Steam Whistle Brewery cuts down on bottle returns with new Growler

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Steamwhistle Growler and Pint

Canadians love ordering a bottle of Steam Whistle Pilsner on a hot summer day. There’s something about the sleek, green bottles that have resonated with people for years. But now, the iconic Toronto brewery is offering a memento to its beer-loving customers.

The company is adding green glass Growlers to their take-home offerings from the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse is a historic locomotive facility in downtown Toronto that Steam Whistle operates out of.

Steamwhistle Growler

Josh Hillinger is Steam Whistle’s Retail Manager. He’s been working on this project because consumers have been asking for brewery-fresh beer and unique memorabilia.

“Glass growlers are a North American phenomenon, growing with consumer interest in craft beer. We’ve created a really original growler so that our fans can take fresh, draught-filled Pilsner home to share. The beer growler offers a nice alternative to a bottle of wine at dinner parties or social gatherings,” explains Hillinger.

By providing growlers to customers, bottle returns can be significantly reduced. Clients can bring their growlers back to the brewery for a refill, next time they wish to purchase take-home beer.

Hillinger has taken the Steam Whistle growler one step further by importing a Pegas Craftap bottle filling system. Steam Whistle says the common way to fill growlers, top filled from draught taps, results in more foam and high dissolved oxygen levels, shortening shelf life of beer in growlers. However, the Pegas system uses the same operating principles found in bottle fillers around the world, with a counter-pressure of carbon dioxide, eliminating oxygen and excessive foam. Steam Whistle Growlers are fresh for 2-3 weeks after purchase, if kept refrigerated. Once opened, it’s recommended that you consume within 24 hours for optimum freshness.

The 64 oz. emerald growler with metal handle, pewter logo medallion and ceramic flip top reflects the beer brand’s premium retro feel. It also fits into Steam Whistle’s lineup of award-winning packaging. The Growler initially costs $39.95 CAD filled with Steam Whistle Pilsner and can be refilled for $11.95.

Bottled beer was never economical nor common before industrialization in the mid-1800s. During this time in the US, if you wanted beer outside of the saloon, it was usually draught beer filled and carried out in a growler, aka a “can” or “bucket” of beer. Many different containers (including pitchers, pottery or glass jars) were used to carry beer home or to work. The most common “growler” was a 2 quart galvanized or enameled pail. The term Growler is thought to have originated from the sound of escaping CO2, causing the lid to rattle or growl.

Estimates show that North American use of glass growlers have kept more than 1 billion cans and bottles from going to landfills each year.