I am a big fan of growlers, if they are available at a brewery I will almost always leave with one, so I was pretty excited when I received my 64oz stainless steel Hydro Flask at this year’s Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston.
The Growler comes in three colors, stainless, black and copper brown, it is constructed of 18/8 Stainless Steel with a BPA free twist on cap. The double walled, vacuum insulated design boasts that wit will keep colds cold and hot’s hot, it has a lifetime warranty and sells for $49.99. Hydro Flask also gives 5% of the net profit back to a charity of your choice, you go to www.fivepercentback.org and enter your flask’s serial number and choose a charity to donate to.
Now as excited as I was to get this new growler for my collection I will admit I was pretty skeptical, I have other stainless steel products that haven’t impressed me. The water bottles I have start “sweating” as soon as you fill them with cold water, and warm up very quickly, I wouldn’t dare put anything hot in them for fear of burning my hands, but I was willing to put the Hydro Flask to the test.
I decided the best test for this growler was real life use, I participated in a charity wiffleball tournament a couple weeks ago and the Hydro Flask was my water bottle for the day. I tossed a couple ice cubes in and filled it up with water, sealed it and headed out for the day and I’m glad I did, it was a hot day to be out on the field. I left the Hydro Flask sitting out on the grass in direct sunlight and I’ll be honest I was shocked when I opened it up and took my first drink, ice cold. The Hydro Flask lived up to its first promise and kept my ice water ice cold all day long.
Test number two was the other extreme; could this container actually keep a hot beverage hot? The website claims it’ll keep its contents hot for up to 12 hours, at this point I was starting to be a little less skeptical, it had kept my ice water cold in the direct sun. I decided to brew a pot of coffee and at 6:30pm I poured the coffee into the Hydro Flask, sealed it up and set it on the counter. Before heading out the door the next morning I filled a travel mug for myself and my wife from the Hydro Flask, it had definitely cooled down in 12 hours but was pouring at the perfect drinking temperature for hot coffee, I took the remainder of the Hydro Flask to work with me and it was still pouring hot coffee at 8:30am.
The final test required beer; the only concern left in my mind was whether the cap would hold up against the pressure of a carbonated beer. Since I can’t get the Hydro Flask filled at a brewery (in Maine) because it’s not branded, I had to enlist the help of a local homebrewer who filled the growler with a freshly kegged session IPA. Once again I was not let down by the Hydro Flask, it held pressure, no leaks, no loss in carbonation and it kept the beer cold for hours without needing to be kept in the refrigerator.
I highly recommend this product, the only problems I have with the Hydro Flask growler is the fact that I can’t get it filled in Maine and the mouth is so wide it’s difficult to pour the first glass. Minor issues really, I plan on adding this growler to my Tailgate gear, it’ll be perfect to bring hot or cold drinks out to football games. If you are a homebrewer and you like to bring growlers to parties or your homebrew club meetings, this is the product for you. Hydro Flask also offers a variety of other flasks in different shapes and sizes; I may have to pick up a couple smaller water bottles.