Best Pressurized Growlers: The Ultimate Guide to Beer On The Go

There are times when you want to take your prized brew with you when traveling. The only way to do this and keep your beer fresh and ready to drink is with a pressurized growler. The growler provides the perfect vessel while adding CO2 under pressure keeps it tasting great without going flat. Now you can have tasty beer on the go.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick…

GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler-Great Gift for Beer Lovers, 128 oz, Stainless Steel
GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler-Great Gift for Beer Lovers, 128 oz, Stainless Steel
UKEG - keep beer fresh for weeks.; VESSEL - durable, double-wall Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel.

What is a Pressurized Growler?

A growler is a bottle or vessel used to store beer. The small size enables it to be transported very easily. A pressurized growler has the addition of CO2 gas to add pressure to the bottle. All beer requires CO2 to enhance the taste and stop it from going flat.

The term “growler” is said to have originated from the sound of carbon dioxide escaping from the vessel.

Growlers can be constructed from different materials, like stainless steel, glass or even ceramics. Each will do the job so it really comes down to budget and preference.

Why buy a Pressurized Growler?

There are 3 main reasons why you would want a pressurized growler:

1. Take it with you (on the go)

Growlers are a great way to enjoy your brews anywhere, anytime. They make great additions to a picnic, bush walk or even camping. They can even be useful just to serve on your back porch or backyard. Imagine not having to keep getting up to the fridge when you want a beer! Growlers are also a great way to encourage self serving. With a simple tap on the top of your growler, they offer a really easy way to pour your own beer.

2. Have a tap without a kegerator (in fridge)

Storing a growler in the fridge is one way to enjoy beer without the need for a kegerator. If your buddies have a fridge then it becomes an easy way to bring your own beer and store it in the fridge. Even though most growlers include insulation that keeps your beer cold for many hours outside the fridge, storing your growler in the fridge will ensure it stays cold for even longer.

3. Connect your growler directly to your kegerator

With the right connections, growlers can be connected straight to your kegerator so that if you don’t plan on taking your beer on the go, you can still enjoy it. The smaller size of a growler means you can store multiple growlers in one kegerator. If your kegerator has multiple beer taps, there’s no reason why you can’t connect multiple growlers. Now that’s choice!

What to Look for Before Buying

1. Good Seal

A good seal on your growler ensures your beer stays fresh for a long period of time. A poor seal won’t keep CO2 pressurized inside the vessel and your beer will go flat very quickly. Disastrous! Along with the quality of the material used in the vessel itself, you need quality seals that will last.

Be sure to check the type of seal the growler uses. Some are easily replaced when worn while other manufacturers use their own proprietary seals so you are forced to buy replacement seals from them.

2. Material Type

There are 4 types of materials used in growlers today. Stainless Steel, Glass, Ceramic and Plastic. Each have their pros and cons. When choosing a growler, find the material type that fits your requirements, not just what looks good. With proper care and maintenance, a quality growler will last for many years.

Stainless Steel Growlers

Quickly becoming the most popular material for growlers, stainless steel has many benefits. Most stainless steel growlers available today either consist of 304 stainless steel or 18/8 stainless steel. These are both essentially the same type of steel but 18/8 has slightly better resistance to rust compared to 304. The most commonly used type of stainless steel today is 304 stainless steel.

what we like

  • Durability
  • Insulation
  • Look good
  • Ability to keep beer fresh longer

what we don’t like

  • Harder to fill as you can’t easily see inside (for most models on market)

Glass Growlers

Glass growlers Glass growlers are not very common 

what we like

  • Being able to see inside
  • Easy to clean

what we don’t like

  • Beer can go bad if growler is exposed to direct sunlight
  • Fragile

Ceramic Growlers

Ceramic growlers have their small loyal followers who tend to collect them. There aren’t many pressurized ceramic growlers on the market simply because ceramic is heavy and hard to transport.

what we like

  • Sturdy
  • Aesthetically pleasing

what we don’t like

  • Heavy
  • Hard to clean, Prone to chipping or cracking
  • Will break if dropped

Plastic Growlers

Plastic growlers aren’t popular, this is due to the fact that plastic can be easily cracked or warped and doesn’t perform well holding pressurized CO2 over long periods of time.

what we like

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight

what we don’t like

  • Can warp or crack
  • Poor longevity

3. Storage Capacity

Growlers are available in quite a few different sizes. Sizes will depend on the material used. The most common sizes available:

32 fl oz (1/4 gallon, 1 Liter)

64 fl oz (1/2 gallon, 1.9 Liter)

128 fl oz (1 gallon, 3.8 Liter)

1 Liter (33.8 fl oz)

2 Liter (67.6 fl oz)

Obviously, the larger the size, the heavier the growler will be (especially when filled with beer), so if you plan on carrying one around, keep in mind that a 128 oz growler with beer will weigh roughly 14 lbs (6.5 kgs). Not something you want to carry for a great distance, although there will be a great reward when you get there!

32 fl oz (1 US Quart) growlers are known as “howlers” (half growlers). Many growlers smaller than 64 fl oz don’t normally have handles.

If you don’t plan on traveling too far with your growler then buy one of the larger sizes. You don’t have to fill it completely with beer either. A half-full growler will still function completely fine, you’ll just have to use a bit more CO2 to get the pressure up to your desired level.

4. Growler Connections/Tap System

Growlers can be connected to taps, kegerators and also air-tight seals so it’s important that your growler includes the connections that you need. Generally, a pressurized growler will include all of the connections you need to fill it up with beer from sources like kegerators and also CO2 from sources like bottles and canisters. Be careful when buying your growler as not all of them use standard seals so it may be difficult to buy accessories to be able to connect it to the source you need.

Top 7 Pressurized Beer Growlers

We’ve sourced and reviewed all of the top pressurized beer growlers on the market and come up with our top 5 picks. Everyone has their own requirements and budgets, so read all the info before buying to see what’s right for you.

1. GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler 128 oz

GrowlerWerks uKeg Carbonated Growler-Great Gift for Beer Lovers, 128 oz, Stainless Steel
  • UKEG - keep beer fresh for weeks.
  • CARBOBONATION CAP - automatically regulates pressure to optimally carbonate beer. Choose desired carbonation level, from zero (off) up to 15 psi.
  • VESSEL - durable, double-wall Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel.
The GrowlerWerks uKeg is a stylish growler that won’t be out of place on any tabletop. It’s a definite conversation starter with its unique design. The innovative carbonation cap uses VPR technology and hides the CO2 cartridge from sight. It also allows easy regulation of the gas from 0 to 15 psi.

The uKeg vessel uses an innovative double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel material. All that means is it will keep your beer cold all day.

You can easily store beer in one of these for weeks… if it doesn’t get drunk first!

what we like

  • Style (it’s one of the best looking growlers on the market)
  • Integrated cap (hold CO2 cartridge and regulator)
  • Sight Glass on the side shows you how much beer is left
  • CO2 cartridges readily available
  • Quality build (durable)
  • Good size at 128 oz
  • Maintenance and cleaning kits available

what we don’t like

  • The seals will eventually wear out
  • You may need to use more than one CO2 cartridge for 128 oz of beer
  • Expensive

2. Nutrichef 128 oz Pressurized Growler

NutriChef Pressurized Growler Tap System - Stainless Steel Mini Keg Dispenser Portable Kegerator Kit - Co2 Pressure Regulator Keeps Carbonation for Craft Beer, Draft and Homebrew - PKBRTP100.5 (128oz)
  • NEVER FLAT CRAFT BEER: A traditional growler will let beer go flat after the first pour. PKBRTP100 will keep beer vacuum pressured and fresh for up to 2 months. Perfect for any homebrew or craft draught beer kegging equipment enthusiast
  • WORKS W/ DISPOSABLE CO2: Not included - Each cartridge will pump around 128oz of beer before depleting Co2 cartridge. Screw universal threaded 16g CO2 gas cartridges (any brand) into the regulator to supply pressurized carbonation to your keg system
  • UPGRADED ADJUSTABLE REGULATOR: Monitor the mini keg growler’s current PSI from the regulator gauge and fine tune pressure by rotating the adjustment knob to enjoy a perfect head on every beer. Add the insulator sleeve to keep beer cold
The Nutrichef Pressurized Growler is a sturdy, functional beer growler, and while it’s not as stylish as the GrowlerWerks uKeg, it still has plenty to offer. Featuring Food-grade Stainless Steel 304 material, the vessel is easy to clean and assemble. 

The regulator on this growler is excellent quality and can be set up to 30 psi. We are not sure why you would want to pressurize your beer that high as you will end up with a foam pour with no beer. 

With so many other growlers on the market shipping with CO2 cartridges, these must be purchased separately for the Nutrichef.

what we like

  • Solid construction
  • Plenty of options for changing taps or regulators
  • Has a real “keg” look
  • Quality dispensing mechanism

what we don’t like

  • Uses threaded CO2 cartridges
  • Very tall unit (you may have to remove shelves in your fridge to store it)
  • Doesn’t ship with CO2 cartridges (these must be purchased separately)

3. Spotted Dog 5L Craft Beer Tower 

The Spotted Dog Company specialize in beer equipment so it’s no surprise they produce a pressurized beer growler. The 5L Premium Beer Tower will hold more beer than just about every other growler on the market (169 ounces). Great if you like your beer, not so great if you need to transport this bad boy around.

what we like

  • Great if you need the size
  • Quality construction
  • Ability to use a variety of CO2 cartridge sizes
  • Sleeve included

what we don’t like

  • Regulator is aluminium, not stainless steel
  • Does not ship with cartridges

4. TrailKeg Half Gallon Stainless Steel Growler 

TrailKeg - Carbonated Growler for Beer - Half Gallon - 18/8 Stainless Steel - Vacuum Insulated Double Wall, Cold for 48 Hours - Craft Beverage Dispenser for Beer, Soda, Cocktails, and Kombucha
  • ALWAYS CARBONATED: TrailKeg pressurized beer growlers feature a dual stage regulator, perfect pour tube, and durable design that keeps your beer perfectly carbonated for weeks
  • ALWAYS FRESH: With adjustable carbonation settings, double wall vacuum insulation, TrailKeg carbonated growlers stay cold 48 hours
  • ALWAYS LOVED: A great gift for beer lovers and a perfect gift for homebrewers
The TrailKeg Half Gallon Stainless Steel Growler is really built for beer “on the go”. It has an easy to carry handle and 18/8 Stainless Steel construction. It’s rugged look will look good on any picnic table.

what we like

  • Durable, sturdy construction
  • Double wall vacuum insulated vessel
  • 18/8 Stainless Steel vessel 
  • Uses standard corny tap
  • Accessories available

what we don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Tall unit

5. BACOENG 64 Ounce Pressurized Keg Growler 

BACOENG 64 Ounce Pressurized Keg Growler, Kegerator for Home Brew Beer with Updated CO2 Regulator
  • NEVER GO FLAT AGAIN: While traditional growlers will go flat after only a single pour, this mini keg will keep your beer fresh for up to 2 months by keeping the contents vacuum-pressured. You will never have to worry about the quality of your drink again!
  • DETACHABLE REGULATOR & SPOUT: The design of growler allows you to detach both the regulator, spout and faucet while keeping keg contents under pressure for storage. Our upgraded regulator can save 35% of Co2 compared to standard model. It is more precise than all other mini regulators and ensures that you can monitor the PSI and adjust the pressure from the regulator gauge.
  • COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT: Capable of holding up to 128oz, the barrel is light enough to carry around but will still satisfy any beer-lover with its large capacity. This keg's size makes it incredibly easy to transport, especially to outdoor and summer events.
The BACOENG 64 Ounce Pressurized Keg Growler is a high quality unit built with food grade stainless steel 304. The variable pressure regulator ensures your beer is dispensed at just the right pressure. It’s available in both 64 oz, 128 oz and 175 oz versions.

what we like

  • Good value for money
  • High polished faucet
  • Dual stage CO2 regulator

what we don’t like

  • CO2 cartridges not included
  • Faucet prone to dripping a few times after closing

6. Kakaako Brewing Co 64 oz Pressurized Growler

Kakaako is a relatively unknown company but their 64 oz Pressurized Growler is a product that’s gaining plenty of traction. It features a solid build and convenient carry handle while also having double-wall stainless steel construction. Being only a 64 oz growler allows it to be transported easily. There are also options to use different types of CO2 cartridges (as long as they have a 3/8” thread).

what we like

  • Uses standard faucet
  • Uses standard 1/4” regulator
  • Quality seals
  • Good price

what we don’t like

  • CO2 cartridge not included
  • Not as stylish as others on the market

7. SuperHandy 128 oz Growler 

SuperHandy Beer Keg Growler (170 oz) Portable Carbonated Beverage Dispenser, PSI Regulator Cap, High-Capacity 1.3 Gal, Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation (CO2 Cartridges Included)
  • PORTABLE DRAFT BEER TASTE – The growlers’ pressurized system keeps your beer as fresh as was when it was first poured at your favorite brewery; it stores your beer and pours it directly into your glass with an easy-to-use Tap. With a high capacity of 1.3GAL/5L (about 170 fluid ounces)
  • FOR MORE THAN JUST BEER - Great for more than beer (but we won’t judge...). Use for sparkling wine, juice, seltzer, cold brew, soda, or any other carbonated/non-carbonated drink. Easy to clean & portable enough for camping, tailgating, picnics, and parties.
  • TOP NOTCH INSULATION & SIZE - This growler holds double the content of standard glass growlers and features double-wall vacuum insulation. The hidden double-wall design prevents compressed gases from leaking and eliminates condensation while keeping your growler clean and dry. Insulation keeps your drinks cold for up to 48 hours (under optimal outside temperatures). A full pour approximately gains 4 degrees over 24 hours & 8 degrees over 48 hours while at room temperature.
The SuperHandy 128 oz Growler is a great product for the price. If aesthetics is not that important to you then this growler is a great option. It’s built using 304 grade stainless steel and holds 128 oz of your favorite brew. Having the tap connected via a hose allows you to pour your beers for everyone while leaving it on the table. Very handy.

what we like

  • Great price
  • 304 Stainless Steel vessel
  • Options for using different regulators
  • Good size at 128 oz

what we don’t like

  • Not oozing with style
  • Only supplied with 2 x CO2 cartridges

Cleaning Your Growler

Before Every Use:

  • Sanitize all components that will be in contact with beer (Vessels that haven’t been sanitized and come in contact with beer will cause it to go flat quickly)
  • Allow all components to dry before assembly

After Every Use:

  • unscrew the lid
  • rinse the vessel thoroughly in warm water
  • disconnect and disassemble the regulator and tap assembly
  • Rinse all components in warm water

How to Diagnose Problems with your Growler

Leaky Seal

How do you know if you have a leaky seal somewhere on your growler? Maybe your beer is a little flat or you find that your CO2 is running out real quick!

The easiest way to check is to fill your empty growler with half to 2/3 full of tap water. Next pressurize it to your normal beer drinking pressure (around 10 psi), then get a water spray bottle and spray around all of the seals. If there is a slight leak then you will see bubbles appear. Another way is to submerge your growler into a bucket of water to see if bubbles appear.

In a pinch, this process of spraying with water can also be done if you have beer in your growler.

In a bigger pinch, you can add CO2 to an empty growler (with no water) and repeat the process. This method still works but you will use more CO2 this way.

Too Much Foam (Or Head)

Too much foam on your beer makes for an embarrassing day out and you soon become the talk of the town. Ideally, you should dispense your beer between 5 and 10 psi. Anything over 10 psi will almost always result in your beer flowing too quickly and therefore forming too much head. Some beers do need to be dispensed at slightly higher pressure, ie. 15psi but generally, max of 10psi will suit most brews.

It is also a common misconception that reducing the pressure on your regulator will reduce the amount of head on your beer. Keep in mind that CO2 gets absorbed into the liquid so reducing the regulator pressure won’t always reduce the amount of head. Setting your regulator at the correct pressure at least 24 hrs beforehand will ensure a more even pressure throughout your entire beer.

Does the Regulator Need to be Connected All the Time?

The short answer here is no. Essentially, your regulator only needs to be connected when you want to add pressure (CO2) to your beer. If you manage to inject the right amount of pressure then you could disconnect your regular altogether but… in the real world, there is a small amount of CO2 that escapes your growler, through pouring beers, through the seal (even when you think they are sealed perfectly) so leaving your regulator will keep your keg at a constant pressure. Remember your regulator will keep adding CO2 to your growler when it gets below your set pressure.

If you have beer in your growler, it’s a good idea to always leave the regulator attached and set at your desired pressure. If your growler is empty then by all means, disconnect the regulator as you have no reason to keep an empty growler pressurized.

Growlers Aren’t Just About Beer

When referring to pressurized growlers, ideally they are designed for beer, but any carbonated beverage can be stored and served from a pressurized growler. Carbonated water is a good example. Without pressure, a growler can store just about any sort of liquid. Coffee, tea, soft drinks can all be transferred safely in a growler.

Regulator Safety

While not flammable, CO2 under pressure can be dangerous. Always ensure your CO2 is used under a low, regulated pressure. Dispensing CO2 without a regulator can cause the vessel to explode, causing serious injury. Never connect your CO2 vessel to your growler without using a regulator. Always read your growler’s instruction manual before using and periodically check for leaks. 

CO2 cartridges should always be handled with gloves to prevent burns or frostbite.

Final Thoughts

You might not use a growler every day, but there will be times when they come in extremely handy. Quality growlers should last for many years if properly maintained so it makes sense to buy the best growler for your budget. Stainless steel growlers offer a good mix of durability, size and price while they are also the most pleasing to look at.

Some manufacturers will provide a 2 or 3 year warranty so do look for that.

There are more and more growlers on the market that actually look good so you can proudly keep them on the table of any gathering with friends and just enjoy your beer. After all, it’s your brew and you’re probably proud of what you’ve created. We thought the GrowlerWerks uKeg was our overall best pressurized growler. It’s sturdy, stylish and should last for many years.

You want to enjoy your beer at it’s fullest and the only way to do that “on the go” is with a pressurized growler.