DrinkTanks Insulated Growler with Keg Cap Review

Drink Tanks Insulated Growler with Keg Cap

Beer geeks, rejoice. You can now carry a keg with you on your boat, in your pack, to your kids’ recital, or keep it tucked away in your fridge!  It’ll stay ice cold for over one day and pressurized for about four days. Me, I stash it in my trunk for a nice cold and fresh beer right after a trail run.

It takes a lot to upstate a Russian River growler.
It takes a lot to upstate a Russian River growler.

Follow me, I’ll show you far beer technology has come.

What is it?

64 oz (half gallon) growler made of 18/8 stainless steel. No plastic, so it’s BPA free.  Comes in 16 different colors. By using two layers of stainless steel with a vacuum chamber separating them, the liquid stays cold regardless of the what temperature is being felt by the outer layer.  The growler is washable, but that’s a non-issue because it doesn’t fit in my damn dishwasher.

I also have the “Keg Cap” accessory that allows the geek to pressure the container and enjoy fresh beer for 4x longer than with a traditional growler cap.  More info below. The Keg Cap adds C02 to the sealed growler, essentially sealing in the freshness.

I get a realistic five good size beers out of each fill up.

How does it work?

How does it work? You put cold, fresh beer in, pressurize it, and you get cold, fresh beer out.

Yeah, the big sturdy handle and stainless steel is nice–it really is–but the piece de resistance to this whole contraption is the Keg Cap.

The Keg Cap to the DrinkTanks Insulated Growler is two pieces really.  First, it’s a small piece of hard plastic that screws onto threaded CO2 cartridges.  (Buy a few cartridges, as you’ll burn through one every few fill-ups. I buy mine at bike shops for a few bucks a piece…just make sure you get the threaded variety.)

The nipple threads onto a Co2 cartridge, then is pushed onto the keg top, releasing the gas.
The nipple threads onto a Co2 cartridge, then is pushed onto the keg top, releasing the gas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nipple to the C02 cartridge is pressed onto the male end of the Keg Cap for a quick second, depending on how full the growler is. Sometimes one second isn’t enough, sometimes beer will splatter out of the top. You’ll figure it out.

drink tanks insulated growler with keg cap
A few pushes and it’s pressurized.

The second piece is a special cap that fits atop the growler that has a sealed tube with a keg nozzle on the other end.  Pro-tip here: When pushing on the nozzle, push down all the way or you’ll get a glass full of foam.

Keg-Cap-for-web

What does it cost:

The 64 oz growler varies between $69-74, pretty steep for a regular growler, but right in line with other insulated growlers on the market.

The Keg Cap is an additional $45, which makes this little contraption about $115 total.  A bit pricey, but for the real beer geek who fills up once a week, it’s worth it.

Considering a regular growler runs about $30, this is certainly a premium product…one that’s justified a lot easier as a special gift for someone rather than a beer luxury for yourself.

P1150200

So does it work?

Yeah, it works! Takes a few times to get used to it. I’d highly recommend filling it up with cheap beer first and playing around with the contraction.  You don’t want to show up someplace with a killer beer, then waste it all because you don’t know what you’re doing.

Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s best to add enough C02 that it squirts a bit out of the top. Just barely.
  • Again, when depressing the lever to get your beer, push it down all the way. Just like a keg, if you push it half way, you’re going to get a whole bunch of head. Bad head.
  • If you’re in a state like California, make sure the brewery fills non-native growlers. Most breweries will only fill those sold with their original labels (citing stupid reasons like “we don’t trust our beer in other glass” or the inaccurate “ABC doesn’t allow us to fill up any other growlers.”)  Stop going to these breweries.  Russian River, Lagunitas, and Bear Republic–some of my favorite beers on the planet won’t fill my growler, and I’ve stopped buying their beer altogether.   The point: Make sure your brewery is cool with your growler before heading in.
  • Don’t tell your wife/husband how much it costs.  Full disclosure, I received mine for free from DrinkTanks, but when my wife asked me the price, she said I’d never be allowed to buy one on my own. Ever. “What if we win the lottery?”  “Eric, that’s ridiculous, not even then.”
  • Cleaning the growler is easy—and my biotech wife loves she can sterilize the steel–but cleaning the keg cap/tube is a pain in the butt. If you’re used to cleaning hydration packs, you’ll understand that we’ve rigged a hook/hanger above the sink to quicken the drying process.
  • This is undoubtedly a non-TSA-friendly contraption. Even empty, they won’t let it on a plane in carry-on luggage.

P1150199

Overall:

An unbelievably excellent gift idea for the beer lover in your life, or a great accessory for boaters, car campers, aid station workers, or people like me who simply like to have and share cold fresh beer after a run.

Cheers!

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