The internet is good for two things:
(1) Laziness. Ã‚Â You can now do anything from the comfort of your office chair, couch, bed, or even toilet. Ã‚Â This is actually not something the internet is good for. Ã‚Â This is something the internet is terrible for. Ã‚Â I mean, cyber-bullying? Ã‚Â Back in my day, if you wanted to make a nerd cry, you had to troll a playground.
(2) Making sh*t up. Ã‚Â This one is actually very good. Ã‚Â With the internet, you get to make something up and have it accepted as true solely based on the merit of “well, look how many people looked at it!”.
And that is just what the people over at The Beer Mapping Project did last year when they decided to, arbitrarily and without explanation, name December 17th National Growler Day. Ã‚Â The movement appears to be growing in it’s second year, and is even getting some love from a number of breweries in Fort Collins.
Now you may have 2 questions, depending on your level of beer aficionodom: What is the Beer Mapping Project, and what is a growler?
The BMP is a site I actually just stumbled upon while researching for this article, but it’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s pretty awesome. Ã‚Â You tell them where you are, and it shows you a map with different color pins dropped for brewpubs, breweries, beer bars, beer stores, and home brew supply shops, respectively. Ã‚Â Testing with locations I’m familiar with in DC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles (’cause I got travel swag like that), it seems fairly comprehensive and even has scores associated with some locations so you don’t have to jump to Yelp. Ã‚Â (**Note: In the “Location Lookup” window, just go straight to the “Map from an address” button at the right. Ã‚Â The search by city, state, zip was not working for me.)
Now that you know how to find virtually any beer location your little (deteriorated, decrepid, barely-there) liver could desire, what the f*&# is a growler?!
This is a growler.
Oh! Ã‚Â You need more than that?
You take it to a bar, they fill it, you take it home, you have draft beer for a few days.
You need more than that? Ã‚Â Jeez, needy much?!
Okay, a growler is a (generally) half gallon jug that you can fill with draft beer at certain breweries and bars. Ã‚Â Though some bars allow you to drink in with your growler, it is more conventionally used as a way to enjoy good beer at home. Ã‚Â It’s cost-effective because you’re buying in bulk and it’s a quality jump because, until you cave in and buy that kegerator, you’ll never be able to enjoy truly draught beer at home. Ã‚Â (While we’re on the subject of kegerators, you know that roommate who says he can build one if you just go in on the supplies with him? Ã‚Â Don’t do it. Ã‚Â Unless he has an engineering degree, you’ll just end up with an empty wallet and a fridge with a glory hole.)
So to recap, here’s your schedule:
30 seconds from now: Look up the closest breweries or beer bars at http://beermapping.com/.
1 minute from now: Determine which of them fill growlers (the ones that do most likely also sell the containers themselves). Ã‚Â This will be as easy as googling “[brewery name] growlers” or as difficult as picking up the phone.
5 minutes from now: Put pants on, hop in the car, and go fill a growler with you favorite local and/or draft beer.
1 hour from now: Return home, remove pants, and enjoy draft beer from the comfort of your office chair, couch, bed… or even toilet.
**I realize the irony of citing Wikipedia in an article that contained a joke about the ease with which people can make things up on the internet. Ã‚Â I do not care one bit.