It is no secret that I love a bitter IPA. Bitter NYers like bitter craft beers. And in NYC, there is no shortage of artisan food shops, brewers and gourmet markets where you can fill a reusable 60 oz growler with some fresh suds.
Even Duane Reade on the Upper West Side has growler refills!
But what no one talks about is the dark underbelly of fresh beer – cabinet storage. In New York, even the largest kitchen has storage issues and one giant growler means eliminating a kitchen appliance. Rice cooker?
I have 4 growlers.
It wasn’t always thus.
First to come was a growler from my neighborhood gourmet market, Grab. The place has since been renamed The Ploughman, and they have a rotating selection of about 10 taps.
Best of all, you get a 10% discount when you bring the growler back in for a refill.
Then someone brought me a growler from Beer Table, also in Park Slope (with a larger offshoot in Grand Central).
We also picked up a plastic half growler from Zito’s, a local restaurant with Brooklyn’s own Sixpoint beer on tap. This half growler is great for picnics.
Our mistake was the glass half growler from Whole Foods. Brooklyn does not yet have a Whole Foods, but I was at one of the Manhattan stores and fell for an organic IPA. I paid my $5 deposit (plus beer) and when I tried to return the growler, I was told that they are not returnable.
On the plus side, my recycling bin stays empty.