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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: yso191 on February 22, 2014, 06:21:23 PM

Title: Origin of growlers
Post by: yso191 on February 22, 2014, 06:21:23 PM
I had not heard or read the origin of the term 'growler' so when I saw it on the card below, I thought I'd share.

(http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy153/yso191/AHA/1804A558-0ED1-4269-B63C-9622C1089CB5_zpsadyux05u.jpg)
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: Upstate Dan on February 22, 2014, 06:40:57 PM
Cool. Thanks for sharing. My grandfather told stories about bringing home buckets of beer from the bar in his small mining town in northern NY. Never knew about the origin of the term, though.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: denny on February 22, 2014, 07:41:13 PM
Another story is that kids going to get the pail filled often hitched a ride on the back of a passing carriage.  Supposedly, the carriage made a growling sound.  Also, the buckets were supposedly often coated with butter to prevent the beer from forming a head, since they were charged by the pail.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: euge on February 22, 2014, 11:00:20 PM
I'd always wondered why that term. Thanks.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: klickitat jim on March 04, 2014, 12:23:58 PM
The theory I heard is of two bird hunters talking about beer. One suggests having his son fetch it for him, but the other hunter replies that he'd probably not be able to get the beer away from his son. "Oh, he a growler, eh? "

There's pointers and setters and retrievers. A retriever that refuses to let you have the bird is a growler.

Seems as likely as any other I've heard.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2014, 12:46:51 PM
The story from the OP is the one I have always heard from way back. It's also the one that make's the most sense.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: klickitat jim on March 04, 2014, 01:27:18 PM
Seems like a case for Myth Busters. I'd like to hear the growling beer bucket, or see the modification needed to get it to growl.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: euge on March 04, 2014, 01:58:37 PM
Or it is the sound the foreman makes, when he discovers you drank a bucket of beer for lunch. ;D
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 04, 2014, 03:12:20 PM
I thought it came from the sound a bartender makes when you ask them to fill it.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: micsager on March 04, 2014, 04:30:27 PM
Here's another brewery that tells pretty much the same story. 

http://www.grandtetonbrewing.com/Growlers.html

Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: ccfoo242 on March 04, 2014, 05:45:32 PM
This sounds like something for Snopes to investigate.


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Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: yso191 on March 04, 2014, 05:56:02 PM
Or it is the sound the foreman makes, when he discovers you drank a bucket of beer for lunch. ;D

I have always thought it amazing when I hear how much people purportedly drank back in the day.  This explains, for example, why so many people died during various construction projects.  Can you imagine drinking even a small bucket of beer and then resuming work on the Empire State Building?
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: gmac on March 04, 2014, 06:16:39 PM
Or it is the sound the foreman makes, when he discovers you drank a bucket of beer for lunch. ;D

I have always thought it amazing when I hear how much people purportedly drank back in the day.  This explains, for example, why so many people died during various construction projects.  Can you imagine drinking even a small bucket of beer and then resuming work on the Empire State Building?
I would have to drink a very large bucket of beer just to consider getting up there.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: denny on March 04, 2014, 06:32:15 PM
My wife's grandfather worked at a brewery in Pittsburgh in the 20s-30s.  They were apparently allowed to drink up to 2 cases a day.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: Stevie on March 04, 2014, 06:54:34 PM
Empire State Building - 5 deaths
Golden Gate Bridge - 11 deaths, 10 in one incident when a support structure failed
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: a10t2 on March 04, 2014, 06:55:05 PM
Even into the early 90s, I had relatives who worked at the AB brewery in St. Louis and they were able to bring home a case or two a day. I doubt they were allowed to drink on the job at a brewery that size, but when there's that much beer going around...
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 04, 2014, 06:56:31 PM
My wife's grandfather worked at a brewery in Pittsburgh in the 20s-30s.  They were apparently allowed to drink up to 2 cases a day.

Holy crap.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: Slowbrew on March 04, 2014, 06:59:39 PM
The AB distributor here in Des Moines allows every employee to take home what they can carry in one trip. without dropping any, each Friday.  The run delivery drivers can carry a lot of cases in one trip when motivated.  8^)

Paul
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: fmader on March 04, 2014, 07:05:11 PM
My wife's grandfather worked at a brewery in Pittsburgh in the 20s-30s.  They were apparently allowed to drink up to 2 cases a day.

A brewery in the 20's? Underground?
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: denny on March 04, 2014, 07:42:11 PM
My wife's grandfather worked at a brewery in Pittsburgh in the 20s-30s.  They were apparently allowed to drink up to 2 cases a day.

A brewery in the 20's? Underground?

Nope, it was Iron City (or was that beer name?).  I could be off on the date, of course.  Seems like it must have been post-pro, huh?
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: fmader on March 04, 2014, 07:58:16 PM
My wife's grandfather worked at a brewery in Pittsburgh in the 20s-30s.  They were apparently allowed to drink up to 2 cases a day.

A brewery in the 20's? Underground?

Nope, it was Iron City (or was that beer name?).  I could be off on the date, of course.  Seems like it must have been post-pro, huh?

Iron City Beer is still in Pittsburgh. I don't recommend drinking it lol. If you're ever in Pittsburgh pass on ICB and visit Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville. It's a pretty cool place. It's a Catholic Church turned brewery. The beer is also solid.

Yes, prohibition was from 1920-1933. It wasn't illegal to consume alcohol so they could drink a case a day, but the manufacture, sale, and transportation was illegal, so working in a brewery would be tough lol. Maybe the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933 created a type of alcohol hysteria. Therefore the permission to get tanked on the job? Maybe.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2014, 08:03:23 PM
Yeah, I grew up in PA. Tried iron city once. It was something like, 6 bucks for a case of 24 bottles. It. Was. Terrible.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: fmader on March 04, 2014, 08:08:14 PM
Yeah, I grew up in PA. Tried iron city once. It was something like, 6 bucks for a case of 24 bottles. It. Was. Terrible.

I grew up in West Virginia about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh and went to school at WVU. We talked a local Superette to start carrying 30 packs of IC Light. It was bad, but a broke college student couldn't pass up a $10 thirty pack o beer.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2014, 08:14:59 PM
I tried it way back in 1991 so no telling how much worse it may have been. I didn't try more than 2.
Title: Re: Origin of growlers
Post by: vinnieb on March 05, 2014, 12:57:30 PM
I've heard the same story from a curator at the NYC Tenement Museum.  Its a pre-law building built in about 1863 and was a German Beer hall on the commercial floor for 20 years.  They have restored it to its original condition and still have an original growler.  The kids in the building would run down the steps to get the beer for the family and bring it back up. What's cool is that the growler and the wood casks are all original pieces from the 1870s.