Weekend Tap Update: Blue 5 Now Offering Growlers!
This weekend, it’s less about the newest beers to arrive on draft around town, but how you can enjoy them.
Starting today, Blue 5 in downtown Roanoke is offering growlers for their extensive line up of draft beer. Yes, that’s right – available today is the restaurant’s wide variety of craft and imported beers, but in 64 ounce to-go form. (Growlers at Towers also offers beer in this form as well, primarily their for own in house brewed Big Daddy’s beers.) There are quite a few reasons for enjoying a growler – you’d simply like to enjoy the beer at home, or you might want to pick up two or three for a party, or you’re hitting the road for the beach tomorrow and would like to take some good beer with you – the reasons are many. But when it comes down to it, getting beer to go is somehow inherently fun. You’ve always been able to take out food, right? Sixty four ounces of fresh, right from the tap beer, TO GO? Yes, please.
But instead of covering all the different reasons you might want to pick a growler up, because I’m sure everyone has their own, there’s a little something that needs to be reviewed. If you’re experienced in growlers and their subsequent fills, you can probably skip this part and head right over to pick up your beer. If not, you might want to remember a couple key points.
While beer to go is at the very least fun to pick up, and at the most, gives you the chance to either try something new or enjoy a favorite at home, growlers come with some potential pitfalls. Now, Blue 5 may be issuing a new growler every time you return for a refill. But in case they’re not, there are some items to remember, for anytime or anywhere you might have a growler refilled. So here it is, your Public Service Announcement for the day:
KEEP IT CLEAN. When done with a growler, make sure to rinse it with water as hot as you can probably make it. Quite frankly, if you are going to return to get refill of a growler with fresh beer at some point, taking in even a slightly “dirty” growler is almost akin to throwing money away. It’ll affect the flavor of the beer just as if you took a dirty glass out of the sink and poured beer from a bottle into it. There’s even some debate over whether to use any detergent at all to clean the growler. If you do, again, make sure it’s rinsed. And rinsed. And rinsed again. Personally, I’m fanatic over rinsing my growlers out.
DRINK IT QUICKLY. I’m not advocating downing a growler full of 7% IPA in a sitting, but the more often you twist that cap off and pour another beer, the more quickly the carbonation will fade and the oxygen which reaches the beer will begin to alter aroma and taste. Replace the cap as soon as possible after pouring, and tightly. As far as how long to keep one? It seems like a good rule of thumb is two days or so on an opened growler, or better yet, get the gang together to enjoy it all at once!
TRANSPORTATION AND STORING. Most beer bottles aren’t dark brown for kicks – sunlight is another enemy of fresh beer, so try to get it home quickly, and into the fridge just as fast. Treat it like a gallon of milk…but of course, it’s better.
It’s fresh beer, to-go.