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Want DryHop Beer To Go? Aluminum 'Crowlers' Debut This Week

By Erica Demarest | September 25, 2014 5:21am
 DryHop Brewers, 3155 N. Broadway, will begin selling crowlers on Thursday.
DryHop Brewers
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LAKEVIEW — Starting Thursday, fans of DryHop Brewers will be able to take home their favorite craft beer in 32-ounce crowlers.

That's right, crowlers.

The oversized aluminum cans were first introduced by Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, a craft brewer that uses exclusively cans. Each 32-ounce crowler (think: can + growler) is filled with draft beer and sealed right at the bar.

DryHop owner Greg Shuff said they're a lightweight, affordable alternative to traditional growlers — the refillable glass containers popular in the craft beer industry.

A crowler has "a much better seal, and it doesn't shatter," Shuff said. "It can take a lot more abuse. If you were to go camping this weekend, you could get a couple of cans, throw it in your trunk ... and not worry about the glass shattering in an outdoor environment."

Crowlers last up to four weeks once they're sealed, and the cans are completely recyclable.

Here's how it works: After a customer chooses a beer, the bartender will purge a 32-ounce can with carbon dioxide. That helps reduce oxygen exposure, which can shorten a beer's shelf-life.

The can is then filled straight from the tap and sealed in a machine made by Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry and sold by Oskar Blues. The sealing process only takes a matter of seconds.

Shuff hopes crowlers will make DryHop beer more affordable and accessible.

Unlike their glass counterparts, which cost $4 a pop at the Lakeview brewery, crowlers carry no extra cost for customers. People simply pay for beer, which will range from $6 to $8 for the 32-ounce pour.

DryHop currently sells 32- and 64-ounce glass growlers. Shuff plans to phase out the 32-ounce "howler" size and replace it with crowlers in coming months. The larger 64-ounce size will still be available, and anyone who owns either can always come in for a refill.

Shuff said DryHop — which offers rotating draft beers until they run out — has zero plans to mass-produce and distribute its beer. So crowlers allow customers to tote the brews all over the city.

"A lot of people do consume craft beer outside of our four walls," Shuff said. "It's nice for people to be able to take it with them, and for us, it's an additional small revenue that makes it easier for us to stay in business."

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