Today I am going to address an issue that is prevalent in the beer community: Opening, but not finishing growlers.
Growlers are a great way to get your favorite draft beer in a "To-Go" fashion. There is also the bonus that most growlers are a gallon, so you get a ton of the beer that you like. Unfortunately, such a great quantity of beer is a little difficult to drink in one sitting, especially if, like me, you enjoy drinking a few different beers rather than the same one all night. This leaves you with a growler that is however full, depending on how ambitious you were.
Now, the same principles work here as with any carbonated beverage. The carbon dioxide from the beer will fill up the empty portion of the container (why you get the hiss when you uncap a beer). When the growler is only half full, that is a lot larger of a volume for the carbon dioxide to escape into. The longer the beer sits, the more carbon dioxide escapes into the empty portion of the growler.
As you can expect, this will make the beer go flat after some time. Generally, I won't open a growler unless I know I am able to finish it within 2 days. That doesn't mean that it will go flat and not taste good after 2 days, but that is my rule of thumb. If you want to avoid your beer going flat, I would recommend drinking with a small group. This way, everyone gets to drink the same beer and you can talk about it! Next time you are going to open up a growler, think before you drink! If you don't you might waste some of your precious, precious beer!
The beer in this particular growler is #7 in Sixpoint Brewery's Mad Scientist Series (small, interesting batches). It is a Cranberry Porter, but don't let that throw you if you don't like fruit beers, because neither do I. The best way I can describe the flavor also makes me sound like I'm bullshitting. It tastes bright. Weird, I know, but you would probably agree with me. Porters generally have a more subdued flavor, sweet and mild, but the cranberry gives the beer a mineral flavor, which I'm pretty sure is what makes it "bright".
The reason why I got this beer in a growler was that you can't get it to-go otherwise. Certain Sixpoint beers are only generally available in the NYC area. Naturally, when one of my local beer stores offered it on tap, I had to go for it. I would suggest you do the same. Just remember, when you get a growler, make sure you have enough people to drink it. Respect the beer enough to drink it all.
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