A few nights ago, we offered a teaser of our upcoming review of the GrowlTap. We were really excited when this arrived from Amazon.com. Craft beer is wildly popular here in the Seattle area however we regularly find ourselves in the situation of having a half-growler full of flat beer. Ok not really, but it could theoretically happen. So enter the GrowlTap.
GrowlTap is marketed as bringing beer growlers into the 21st century, and what’s not to like? The patent-pending design, “…Ensures the beer in your growler remains fresh and carbonated.” Put simply, it turns every growler into a mini-keg, so follow along as we crack it open:
Day One: After figuring out how the thing operates, and pushing gently on the CO2 release valve we found it works as advertised. You have to be gentle with the pour as you’ll get a lot of foam. This makes sense considering you’re putting a small container under pressure. That said, it was a LOT of foam. The beer poured well, but lost pressure pretty quickly requiring a few puffs to re-pressurize.
Day Two: The beer is still carbonated, though not as much as expected. We made an error when pouring our first day’s beer, we forgot to re-pressurize the container after. That’s a one-time mistake, my friends. After a pour, the growler is getting low and it’s taking longer to pressurize.
Day Three: The beer is getting low. LOTS of foam. The instructions say to pour your last beer to save your CO2 cartridge and boy, is that true. The CO2 cartridge supplied ran out of juice. Kaput. So after wrestling the top off, we poured the rest of our beer (about 3/4 glass) into a glass.
The Early Verdict: The GrowlTap is a great idea in concept, but I question the value. First off, it’s being sold on Amazon for $65.00 from the manufacturer, yet you can get it for $45.00 from the manufacturer’s website. In our case it came to $52.00 with the same 2-day shipping offered by Amazon Prime. And let’s be honest, we’re only looking at about a buck per CO2 cartridge, but they need to be ordered and kept stocked. Hopefully we can learn to make them go more than one growler.
Then there’s the manufacturing quality. After we figured out we need a REALLY tight seal on the growler or will lose pressure, there were few complaints. Except for the unsightly zip-ties used to keep the clear tubing connected to the head-unit and tap itself. They’re unsettling, and left us wondering if they were going to come off, spraying beer all over the place.
Overall, we like the GrowlTap concept and will revisit it after a few months of use, but we have our reservations that like the Slap Chop, this may be destined to sit in the back of our cabinet.
Update: It sat in our drawer for a few years and got recycled. Just drink your beer.
Beer Tested: Trickster IPA by Black Raven Brewing Co. NABA 2009 Silver Medal winner.