The Curious Origins of the "Growler" for Beer Kegs TMCRAFT

The Curious Origins of the "Growler" for Beer Kegs

Beer enthusiasts are likely familiar with the "growler" when it comes to mini beer kegs. However, the origin of this term remains a topic of curiosity and debate. In this blog article, we will delve into the intriguing history behind why a beer keg is called a "growler." Explore the various theories and stories surrounding the term's origin, shedding light on the unique and colorful language associated with beer culture.

The Growling Sound Theory:

One popular theory suggests that the term "growler" arose from the growling sound emitted when carbonation escaped from the beer kegs upon opening. As beer was poured, the carbonation released, creating a distinct growling noise that possibly led to the adoption of the term.

The Escape of Carbonation Theory:

Another theory posits that "growler" derived from the sound of carbonation escaping when beer was carried in a lidded pail. The imperfect seal of the lid allowed the carbonation to escape, resulting in a growling sound that became associated with these beer kegs.

Refill Requests and the Growler Connection:

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, customers often brought their pails or metal cans to breweries for refills of fresh beer. The act of requesting a refill involved making a growling sound to alert the brewery staff. Over time, "growler" became synonymous with these refillable beer kegs.

Growling Customers and their Grumbles:

An alternative theory proposes that the term "growler" stemmed from the grumbling or growling sound made by customers who carried beer home in beer kegs. They would voice their dissatisfaction with the high cost of the beer, leading to the term "growler" being associated with these disgruntled customers.

The origin of the term "growler" for beer kegs remains shrouded in mystery, with several intriguing theories attempting to explain its etymology. Whether it be the growling sound of carbonation escaping, the refill requests made by customers, or the grumbling of dissatisfied patrons, each theory offers a unique perspective on the term's origin. While the true origin may never be definitively known, the term "growler" has become firmly entrenched in beer culture, representing a portable vessel for enjoying fresh beer from breweries or taprooms.

Back to blog