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IIf you’ve been to a brewpub or certain beer retailers as of late, it’s likely you are aware of growlers. These 64 fl oz bottles are great for taking a beer home that you can’t find bottled or canned. Many breweries are trying new beers that aren’t ready to bottle yet. And aside from those, there are beers that will only ever be available on draft that you want to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. That’s when growlers come in handy–you can take home a little something special. For this reason, bringing home beer in a growler can seem like a special treat.

But where did growlers come from? The origin of the term harkens back to the late 19th century, when people would bring home beer from the pub in galvanized, lidded pails. The beer sloshing about and escaping CO2 made a growling sound for which it was named. In the 50s and 60s, beer was often taken home in waxed cardboard containers, not unlike soda cups or Chinese takeout soup containers. Eventually, certain breweries used soft-plastic gallons–like milk jugs–to sell their beer, allowing for refills for a returned empty. All of these allowed much of the CO2 to leak out. The modern growler was first introduced in Idaho by the Otto Bros. Brewery, who had not yet gotten to the point where they could bottle their product, and wanted a way for their customers to take it home. So they began to use basic half-gallon bottles that resembled moonshine jugs.

The idea has spread nationwide, allowing for small brewpubs and full breweries alike to share their special beverages with folks who’d rather enjoy them elsewhere. Although most growlers are similar to those first twist-cap jugs, many now feature ceramic-and-rubber clamp tops, and some even more closely resemble huge thermoses. For the traditional growlers, there are cooling packs to keep them chilled, and straps for ease of carrying. Now they even make half-size growlers, affectionately called howlers. While most growlers were first deposit-based, you can now just buy your own and have it filled wherever you please.

So, where can you get your growler topped off? We have a convenient list to help you find the best filling station in your area.