It’s Beer Week here in Sunny San Diego, the craft beer capital of America (sorry, Portland). So it comes as no surprise that the latest craze in beer packaging has reached the craft breweries of San Diego (drum roll please) …CROWLERS! If you can’t guess from the name, crowlers are basically aluminum can versions of growlers (just remember “G” for glass and “C” for can). These 32-ounce aluminum cans (available at select breweries) offer another way to package beer on-the-go or bring home a larger batch of your favorite rotating tap!
Being an organization full of recycling enthusiasts, this got us thinking…are crowlers the better option when it comes to recycling? Let’s take a look! When it comes to aluminum cans, cans have a few qualities that make it a far superior to its other beverage packaging competitors. According to our friends at Ball Corporation, aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material (meaning it has no limit to the number of times it can be recycled). With the material being so easily recyclable, it’s simple to make sure a can doesn’t end up in the landfill. In fact, in San Diego County, residents and businesses can toss aluminum cans in their curbside recycling bin. Not to mention, Californians have the opportunity to earn a little cash when they recycle aluminum cans at a local CRV (California Redemption Value) recycling collection centers. You can find a nearby CRV collection center by using the search bar on WasteFreeSD.org.
In addition to the convenient recycling methods for aluminum cans, they have a pretty astonishing life cycle. Recycled aluminum cans get turned into new cans in as little as 60 days and each aluminum can is composed of an average of 70% recycled content! Unlike its beverage packaging competitors, aluminum cans rarely get down-cycled to make other products that are usually not recyclable which means the aluminum gets reused endlessly to make more cans. On top of all of that, the process of making one aluminum can from recycled cans takes up to 92% less energy than making a new aluminum can from virgin material!
If the recycling qualities haven’t convinced you that crowlers are a worthwhile option, there are a few other factors to consider: shelf life, cleanliness, and portability. Growlers keep beer fresh for up to 3 days, whereas crowlers keep beer fresh for up to a month! The Crowler has the superior qualities of aluminum, like the ability to block out light and oxygen keeping your beer tasting the way it was intended. Unlike growlers, you won’t have to worry about getting a Crowler cleaned to avoid funky odors or residue. Crowlers are easier to pack for camping, can go in areas where glass containers are prohibited, and are convenient to take to holiday gatherings (they make great gifts for beer-loving friends too)!