Monday, June 11, 2007

Rushing the Growler

In case you missed the memo, Beau's All Natural Brewing Company recently introduced a novel beer-drinking concept to Eastern Ontario. When you come to the brewery (have you been yet? You're getting thirsty, very thirsty), you can buy yourself some Lug Tread Lagered Ale in a big ole hoedown jug. That's right, 1/2 US Gallons of Beau's you can take home and drink on your stoop, and then blow a tune in the top when you're done. (Thanks to Beau's enthusiast Darren Wardle for the picture!)

These jugs enjoy a fair degree of poularity in the US, where they are usually called "growlers." So whenever I'm working in Beau's new retail store, people always say, "Let me see these jugs everyone has been talking about." And so I go to our converted freezer that's older than I am, and pull out a frosty one. And when I say they're called growlers, I'm asked why they are called growlers. So finally, since I like being a trivia nerd, I looked it up. Thank you Interweb! The answer is... no one knows. But there are a number of logical guesses. According to

"Back in the 19th century parents would at dinnertime send their child to a local bar or brewery to fetch beer in a pail, or covered bucket, which was referred to as a “growler.” It was also called rushing the growler, since perhaps these children were often in a hurry. Teenagers could make good money and get a free lunch if they would show up at the factories and pick up the workers’ beer pails to get them filled at the taverns. Regarding the term ‘growler' the Trenton Times for 20 June 1883 said, perhaps in jest “It is called the growler because it provokes so much trouble in the scramble after beer.”

The Otto brothers, founders of Grand Teton Brewing Co., credit themselves with bringing back the idea of the growler in 1989, in its modern-day form of the glass jug you see today. Neat, huh? So I'm thinking that, if kids are so good at fetching beer, I set myself back a number of good years by buying a "freezer on the bottom" fridge. Let's hope our boys grow tall soon. Cheers! Jen "Beau" James


Steve Beauchesne said...

beer pails at lunch, hey? It sounds so wonderful. And filled for you by a local kid? Oh man, does that ever sound like the good ole days.

PS To quote Fred 'The Ogre' Palowakski; "NERRRRD!"

Jen James said...

How in the heck do you know his real name? Lambda Lambda Lambda!