DrinkTanks is The Real Deal in thermal growlers and no one has, as yet, seriously challenged them.
This may be the shortest post in the history of The Pour Fool…because there is just absolutely nothing (well, okay, one tiny thing) I have to say that in any way contradicts the two previous posts I’ve done on the amazing DrinkTanks thermal growler. It remains the ONLY thermal growler out of the six others I’ve been asked to review that does everything it’s supposed to and even a bit more. And in this disposable age, when people routinely toss TVs and computers and even cars onto the scrap heap in far less than two years, what other product can make that claim?
On April 13th of 2015, I reviewed the new DrinkTanks brushed-silver finish 64 oz. growler I had just received from the folks down in Bend. It was pretty and beautifully designed but I was skeptical. This was the fifth such growler I’d been sent for review and not one of the previous four did what a growler is supposed to do: keep beer cold and effervescent for extended periods of time. I’m not going to go into the whole rationale I had for writing such a glowing review, back then. That review is available here, and the eight-month follow-up is here. It has now been just a few days short of two full years and I thought it was appropriate, in light of the hundreds of emails I’ve received in quest of the perfect growler, to cap this off with its two-year report card.
…that’s the report. These growlers look Cool. I have rarely gone for a fill and not had at least a couple of people ask about it, especially the mammoth 128 ounce gallon option, which tends to make eyes pop out of sockets on first viewing. They even offer a KegCap kit as an option, allowing you to turn your growler into a real, functional mini-keg that dispenses perfectly maintained pours with a push of a button.
I am, as my wife will gladly volunteer, hell on household objects that require any sort of regular handling. (In my lifetime, I have broken three different refrigerators, so anything smaller, in my hands, is usually Doomed.) I beat the living hell out of pots and pans and coolers and even a couple of electric can openers and I have been no less a menace to both these growlers and neither of them has so much as a scratch on ’em. They usually live in the trunk of our cars, so that we’re sure to have one if we run into a great new beer, and even all the effluvium rattling around in our cargo areas haven’t been able to ruin them.
Both sizes out-perform even what DrinkTanks’ literature says they’ll do. I schlepped the 64 back from Oregon, in the trunk, in 80 degree heat, and checked the temperature when we finished the two-hour+ drive. It was ONE DEGREE warmer than when we left Astoria. I’ve brought beer home and deliberately left the growler out on my kitchen counter for a full 24 hours: TWO degrees warmer. I’ve kept the bubbles working after five openings, over four days, and the beer was not oxidized at all. I’ve carried iced tea in the thing and the ice was still there after a day and a half. I held a 48 ounce wine sample in it and got too busy to sit and taste it for another two days and the stuff was exactly the same when I opened it as it was when it came out of the barrel.
The ONLY thing that has gone wrong is that one of the two plastic bale covers (see photo) kept popping off in normal use. As defects go, this is one that bothers me not at all. My little sissy fingers don’t like the naked steel of the bale wire, or I would have just left it off, so I wrapped a bit of black duct tape around it and went on with my life. Those who are terminally bugged by plastic thingies that pop loose may find this challenging but I would submit that anyone who would shelve a beautifully functional object that looks great and over-delivers on its purpose for such a minor, instantly fixable glitch should probably wrap themselves in cotton batting and stay in bed. For all normal purposes, DrinkTanks performs flawlessly.
They come in a vast array of colors and you can even order customised finishes and imprinting. I would strongly urge any brewery owner to at least check out these before ordering anything to sell in their taproom, as I routinely walk into breweries where they’re selling some other growler brand and have to stuff my fingers in my mouth to keep from warning off their customers. I wouldn’t do that, of course, but if any of those customers read minds, they’re going to get a very rude comment on their purchase.
DrinkTanks, simply put, makes the only thermal growler I’ve been able to find that actually performs the normal functions of a growler perfectly – not “pretty well” or even “exceptionally well” but PERFECTLY. Yeah, They’re pricey but, at the rate my two are going, I think I can reasonably expect not to have to buy a new growler – considering my advanced and the real possibility that some Anheuser Busch management type will one day gun me down in my own driveway – EVER again. For you, of a normal age and temperament, your $74 investment will probably work out to about three bucks a year, before you manage to run over it with your car or drop it from a 747, in about a quarter century.
DrinkTanks is The Real Deal in thermal growlers and no one has, as yet, seriously challenged them. If you haven’t seen these yet, DO IT. You will thank me later…but not too much later or you’ll wind up thanking my grandkids.