Cycling with a Growler

Cycling with a growler

You’re about 20km into your day, and you happen to pass a really awesome looking brewery. A warmshowers’ host told you a couple of days ago that the beer there is amazing. The brewery is still small, so the only place you can get their beer is at the brewhouse, but it’s 11am and you still have 80km to smash out before sunset. You’ve been on your cycle tour for about 2 months now, and the effects of alcohol are definitely greater than they used to be. You know if you stop in for only one drink, then that’s you done for the day. So reluctantly, you cycle on.

What if this place has the most magical beer on earth?!? If you don’t sample it now you may never know! What kind of a life is that to lead?!?! A terrible one and you know it.

Rest assure, we think we’ve found a solution, so you never have to miss out on those great brews again. The solution: cycling with a growler!

Things to consider when choosing a growler:

  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Size
  • Insulation

What growler we chose:

Klean Kanteen 40oz (1.2L) stainless steel growler x2 – yes, Michael bought two growlers, and is currently contemplating buying a third.

cycling with a growler
Our Klean Kanteen stainless steel growler – and a glass of stout!

Why we are happy with this choice:

  • BPA free
  • Lightweight
  • Less likely to break/ damage
  • Doubles up as a water bottle
  • Made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, electropolished so it won’t retain flavours.
  • Removable cap is thread-free to provide a tight, leak-resistant seal.
  • 44mm opening allows easy filling and pouring and can fit ice cubes in.
  • Rounded corners permit easy, complete cleaning.

Downside:

This one isn’t insulated, which means we have to find a way to keep our beer cold, because nothing is worse then a warm beer. This is actually the reason Michael is contemplating buying a third (insulated) growler – honestly, we don’t drink that much beer!

A good insulated alternative would be the Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Growler version.

How to attach a growler to your bike:

There are growler bike cages for 64oz growlers and also leather growler carriers for the bike (not sure how much they will move around on the bike and they don’t look particularly long lasting). Kleen Kanteen and Velo orange also make some mighty fine polished stainless steel cages, but they are pretty pricey! As we have two 40oz (1.2L) growlers we needed something that will hold something a bit smaller. We’ve opted for Blackburn Outpost cargo cages, which we’ve attached to the frame of the bike.

cycling with a growler
The growlers secure in their Blackburn cages

Obviously, another alternative (if the brewery offers it) is to by takeaways (cans or bottles), but personally nothing is better than beer straight from the keg, which is why we’ve opted for the growlers. Plus, if you have an insulated growler, you don’t have to worry about your beer getting warm. And, once you’ve got a secure way to attach your growler to the bike, it is actually much easier than trying to squeeze a couple of extra cans or bottles in your panniers, plus you don’t have to deal with disposing of empty bottles or cans so it’s more environmentally friendly!

The growlers are a new addition to our bikes, and though I think it will be great for short-term cycle trips, we’ll have to report back on how we go cycling with a growler in the long term.

Have you been cycling with a growler before? We’d be very interested to find out how you got on and what growler you used.