Growlers vs Crowlers: What’s the Difference?

As the world of craft beer gets bigger and more popular, people are always on the lookout for new tastes and experiences. Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to look back at better times, and that’s what’s happened with growlers.

Despite the long history of growlers, they have experienced newfound popularity over the last few years as more patrons learn about fresh beer. Glass beer growlers are so popular that a new iteration, the crowler, is also becoming increasingly common in the craft beer scene.

If you’re not sure what crowlers are or what option might be best for your bar or brewery, we’ve put together an explainer below.

What is a Growler?

A growler is a bottle or jug commonly made of glass and with a tight cap, designed to keep its contents cool and fresh.

Growlers can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, usually starting at one litre. They can be used to store a range of liquids, including fresh milk, but are usually associated with the craft beer industry.

There are many benefits to using growlers over normal bottles or jugs, the main one being their ability to keep their product fresh. Many craft breweries and pubs use growlers to allow customers to take tap beers home, which also encourages repeat purchasing for your establishment.

What is a Crowler?

Essentially, a crowler is a canned version of a growler. Instead of being a glass bottle, a crowler is an aluminium.

Crowlers are filled and refilled at specific filling stations. These stations purge the inside of the can of CO2, fill it with beer and then replace the lid, finishing with a tightly-sealed can.

Both growlers and crowlers are designed for the same craft beer market and provide similar benefits. Crowlers allow patrons to take tap beers home with their freshness locked inside the can.

Growler or Crowler: Which is Better?

While they both offer similar benefits, there are a few crucial reasons that explain why growlers remain more popular than crowlers.

We’ve broken down some of the key areas below:


Both growlers and crowlers can be found in similar sizes, so there’s not always much difference. However, large growlers are much more common than large crowlers.

The majority of crowlers are 32 ounces, which holds two pints. In comparison, growlers are usually at least 64 ounces, double the size.

While it might be a small point, growlers are also easier to carry thanks to their handle. Large crowlers can be quite cumbersome in comparison.


Both growlers and crowlers pride themselves on their freshness, so again, the difference in this regard is not notable.

Both options, when poured at the beer tap or crowler machine, are sealed to preserve the freshness of the beer for a long period. Obviously, when you open it to enjoy your beer, the contents will slowly lose their freshness.

One benefit of growlers is that they can be easily resealed at home, helping you to keep your beer fresh for longer. Crowlers, like cans, can’t be closed once opened, so you need to enjoy its contents then and there.

Ease Of Use

The first tangible benefit of a growler over a crowler is its ease of use, both for the patron and the bar or brewery pouring.

To offer a crowler, you will need to invest in specialist machinery that can fill and reseal the can. If this isn’t done correctly, the freshness that’s vital to the crowler experience is lost. Obviously, this is not something people can do at home.

Growlers, on the other hand, are much simpler to pour. Training and equipment are still required for maximum freshness, but you won’t need to operate any machinery to pour a beer.

While growlers can be easily poured straight into the glass, with the aid of a universal growler pump, patrons can get the full craft beer experience wherever they are. Obviously, such a device doesn’t work with crowlers.

The growler’s ease of use helps the patron, especially if they don’t plan to drink it all in one sitting. Unlike crowlers, growlers can be opened and closed at will, with a screw top or swing stopper. That particular benefit brings us to the final point:


Perhaps the biggest difference between growlers and crowlers is their reusability. In this area, growlers are notably better.

While crowlers are good at first, once opened, they lose their ability to keep beer fresh. The only way to reseal a crowler is with specialist machinery.

Growlers, on the other hand, can be opened and resealed at will. Not only does this make your beer last longer, but it allows you to use the growler for other stuff around the home. Then, when the time comes to revisit the drinking hole, you can get the growler refilled with fresh beer to go.

While crowlers are an exciting innovation for the future, right now, they struggle to compare to the ease and reusability of the growler.

If you want to learn more, check out our blog on how growlers can increase craft beer sales for your business.