Several weeks ago I was at Northwest Growlers (www.nwgrowlers.com) on Macadam in southwest Portland. This is a great little pub with rotating taps so, if you are a beer lover like me, you get to try some of the finest beers and ciders in the area. (If you have been quenching your thirst out of aluminimum cans, you probably don't know what a growler is. A growler is a jug of beer that is freshly poured from the keg. It is a great way to get beer and offers a sustainable solution for packaging.) Several patrons came in to get their growlers refilled and most of the folks had at least two growlers. The engineer in me said, "There has to be a better way to lug these growlers around!" So, when I got home I did some searching for growler carriers. There were some nice wooden ones and a "Growler on Board" three pack. I could not find a paper solution. Actually, I was kind of hoping that I couldn't -- it's always fun to be a pioneer! As I told Johnny Morgan, the owner of Northwest Growlers, "Sometimes you have to be like NASA and fling a few monkeys into space!"
So I sketched out my design and handed it to Joey Weaver, our Packaging Engineer. We built several prototypes until we got it right. This is 128 ounces of beer plus the weigt of the glass growlers. So that means that you have close to 10 lbs. of product in a paper carrier. We needed a strong handle and we had to be concerned about moisture. The growler will certainly sweat on a hot day. We don't want the moisture to weaken the carrier and cause a deavastating accident that results in lost beer. The result of all of our brainstorming was a cool little carrier that is light & strong. It can be reused dozens of times and it works really well in the car. That is a frightening sound when two free-range growlers clang together in your back seat!
So I took the prototype to Johnny and he loved it. I knew he would see the potential -- we will soon have the first Growler Carriers at Northwest Growlers! We will also be adding them to our website and advertising them to the Growler fans around the country. Watch the Growler Carrier Assembly Video.