Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Growlers Are Great

Every Wednesday, newspapers across the country publish my favorite section–the food section. Referred to differently in different papers, The New York Times Dining & Wine section to read and is also my homepage on my MacBook. With the easy access to the Internet and the accessibility of publishing during different times of the day, the website is constantly updated with pieces that may not appear in the Wednesday version of the paper. Today there was a story about the 'return' of growlers. 

Like I said on my last post, while enjoying some pizza at Il Vicino I decided to bring home a growler of the Slow Down Brown. When I told him that I was going to buy one, he told me that he had no idea what a growler was. To my dismay, there are a healthy handful of people who don't know what they are. The NY Times story "The New Old Way to Tote Your Beer" goes into some detail of the history of the 64 oz. jugs and provides reasons for their 'return'. I say 'return' because though I am merely 24 years old, I have been purchasing or participating in the purchasing of growlers for close to five years. 

While I was attending New Mexico State University, my ex-boyfriend and I would buy growlers for us to split or to bring to a friends house to share. Being a fairly small town, Las Cruces only had one brewery, High Desert Brewery. They had some delicious beers on tap. Of course, given the season they had a ever-changing list of brews on tap. One of my favorites was their Wheat beer or their ESB–the Extra Special Bitter. Lip-smackingly tasty. 

Here in Albuquerque, as far as I know, there are at least five breweries. Il Vicino is one of my new favorites (with refills costing $10), Turtle Mountain, being the first to introduce me to the growler when my pa would bring them home, Chama River (has some really good eats too), their sister company Marble Brewing and Kelly's, which is conveniently located just next door to my place of employment. Note to self: pick up a growler after work tomorrow night. 

Some breweries will even fill up other companies growlers, at least so I've heard. I have yet to test this myth. My pa has a growler from Turtle Mountain from 1999 so I am a little scared to bring it in–they may trade it out. I want the classic bottle for display.  I also have a Soccorro Springs growler from the brewery in Soccorro. We would stop in on the way north or south from Cruces. And now I have my Il Vicino Growler, which I plan on filling up fairly often. I think I may try and do that tonight actually. I took the Beer Brewing and Society course at State and loved it. I love trying new beers and believe I'm pretty able to tell them apart... Perhaps at least. Also I want to try brewing some brews sometime. Its an expensive hobby, but then again, I think it can pay for itself in the end. I may have to leave that for another post. 

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