Growlers in Columbus

Written by on April 25, 2011 in Beer - 10 Comments

UPDATE: We posted a much lengthier list in June 2012 which you can viewhere

For hopheads, growlers are a great way to enjoy craft beer at home. A growler is a half gallon glass container that you fill up at a bar or retail store. The name supposedly comes from the sound pails used to carry beer a hundred years ago made when the carbon dioxide escaped; either that, or the rumble from the workman’s hungry stomach at lunch just before the pail was delivered to them. Either way, the name’s stuck around.

Barrel & Bottle, the wine and beer shop inside the bustling North Market, has recently added growlers to their retail selection. They join a handful of other Columbus establishments that offer the potent portable.

What’s great about growlers? For one, it’s a fairly cheap way to get good beer: refills typically range from $5 to $20. Second, it’s eco-friendly: the growler is re-used for refills, thus eliminating waste. Finally, the beer is preserved fresh from the tap. Make sure you refrigerate your growler; doing so will give it a shelf-life of 7-10 days, or around 2 days after opening.

By the way, some establishments (notably Barley’s) will not fill a growler that wasn’t purchased there, so don’t think that one growler will have you covered everywhere you go.

Here are other places around Columbus that offer growlers:

BARLEY’S SMOKEHOUSE & BREWPUB, 1130 Dublin Road, (614) 485-0BBQ,

BARLEY’S ALE HOUSE, 467 North High Street, (614) 228-ALES,

BARREL AND BOTTLE, 59 Spruce Street, (614) 221-5550,

COLUMBUS BREWING COMPANY, 525 Short Street, (614) 464-BREW,

ELEVATOR BREWERY AND DRAUGHT HAUS, 161 North High Street, (614) 228-0500,

MAD MEX, 1542 North High Street, (614) 586-4007,

STUDIO 35, 3055 Indianola Avenue, (614) 261-1581,

WHOLE FOODS, 1555 West Lane Avenue, (614) 481-3400,

Photos by Brandie Williams

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Geek of the craft beer/board game/sci-fi varieties. Fan of patios.

10 Comments on "Growlers in Columbus"

  1. Brandie Williams April 26, 2011 at 6:59 AM · Reply

    Do you know what they currently have on tap at Barrel & Bottle? (I forgot to look.) Are they expecting to rotate it?

    • Cheryl Harrison April 26, 2011 at 8:14 AM · Reply

      Breckenridge ’72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout (only keg in Ohio!) and CBC IPA

  2. Lydia April 26, 2011 at 7:42 PM · Reply

    At The Pub! They have growlers.

  3. Kristine April 27, 2011 at 10:32 AM · Reply

    Mellow Mushroom Polaris was also filling growlers the last time I was in.

  4. Halvorsen April 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM · Reply

    Thank you for this post! I miss being able to go to Great Lakes Brewing and having my growler filled up!

  5. Jonathan June 15, 2011 at 8:02 PM · Reply

    “By the way, it’s illegal for an establishment to fill a growler that wasn’t purchased there, because putting a beer in a growler that isn’t correctly labeled is violation of State and Federal law, so don’t think that one growler will have you covered everywhere you go. You’ll need to purchase one from each establishment you plan to revist for refills.” – Cheryl Harrison

    Not sure where you obtained this information, but it patently false. For instance, if you buy a growler from Studio 35, it says “Studio 35” not the beer in the growler, which isn’t made by Studio 35, thus violating these Federal and State laws about contents being reflected on the label. (the same is true for WHOLE FOODS, BARREL AND BOTTLE, MAD MEX)

    I assume you were told this from an employee of a location that fills growlers, and I suppose they are free to refuse to fill a competitors growler, but to claim that it is illegal is wasteful and greedy. Personally I have filled up both a Kuhnhenn Brewing and a Dark Horse growler at both Barley’s and CBC, I received a little guff both times, but neither refused or claimed legal reasons.

    • George Adams June 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM · Reply

      Actually, it is not unheard of. Ohio isn’t the only state with this restriction, but it doesn’t strictly enforce it. The reason is that you are not suppose to bring in an item that had alcohol in it into another establishment. This is the same technically as an open container between bars, you just can’t do it.

      Some places do not enforce the rule if you’re a regular, or didn’t know about the rule. But it is true, that you must bring a growler that was purchased at that establishment to refill it. It doesn’t matter about the beer.

      Thanks for the concern!

      • Bob March 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Reply

        The local alternative paper checked with the State. Sorry. You are wrong. It’s either ignorance or a marketing ploy.

  6. Keith Robinson June 29, 2011 at 3:12 PM · Reply

    I am a huge fan of growlers! Last weekend I had a growler of the Russian Imperial Stout from Barley’s Smokehouse…delicious! It’s good to know about these other places!!!

    • Cheryl Harrison June 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM · Reply

      Growlers are awesome. Economical, environmentally-friendly and FRESH! Glad I could enlighten you to a few other options!

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