Beer School

Growlers vs Crowlers vs Bombers – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve visited your local craft brewery lately, you’ve probably heard the terms “growler”, “crowler” or “howler” – but what are they? Learn about what these are and what is the difference.

Growlers vs Crowlers vs Bombers – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been to a craft brewery, you’ve probably heard the terms “growler”, “crowler”, “bomber” or “bullet”. These are all names of different versions of jugs or cans craft beer is served in.

Growlers, crowlers, and bombers are a little different in size than your average can or bottle of beer. In this post, we’ll explain the difference between all three and what their purpose is.

 

What’s the difference between a growler and a crowler?

Growlers and crowlers are both made to transport beer, but are different in many ways, for example, one is a glass jug while the other is an aluminum can, Let’s dig a little deeper:

 

What is a Growler?

A Growler is a large 64 oz (1.89L) jug that is often used as a “take-out box” for draft beer at breweries or brewpubs. Growlers are typically glass, but can also be plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel.

How many beers is in a growler?

An average craft beer growler holds 64 ounces of beer (just under 2 litres), which is roughly 4 pints. To get a better idea if you’re getting more bang for your buck, you typically get about 72 oz of beer in a six-pack.

 

How long is beer good in a growler?

Growlers aren’t usually for long term storage of beer, however, beer can last several days in a growler that is tightly sealed, unopened and chilled Adding carbon dioxide to the growler before sealing it can also extend the lifetime of the beer inside. If the growler has been opened, the beer can last about 36 hours before it goes flat.

 

Why do they call it a “growler”?

Back in the 1800s, people carried beer home from pubs in a small pail. The name “growler” comes from the sound the beer made sloshing around and the rumbling sound it made when the carbon dioxide was released from the pail.

 

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com
Photo: Robb McCormick Photography – https://www.robbmccormick.com

 

What is a Crowler?

A crowler (a.k.a. can growler) is a 32-ounce (946ml) aluminum can that is used for transporting craft/draft beer. However, unlike a growler – crowlers are not refillable.

What size is a crowler?

Crowlers are 32 oz (slightly under a litre)– which is half the size of a growler. Crowlers are twice the size of a regular (355ml) can of beer– holding approximately two pints of beer.

 

How long is beer good in a crowler?

Beer can last up to a month in a crowler as long as it is refrigerated and unopened. However, it is recommended that you drink your beer within two weeks of it being packaged for optimal taste. Once you open your craft crowler, you’re going to have to finish the beer in a single serving as the beer will not last after being opened.
Crowler

 


What is a Bullet?

A beer bullet (a.k.a. howler) is a smaller growler. Howlers hold 32 oz (946ml) of beer, half the size of a growler. You may have heard other names for a bullet such a “baby growler”, “a half growler”, 32 oz growler or “growlette.” – These are all referring to a 32 oz glass jug made to transport beer.


 

What is a beer bomber?

A beer bomber is a 22 oz (650ml) glass beer bottle sold individually. Bombers contain more beer than the average 12-ounce (355ml) bottle.

How much is in a bomber of beer?

A bomber holds 22 ounces of beer, which is equivalent to two regular (355ml) bottles of beer.

 

No-Li-22oz

 

What’s the point of a growler?

(or crowler or bomber?)

The purpose of a growlers, crowlers and bombers are to transport draft beer from a brewery back to your house! Growlers were used back in the day before six-packs of bottles and cans, but are still a common find in craft breweries today.

 

Where to buy Growlers, Crowlers or Bombers

You can find growlers, crowlers and bombers from many local craft breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs, through LCBO, as well as online at growler retailers.

 

Now that you know what a growler, crowler, and bullet are. Check out these other beer education and brewing articles that you might like

What is Homebrewing?
Does Beer Go Bad? How to Prevent a Skunky Beer
How to Serve Beer – Temperature, Pour and Glassware

 

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