Origin of "growler"
A customer recently asked me the origin of the term "growler" I had never considered this question before and was wondering if anyone could help me out.
From beer for dummies by Marty Nachel:
"U.S. Brewpubs offer beer to go poured directly from the tap into glass jugs (typically 1/2 gallon size) called growlers. This bizarre name dates back to pre-Prohibition time, when factory workers regularly drank beer with their lunches. Local children were paid as much as a nickel to run to the local brewery or bar to fill the workers' pails with beer. These metal pails-usually not larger than a few quarts' capacity-were named after the growling stomachs of the waiting customers. The kids were trained to be good at "rushing the growler." Much more picturesque than picking up a six-pack, yes?" (Nachel, 60)
To add to a bit o' history:
I believe the first brewery in the US to start this tradition was a former employer, Otto Brothers Brewing Co. in Wilson, WY (now Grand Teton Brewing Co.). Charlie Otto learned of this tradition from his father and thought it was a great idea to sell draft beer in an evironmentally friendly container that was also returnable/reuseable. While working for him he had some old press clippings of a Jackson Hole supermarket putting in a tap and the first growler "filling station" in the country. A great concept!