beer chiller
Credit: © Growler Chill

Brewers aren’t the only ones who have used America’s craft beer obsession to go into business for themselves. In recent years, we’ve also seen a remarkable amount of new entries into the world of beer accessories. From automated homebrewing machines to beer flavoring drops to soundwave-enhanced beer pourers, everyone seems to have an idea to make you beer drinking experience better. And those ideas keep coming. Like, what about a miniature draft system for growlers… does that exist? Hey, it does now! Meet Growler Chill.

Unlike a lot of new beer accessories, Growler Chill sounds like it actually solves a real craft beer problem and does so in a practical way. The great part of growlers is that they store draft beer; the terrible part is that beer in growlers goes bad really quickly, typically in no more than a few days. Now, all the funny guys will always say, “Why do you need so long to finish a growler? It’s only four pints.” Sure, 64 ounces isn’t a ton of beer, but it’s often more than one person wants to drink in one sitting of one specific beer, especially if said beer is in the six percent or more ABV range.

To solve this issue, Growler Chill promises to keep your growlers in draft-like condition by letting you pressurize your own growlers (whether they were pressurized at the brewery or not), keeping them in chilled conditions, and even letting you pour from them though a tap system. Once in the Growler Chill, the brand says your growlers can last for up to three weeks. And it holds up to three growlers at a time, meaning you’re no longer forced to finish your growlers in some predesignated order. Oh, and of course it has smart phone connectivity to tell you things like what growlers you put in there, how much beer is left and what the temperature is. The whole system is self-contained and can be plugged into any outlet, all at a cost of either $369 or $399, depending on whether you get in on the Kickstarter early bird price that ends today.

In this line of work, I see a lot of Kickstarters and I’m often a skeptic of them, but Growler Chill seems like the real deal. Granted, nearly 400 bucks to keep 64 ounces (or 192 ounces if you could all three growlers) of beer cold isn’t cheap, but less can also be more. If you’ve ever had a kegerator, you know you often have too much beer to go through. If it works the way it says it does, Growler Chill actually seems like a far more practical investment for the vast majority of beer drinkers. Other people seem to agree because in the week or so that Growler Chill has been running its Kickstarter campaign, the product has already raised over $330,000 million dollars, way past its $175,000 target.

Again, I haven’t tried Growler Chill, so I can’t give it a full endorsement yet, but if you’ve been frustrated with growlers for any of the reasons above, this is one Kickstarter that actually seems like it might be worth a try.