search of these one-of-a-kind experiences.

On the consumer side, crowlers have transformed the way beer lovers enjoy their favorite brews. Gone are the days when the only option was to fill a growler and finish it within a few days to maintain freshness. With crowlers, consumers have the flexibility to try a variety of beers without the fear of wasting or compromising quality. They can purchase crowlers from multiple breweries, mix and match their selections, and savor the flavors at their own pace.

The Future of Crowlers: Expanding Popularity and Innovation

As the craft beer industry continues to thrive, the future of crowlers looks promising. The convenience and versatility they offer have captured the attention of both breweries and consumers, ensuring their longevity in the market. Additionally, advancements in canning technology are likely to lead to further improvements in the crowler experience. From more efficient filling machines to better sealing techniques, the innovation in crowlers is set to continue.

Furthermore, the growing demand for sustainable packaging may drive the development of eco-friendly crowler alternatives. While the aluminum cans used for crowlers are recyclable, some beer enthusiasts are seeking even more environmentally friendly options. Biodegradable or reusable materials could potentially offer a more sustainable solution while still preserving the freshness and convenience of crowlers.

In conclusion, the rise of crowlers has brought forth a unique and exciting trend in the craft beer industry. By combining the portability and durability of cans with the large volume and freshness of growlers, crowlers have revolutionized the way beer enthusiasts consume their favorite brews. With their numerous benefits, including freshness, convenience, and versatility, crowlers have firmly established themselves as a fixture in the craft beer scene. Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of craft beer, crowlers offer an unmatched experience that blurs the line between cans and growlers.

Summarizing the current article

In this article, we explored the rise of crowlers and their impact on the craft beer industry. We discussed the origins of crowlers, highlighting their marriage of convenience and freshness. We also delved into the benefits of crowlers, such as their airtight seal, portability, and versatility. Additionally, we explored the impact of crowlers on breweries and the craft beer scene, emphasizing the direct-to-consumer approach and the platform for innovation they provide. Finally, we touched upon the future of crowlers and the potential for further advancements in canning technology and sustainable alternatives. With their blend of practicality and flavor, crowlers are undoubtedly changing the way beer enthusiasts enjoy their favorite brews.


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