A couple weeks ago I was grousing about the high price to get beer growlers filled in Portland. With that in mind, I give you the Portland Growler Price Map, which lists the growler price at pubs around Portland, as well as the Six-Pack Equivalent price:
View Larger Map
Click on the individual thumbtacks on the map, to get details for that location. A lot of the information on this map was stolen from the Champagne of Blogs' growler index, augmented with a few things I investigated on my own.
You Can Help
A lot of the prices on the map were a year or more out of date on Day One. And many worthy establishments are not yet listed. I'll volunteer to keep this updated for the Portland metro area (say, a 20 mile radius), but I need all of you to send me current information. Use the email address in the sidebar: for each pub that you want to update me about, :
- Price to fill 64 ounce growler.
- Price to buy the growler itself (if available).
- Whether they'll fill competitor growlers.
- Whether they'll fill 2-quart mason jars.
- The date of your information.
They Should be Cheaper!
About those prices. My feeling is that it's silly to have to pay a premium for something that doesn't have to be packaged, distributed, and retailed. Commenters on the Growler Math post pointed out that pubs have a different business model than beer bottlers, and that economies of scale apply.
Nevertheless, beer drinkers spend some of their money in pubs, and some money on bottled beer -- let's leave our brave homebrewers out of the equation for now. Wouldn't brewpubs like to take away some of that bottled beer market? They should be able to do so if they can offer a growler price that corresponds roughly to the price of a good 6-pack.
Given the price of a 64-ounce growler, multiply it by 1.125 to get the price of 72 ounces of beer, so that you can compare the price with that of a 6-pack. So a $12 growler is like a $13.50 six-pack -- ouch! Canadian prices! On the other hand, an $8 growler is like a $9 six-pack -- not cheap, but increasingly common. I would divert a lot of my 6-pack budget to growlers if the price at places I frequent was $8 or less.
I've just been talking about the dollars-and-cents of beer growlers, but there's also the environmental aspect of reusing the beer container, and cutting down on some of the transportation and refrigeration. Beer writer Stan Hieronymous recently blogged about New Belgium Brewing's report on their carbon footprint. Stan clipped a graphic from the report that shows that 60% of the footprint is from packaging (glass and paper), distribution, and retailing. So you've cut more than half of your environmental impact from your beer drinking if you fill up locally!