Growlers have always seemed something of a flash in the pan to me. While they do provide a good way to source a wide range of generally tap-only beers, the treatment of refills by many venues can only exacerbate many of the quality troubles faced by the craft beer industry. Add to that the excise anomalies facing excise (and stay tuned for the podcast of the excise session at the recent CBIA Craft Brewers Conference), and they seemed like a bit of a temporary buzz. However, like the broken clock that’s right twice a day, we are wrong most of the time and so it may seem with our judgement of the longevity of growlers.
When you have, in Dan Murphy’s, the biggest retailer in the country, putting a toe in the water they provide some considerable weight to resolve the excise issues. And when Hoshizaki Lancer, one of the world’s largest providers of draught beer systems, starts importing gear designed to remedy some of the quality issues, you could say the trend has some significant impetus behind it.
Let’s see what develops…[MK]
Craft beer revolution sees growler trend emerge
For many Australian drinkers, nothing beats the flavour of an ice-cold beer drawn directly from the keg.
However, most people who want to enjoy a beer at home have to “make do” with bottled beer – until now.
Beer systems provider Hoshizaki Lancer is introducing the growler system to Australia, enabling drinkers to take home small quantities of keg beer to enjoy later.
The growler itself is a 1.8 litre refillable glass bottle that can be filled from the keg with the customer’s beer of choice.
People can take the bottle home, enjoy the beer later and then have the bottle refilled with the same or different style of beer.
Hoshizaki Lancer will be the main distributor of purpose-designed growler filling systems in Australia.
Managing Director, Mr Joe Thorp, said growler systems had been installed in a limited number of retailer and craft brewery outlets and negotiations were underway about expanding the system across the country.
“While growlers are reasonably new to the Australian market, they are actually quite a phenomenon everywhere else in the world – particularly in Europe,” he said.
Developed in the late 1800s, growlers initially took the form of a small galvanised pail.
The term “growler” is believed to have come about when the beer, which was carried home by patrons from the local pub, sloshed around the pail and created a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped from the lid.
Mr Thorp said that continued growth of craft beer and microbreweries had increased demand for the growler system in Australia.
“Many craft beers are not available in bottles and many of the beers are seasonal, so growlers give people access to a wide range of specialist brews in small quantities,” he said.
“We certainly see a market for growler filler systems in Australia.”
About Hoshizaki Lancer
Based at Beverley in South Australia and employing almost 100 people, Hoshizaki Lancer is one of the world’s largest providers of draught beer, soft drink and frozen beverage dispenser systems, ice machines, professional food service refrigeration units and heat recovery systems.
Hoshizaki Lancer has installed beverage systems and ice machines in thousands of venues around the world including restaurants, bars, sporting stadiums, cinemas and quick food service restaurants.
The company exports to a range of countries including New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, Singapore, Indonesia,Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Nepal, the United States of America and now Pakistan.