Craft breweries have really taken to canning their brews in recent years. But while the trend continues to grow, the truth of the matter is that recent can-vangelists are really just playing catch-up to Colorado brewery Oskar Blues, which began canning its Dale’s Pale Ale back in 2002 and is recognized as the O.G. of the craft can. Well Oskar Blues is blazing a new aluminum trail, and this time around, the can is a lot bigger. Thirty-two ounces, to be exact. It’s called the Crowler – an aluminum alternative to a standard glass growler – and Oskar Blues has designed a special can-seaming machine that’s small enough to fit on the bar. Why the new packaging? According to a January 2014 press release, “…Standard glass growlers are often brought into pubs and tap rooms without being cleaned correctly, which affects the taste and cleanliness of the refill. They also don’t seal well and allow light in, while the Crowler™ is more portable and takes advantage of what the can has to offer by eliminating light-struck or skunky beer.” You see, it’s all about the beer. (And rightfully so.)
Where to find it
Crowler machines have only become more widely available in the last six months, so only a few have made their home in Central PA so far. While the earliest regional adopter (as far as we know) was Al’s of Hampden (2240 Millenium Way, Enola; alsofhampden.com), Crowler-filling machines have recently popped up at Zeroday Brewing Co. (250 Reily Street, Harrisburg; zerodaybrewing.com) [Pro tip: Order a growler to go before you hit Midtown Cinema]
and at St. Boniface Brewing Co. (1701 W. Main St., Ephrata; stbonifacebrewing.com).
Where to get it
You’re probably better off just hitting up one of the bars with a Crowler machine here. Last we checked, the machines were fairly limited in availability and costing upwards of $3,000.