Fill ‘er up!


Nobody’s quite certain where the term growler comes from. In the 1800′s, while many types of containers were used to transport beer from the tavern to the home or the workplace (we’ve got to bring that tradition back) including stoneware jugs and glass bottles, the most common was the galvanized or enameled pail. One theory about the name claims that the CO2 escaping from underneath the lid made a growling sound. Another says it’s a reference to the conflict between the bartender trying to put one pint of beer (which was what was paid for) into the two quart bucket that the customer wanted filled all the way. Either way, the name stuck, and through the years, regardless of the container, be it waxed paper in the 50′s, or the modern glass bottle used since the late 80′s, beer from the tap to go has come in a growler.

Now, el Bait Shop is happy to announce that we offer growlers of most of our draft brews. These adorable little 32 ounce bottles are available for only a $3 deposit the first time, and prices for a fill vary depending on the beer in question, starting at $9. Got one of the bigger, 64 ounce growlers from somewhere else? Bring it on in. We’ll slap a sticker on it and fill you on up for twice the price of the 32 ouncers. Please rinse your growler before you bring it in, it’s better for both of us.

There are a few exceptions, however. We haven’t figured out an efficient way to pour our nitro tapped brews into a growler without losing too much carbonation, so those are out. In addition, we want to make sure everybody gets a chance to try every brew we bring in, so some of the extremely rare stuff won’t be available to go, at first. If it’s been on the wall for more than two weekends, it’s fair game. The only other limitation is price. The very high end stuff will only be available here. You didn’t really want to pay $60 for a growler anyway. Trust me.

Of course, we always prefer you to stay and hang out with us for a while, but we’re really excited to bring you this new way to enjoy some of the finest beer in the country. Come on down and take one out.

For more information on the history of the growler, check out this article from, this nifty time line from The Growler Station, and this in depth article from Bottless. All of them were very helpful in writing this post.


About Sean

Sean Courtney (manager/bartender) has been with El Bait Shop for more than four years. He's been a part of the Central Iowa restaurant scene for longer than he cares to admit. He enjoys Pale Ales, Stouts, holding hands, long walks on the beach, growing facial hair, run on sentences, and sarcasm.
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