41zjapzsqfl.jpg?w=200&h=300We here at GSN love micro-brewed beer. So much so that we have a dozen glass growlers on hand for staff to use when visiting a local brewery. However, these have the usual drawbacks:

1) If you accidentally drop it, chances are that is the end of the growler and the beer inside.

2) Every time you open it to pour a pint, the carbonation escapes and usually the last few glasses are nearly flat.

3) Plus, it’s always a bit difficult to pour from a heavy jug into a glass.

With that in mind, GrowlerWerks made it their mission to create a growler that overcomes all of these drawbacks. After a hugely succesful Kickstarter campaign, they now offer the uKeg in several styles: It’s easy to set up and begin use in less than a minute with an automatic regulator cap that holds CO2 inside, instead of externally; variable levels of carbonation from zero (off) up to 15 psi; and a dispensing tap so beer can be easily served without removing the cap. It also has a liquid sight glass, an ergonomic handle, and it’s easy to clean. Plus, it is easily the most attractive growler in existence.

We put the uKeg through its paces ver the last few weeks. First, we took it to Red Hawk Brewing located in Central New York to have it filled with some of their amazing Belgian style ale. We ended up choosing the Maple Abbey which as the name indicates is made using local maple syrup. As we entered the brewpub, we were greeted by a lot of amazed glances at our growler by the clientele sampling beer flights. The owner remarked that she had a few customers that regularly brought in uKegs. A good sign.

The beer was luscious and kept at cellar temperature for well over a week with no loss of flavor or carbonation. It did its job well, with the minor issue that the safety lock on the tap handle got stuck a few times. A quick glance at the manual which came with the uKeg solved this issue immediately. We simply ran the apparatus under a stream of ht water for a few seconds and it cleared up instantly.

Our next test was to see how it worked keeping a classic punch recipe fresh. The office decided that a growler of Chatham Artillery Punch would be just the thing for the beginning of the holiday season. We scaled the recipe down to fill the uKeg (the original recipe makes about 150 ounces), and set the pressure to 8 psi. The punch came out of the uKeg in a perfect stream and into our ice filled tumblers. This made for an easy and fun way to get a glass of punch without the huge punchbowl, ladle and possible spillage. Plus the whole design of the growler is so steampunk, that it felt very much like stepping back into time.

The last test was to force carbonate some homebrewed basil mead created by staff writer Kieran Jerome Matthew. Mead in general not carbonated, but we wanted to see if we could get something like sparkling wine. We filled the uKeg, turned the pressure all the way up to 15 psi, and let it sit in our office refrigerator for three days, gently rolling the growler back and forth once a day. By day three, we poured ourselves some very fine sparkling mead. Another win.

In the end, the uKeg far exceeded our expectations and met all of our challenges easily. This is a killer growler and one that will last a lifetime.

GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Growlerwerks


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