In the late 1800s, fresh beer was carried from the local pub to home by a small, galvanized pail. The term “growler” apparently came about because when the beer sloshed around the pail, it made a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped through the lid. During the 1920s, in some communities, laws were passed in to outlaw the growler entirely. But by 1933, the Prohibition was repealed. City kids brought covered buckets of draft beer from a local bar or brewery to workers at lunch time or to their parents at dinner time, a practice called “rushing the growler”.

In the 50s and 60s, waxed cardboard containers with lids were used to take home beer. It is said that they resembled take-out Chinese soup containers. And in many US states, it used to be (and still is) illegal for liquor stores to be open on Sunday, so you would go to a bar and buy a growler of beer. But by the late 60s many bars had switched to plastic and were allowed to sell packaged beer after hours. Soon the concept of the growler died.

In 1989, Charlie Otto and his father wanted to offer “beer-to-go” for their local customers, but they were not yet in a position to bottle. His father suggested what he used in his younger days: growlers. Charlie recognized the need for an updated package type and purchased a small silkscreen machine. Soon he was silk-screening his logo on half-gallon (1.9L) glass bottles and the modern-day growler was introduced.