Whether you’re having people over at your house, or if you simply hate being out in public, it’s convenient to be able to take things to go. We do it all the time with Chinese food, pizza, and the same can be done with fresh beers from a brewpub. I’m not talking about bottled, or canned beers from the liquor store, I’m talking about beers from the tanks and kegs from a brewpub. Yes, the same beers they pour out of the taps, can be poured into a “Growler,” and taken home with you.
A Growler is simply a glass jug that can carry a little over 2 liters of beer. They can be washed and reused, and they’re typically available at brewpubs and occasionally breweries. In Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, there are 5 different places where you can get growlers filled up. If you include Whistler there are 6. Just make sure you make it there before 11pm.
The Mark James Group has 4 different brewpubs, and you can take home any of the beers they have on tap, in a growler. Also, the Mark James Group growler can be used at all 4 of the brewpubs. If you don’t have one of their growlers, the cost of it is $5, and it costs $15 to have it filled up. So the first purchase will cost you $20, but the refills after that are only $15.
You can get the Mark James Group MJG growler filled up at Yaletown Brewing Company. The Brick and Beam IPA, Hills Special Wheat, and the seasonal beers are definitely growler worthy.
You can take a trip across the bridge into North Vancouver, and get the Mark James Group MJG growler filled up at Taylor’s Crossing. You can get both Taylor’s Crossing beers, and Red Truck beers there.
In Surrey, you can get your Mark James Group MJG growler filled up at Big Ridge Brewing. It may be too much for some people, but I find the Belgian IPA to be a growler worthy beer.
Lastly, if you ever take a trip up to Whistler, make sure you bring your Mark James Group MJG growler, and get it filled up at Brewhouse High Mountain Brewing Company. If there’s one beer you gotta take back with you, it would definitely be the 5 Rings IPA.
In gastown, right by Waterfront Station, is Steamworks Brewing Company. Some of their seasonal beers are absolutely phenomenal, but being that they’re so damn busy, it’s great that they offer growlers to go. Your fist purchase if you don’t have a growler is $17.99, and refills after that are $10.99.
At Steamworks it’s all about the seasonal beers. The Vitam P, North by North West, RoggenWeizen, and the Espresso Stout, are definitely some growler worthy beers if you ask me.
Last but not least, we have Central City Brewing in Surrey. This is where you can get everyone’s favorite Red Racer beer, but fresh out of the tanks. Central City definitely offers the best deals to fill up the growlers, as it’s $5 for the growler, but only $10 to fill it up. Also, if you go there on a Sunday, it’s only $9 to fill it up!
If you go to Central City, you have to take home a growler of their Red Racer IPA. Another great one to take home with you is the Red Racer ESB. They have some great seasonal beers but they tend to be Imperial beers, so if you’re not a “light weight,” or if you have people over, maybe you can take them home in a growler.
Just remember that each establishment has their own growler, so you can’t go to Central City with your Steamworks growler, and the Mark James Group growler can only be filled at their 4 brewpubs. Also, don’t just show up to a random bar with your growler, and ask them to fill it up either. Unless you enjoy feeling awkward. Anyways, keep the beer refrigerated, and you should consume the beer within 48 hours. After you finish the beer, rinse the growler very thoroughly, and store it somewhere that won’t get grease inside it.