Growler History

In the late 1800’s, steel pails were used to carry beer home from the local saloon.  These "growlers" supposedly got their name because as the beer moved around, it created a growling noise when the carbon dioxide released from the beer.  In the early 1900’s, children would bring buckets or jugs of draft beer from the local bar or brewery to their parents or others. This became known as "rushing the growler."  Adults that did this were known as "Bucket Boys".  The "Bucket Trade" took a hit in the years leading up to Prohibition in 1920. Laws were passed in many areas to outlaw the growler entirely.

By the 1950s, steel pails had been phased out and waxed cardboard containers with lids were being used.  By the 1960s, however, most bars and pubs had switched to plastic and were allowed to sell pre-packaged beer after hours, so the concept of the growler slowly disappeared.

The lack of growlers continued until around 1989, when Charlie Otto, owner of Wyoming's first draft-only microbrewery, Otto Brothers Brewery, wanted to offer draft beer to go, but was not able to bottle the beer.  After researching beer containers they discovered glass jugs might be the perfect solution.   However, the packaging needed to be updated, so Otto Brothers Brewery began screen printing their logo on half-gallon glass jugs, and the growler as we know it today began.


Here at Fort Barrel we have taken the idea from the old Otto Brothers Brewery and created some of the most unique designs to decorate our growlers. A Fort Barrel growler will always strike up a conversation about great beer and great artwork.