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Wheat Beer Week!

Summer is upon us, and what better time to feature Wheat Beers! These crisp and refreshing beers are perfect for this time of year. They feature low alcohol content, but do not come up short on flavor. There are many modern versions of wheat beers that vary from fruit infused to hop crazy. We’ve featured what we hope is a nice balance of old and new world examples of this classic style of beer. Here’s a tiny snippet of background information, just so you’re not flying blind here:

Wheat beers fall into two major categories: German weizenbier, of which the better known hefeweizen is a type, and Witbier, the Dutch version which is based on the Belgian brewing tradition of using coriander and orange peel to add depth of flavor profile. The main characteristic of wheat beers however, is that they use at least 50% wheat in the grain bill, cutting down on the malted barley used. The increased amount of wheat, containing higher protein than barley, result in a thicker, longer lasting head, as well as a ‘phenolic’ character which comes across as flavors of spice, banana, and sometimes herbs.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wheat beers, as berliner weisse, gose, and lambic are also included under the umbrella of wheat beers, among others. But, it’s hot and we’re thirsty so here’s our line up for Wheat Beer Week at the shop:

Hofbräu Hefe Weizen
5.1% ABV – Munich/Germany                              
Back in 1602 Weissbier could only be brewed by ducal privilege. It was Munich’s first Hefe Weizen. Hofbräuhaus enjoyed this exclusive right for nearly 200 years, thus holding a monopoly on Weissbier in Bavaria. Characterized by its sparkling rich foam and distinguished by its unforgettable refreshing and fruity taste.

Hoegaarden Witbier
4.9% ABV – Hoegaarden/Belgium
500 years went into making this beer that features the aroma of orange peel, coriander and herbs that the merry monks imported from sunny Curacao. Light yellow and naturally murky, and the soft foam adds a cloudy finish. Then there’s the soft taste, light and slightly sweet and sour and with subtle citrus notes.

Selkirk Abbey Chapel
4.9% ABV – 20 IBU Post Falls/ID
Selkirk Abbey’s classic Belgian witbier is light in body and delightfully easy-drinking; brewed with orange peel and coriander to provide a kiss of citrus that’s sure to be refreshing any time of the year.

Highlander Wolf Point Strawberry Wheat
5.0% ABV – 18 IBU Missoula/MT
This classic fruit forward wheat beer from Highlander Brewing features a huge strawberry aroma, mild fruit taste, and soft mouth-feel. Look for biscuit overtones and a smooth, creamy head.

Lone Peak Raspbeery Wheat
3.9% ABV – 23 IBU Big Sky/MT
No overwhelming sweetness here, just crisp raspberry goodness. Adding the Oregon raspberries while our yeast are still active means the little guys take care of all that extra sugar before it gets into keg. The result is a refreshing beverage meant for the heat of summer.

Meadowlark Teddy Roosevelt – American Badass – Barrel Aged Wheat Imperial IPA
7.9% ABV – 95 IBU Sydney/MT
Brilliant gold topped with a mountainous white foam head. This Imperial Wheat IPA is smooth-bodied with hop characteristics of pine and stone fruits. Oak-aging lends a vanilla or almond-like flavor and aroma and smooths out the beer’s bitterness and warmth.

Flights of 6 for $12, or available by pint

Cheers!

By in Events, Gallery 0

First Friday: Ecuador Photo Exhibition and Earthquake Relief Fundraiser

Last year, Kay Grissom-Kiely and her family spent six months living, attending school, and working in Cuenca, Ecuador (8,500 ft elevation in the Andes). They traveled extensively to various parts of the country, exploring the diverse culture and geography of jungles, mountains, oceans, islands, Inca ruins, small villages, and cities. Kay’s camera was in tow at all times, documenting their journey and revealing the soul of Ecuador with an attentive, creative eye. The camera allows Kay to see the world differently. She hopes this body of photos will inspire.

In April, the Andean coast of Ecuador was struck by a devastating 7.8-magnitude and four days later a 6.0-magnitude earthquake. Nearly 600 people died and more than 7,000 people were injured along the Northern coast. Hundreds of communities were flattened, homes collapsed, and people are still living under plastic tarps without running water or adequate sanitation. It will take years to rebuild these towns and remote communities, including lots of resources.

Now that I’m back in Montana, I’ve struggled with how to help from so far away. I decided to donate all sales from this photography exhibition to help those suffering in these remote, devastated communities. Specifically, I will donate funds to help get kids back to school and help restore meaning to their lives in the midst of the distress in their town. This fundraising effort will help re-build schools in the coastal town of Canoa, Ecuador, requiring funds for teacher salaries, books, desks, supplies, and counseling. I love Ecuador—the people, diversity, culture, animals, and land—and this is my effort to help.

Please click on the link to learn more about how you can donate or contact Kay at [email protected] to purchase prints.

 

Maibock Week starts Saturday, May 20th !

All of the Maibock beers we’ll have on tap this week are for German Texans. What? German Texans you ask? That’s right folks, German Texans. The basic Bock style of beer, and granddaddy to the Maibock, was popularized in the Bavarian region of Germany in the 13th century. And Bavaria is big. Bavaria is so big that it’s been referred to as ‘The Texas of Germany’ dating back to at least the 1950’s. First brewed in the town of Einbeck, Bock beers got their name as the local dialect bastardized the name of the town into Ein Bock, meaning ‘Billy Goat’ in German. That’s why you always see goats on the labels of these German bock beers.

But we digress, as usual. Bocks are traditionally a celebratory beer, and hence they have a bit higher ABV, coming in around the 7-8% range. They won’t put you on your bottom immediately, but you’ll know you’re having a good time. Maibocks in particular feature a dry, and somewhat hopped finish. They are lightly malted, yellow to golden in color, with a medium mouthfeel. Often times you’ll taste notes of spice and pepper in this thirst quenching and flavorful spring offering.

We’ll be featuring 6 different Maibock beers all week. Come try a flight of all 6 for $15!

Here’s a list of Maibocks that we’ll have on tap at the shop all week long:

Hofbräu Maibock 7.2% ABV – Munich/Germany

Sierra Nevada Old Chico Pale Bock 6.8% ABV – 40 IBU – Chico/CA

Beaverhead Bock 6.6% ABV – 25 IBU Dillon/MT

Bayern Maibock 7.6% ABV – 28 IBU MIssoula/MT

Mighty Mo Hoki’s Maibock 6.3% ABV – 30 IBU Great Falls/MT

Laughing Dog Bock at the Moon 5.5% ABV – 30 IBU Coeur D’Alene/ID

Bozeman Brewing Super Power Solo Bock 7.2% ABV – 30 IBU Bozeman/MT

– Prost!

Missoula Craft Beer Week at The Dram!

Saturday, April 30th – Saturday, May 7th

Here are the events we have going at the shop for Craft Beer Week!

Sat. April 30th: All Day: Brews Cruise
We’re a stop on the bicycle ‘Poker Run’ that is the Brews Cruise. We are partnering with Great Burn Brewing and will have 4 of their beers on tap. We’ll be pouring flights of these 4 beers for just $5 all day. Folks will stop in throughout the day, get their Brews Cruise card stamped and have a beer! Click here for more details!

Tue. May 3rd 7 pm: Beer Geek Cage Match Trivia with Draught Works
We’re hosting a beer trivia night! Expect it to be packed. We’ll feature 4 Draught Works beers and have them on special for $3 per pint. We expect about 60 participants! Ryan Newhouse will MC. Prizes will be awarded for top finishers including tickets to the Garden City Brewfest and loads of beer swag! More details here.

Thur. May 5th 5pm-8pm: Downtown Mini Golf Tournament
Teams of competitors travel from place to place in Downtown Missoula playing a hole of mini golf at each venue. We will partner with Great Burn Brewing to host a hole at the Shop! We will feature two Great Burn Beers at $3 per pint as folks play mini golf throughout the evening.

Fri. May 6th 4:30 PM to Close: Great Northern Tap Takeover
Join us for a Tap Takeover at The Shop from 4:30pm to close! There will be tons of giveaways and good times. Buy a flight of 4 beers and get a free glass to take home. Featured beers: Bluebird Day Double IPA, Powder Ninja Porter, Good Medicine Strong Ale, and Wild Huckleberry. Help us celebrate Missoula Craft Beer Week! Check out more on the Facebook event here)

Click here for the entire Craft Beer Week Schedule!

Cheers Missoula!

 

Saison Week starts Sunday, April 17th!

Welcome to the month of April. Spring is in the air, and so is the Saison style of beer.

We’ll be featuring Saisons at the shop beginning Sunday, April 17th for a week.

We chose this style for April as it neatly fits in for this time of year. ‘Bier de Saison’ literally translates to ‘beer of the season’ and originally brewed by farmers in the French speaking part of Belgium. Saisons are commonly referred to as ‘farmhouse style ales’. What this means more generally, is that they were brewed with whatever ingredients were available down on the farm. The beer would be brewed at the end of winter, stored when it was still cool (as refrigeration was not available), and consumed during the warmer months. Farm workers in the fields were allotted up to 5 liters each day. We’re not sure how much work they actually got done, but at least they were happy. Moderate alcohol and thirst quenching on the palate. Traditionally Saisons have enjoyed a wide style description. In modern times however we can narrow our focus on these beers.

Here are some general characteristics:

Pale orange to golden in color, these beers are fruity and feature citrus flavors. Moderate hop presence gives way to pepper and/or clove flavors. Moderate maltiness marries into a light alcohol presence. A light to medium mouth feel enhances the fruit and spice flavors.

Feeling Thirsty yet??

Come join us all week to experience these unique beers!!!

6 American Saisons on tap all week. Flights of 3 or 6 will be available as well as pints. It’s farmhouse beer time!

By in Behind the Scenes, Events, News 1

10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Business

by Zach Millar, owner of The Dram Shop in Missoula, MT

There are no known unknowns.
Simple right? The fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know. So keep an open mind, and be ready for your perceptions to change. A lot.

You are your best (and often times only) advocate.
You better get used to getting out there and fighting for your dream. Nobody else is going to take over while you sit on the couch and watch Seinfeld reruns.

Lean on your friends.
They’ll want to help you, and you’ll need them. A lot of your network will likely be really excited about your endeavor. Enthusiasm is contagious, so put them in coach.

Be nice.
This seems obvious, but just remember, you don’t know everything. You don’t even know that you don’t know everything yet (see #1). So be nice to EVERYBODY. Chances are you’re going to need their help sometime soon (see #3). And if you do make it through the startup crucible, you’re likely going to owe them a truckload of thank you’s.

Listen to your elders.
Also, listen to your youngers. Heck, listen to anybody who is willing to take the time to give you advice. It’s really important to remember where your scope of knowledge lies. For us, it was somewhere between breakfast and lunch, and we were lucky to get a lot of great advice.

Make fear your friend.
You’re going to need to get used to your fight or flight instinct, because it’s going to follow you around. It probably is already. You’re taking risks. Sometimes really big risks, and there will be times when every sinew in your body will be telling you to split and head for Mexico. Also, Mexico can be a very useful motivational tool.

Be ready.
Running your shiny new business is a lot different than starting your new business. You’re going to have to make a lot of adjustments as you go along, and you don’t want to get caught flat footed. So try not to get too attached to the little things you’ve accomplished along the way. You probably screwed them up and are going to have to go back and redo them.

Study up.
Chances are you’re going to become an expert on a subject that to date you know nothing about. Take parking requirements for example. Not only are they are super interesting, turns out they are kind of important. You’ll be way better off if you can discover problems before they become problems. (See #1)

Keep going.
If you’re anything like us, there will be some doubts. OK, a lot of doubts. You have to learn to put them in a box and throw it off of a very tall building. You can do it. One foot in front of the next.

Success is a trip to the grocery store.
Things get busy and crazy. Really busy and really crazy. When things finally calm down enough that you can do normal, everyday activities without a sneaking suspicion that total disaster lies around every corner, you’ve arrived. You probably just won’t be sure where it is that you’ve arrived at. It doesn’t matter, you’re probably leaving first thing in the morning.

Upcoming Events:

Sunday, April 10th: Patagonia Worn Wear Event Happy Hour and Film 6-9pm

Saturday, April 16th: Cider Tasting featuring Montana CiderWorks

Sunday, April 17th: Saison Week Kick-off and Super Tuscan Wine Tasting

Thursday, April 21st: Firestone Walker Brewery Missoula Release and Tap Takeover

Saturday, April 30th Craft Beer Week Kick-off

CraftBeer.com votes The Dram Shop the “Best Beer Bar in Montana”

Barleywine Week!

We’re winding up for our monthly style feature here at the shop, and this month, due to the final cold stretch of winter laid out before us, we’ve decided to feature barleywine. Starting Sunday, February 14th, we’ll be featuring 6 different varieties of barleywine. It’s a style that weighs in heavily when it comes to flavor and alcohol content. Large grain bills and generous hop additions lead to big ales, that can be as delicate and distinctive on the palate as fine wine. These ales are also fit for aging for multiple years.

This last fact seems fitting, as the first known references to barley wine date back to ancient Greece. Greek historian Xenophon (sweet name we know) makes mention of barley wine being stored and consumed on a regular basis. These earlier versions would be unlike modern barleywine however as the use of hops was not documented until centuries later. Something tells us these Greek versions were both big and funky.

Style wise, barleywine breaks down along English and American lines. As is somewhat standard in the craft beer world, American versions tend to be more aggressively hopped, while english versions rely on deep malting and more subtle balance. This leaves both versions at similar alcohol by volume percentages, but vast difference in flavor profile and visual appearance. English barleywines can be amber, to deep amber, even to very dark. American barleywines are usually honey colored or even lighter, with amber and red amber being on the dark end. They are all big beers, meant to warm in your glass as you sip slowly and let the burn of the alcohol settle in your stomach.

One more quick aside here, for those of you who like splitting hairs (a favorite pastime of ours)….Barley wine has traditionally been written as two words in britain, and dating all the way back to it’s origins. This makes sense linguistically if it is being described as a type of wine, with ‘barley’ as the qualifier. Legend has it that when Anchor Brewing Company brewed the first significant barleywine on American soil in 1976 (Old Foghorn it’s called), they decided to make it one single word, so that it would not be confused with wine made from grapes in the marketplace. We think it was a wise move, and for the record, we have decided editorially to side with our new world brethren and keep with the tradition. Ok, end of rant.

On that note, we’d like to introduce our starting lineup of barleywines, starting Feb. 14th:

Grand Teton – 2012 Oak Aged Barleywine: 
10.0% ABV – Victor/ID
Brimming with bold flavors of bittersweet malt and heaps of aggressive hops, this barleywine was part of Teton’s annual holiday ‘Coming Home’ series. It was aged in Oak for two years, and then has been aged in stainless since 2014. A rare treat indeed.

Bozone – Wee Nip Barleywine: 9.0% ABV – 100 IBU – Bozeman/MT
Wee Nip boast piney and citrusy hop aromas, and a subtle blend of three specialty malts keeping the beer in balance. A more conservative approach to the alcohol content keeps this brew a little more approachable than other big beers.

Stone – Old Gaurdian Barleywine: 11.2% ABV – 80 IBU – Escondido/CA
The maltiness of this beer is only tamed by a prodigious addition of hops, creating a rich, slightly sweet, ale infused with assertive bitterness and bright hop notes, all culminating in a pleasing dryness.

Rogue – New Crustacean Barlywine/IPA: 11.3% ABV – 88 IBU Newport/OR
Not quite a barley wine and not quite an imperial IPA. Featuring 8 Ingredients: Weyermann & Bohemian Malts; Bravo, Amarillo, Falconer’s Flight & Horizon Hops; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.

New Belgium – Blackberry Barleywine: 10.0% ABV – 50 IBU – Fort Collins/CO
Blackberry Barleywine channels the elegant spirit of a classic English barleywine, but with a kiss of blackberry. A deep wash of caramelized sugar and toasted bread, courtesy of Caramel Munich malts, adopts subtle laces of floral fruit for a proper pairing.

Moylans – Old Blarney Barleywine: 10.0% ABV – Navato/CA         
Our Barleywine Style Ale is a rich and heavy ale brewed to a high gravity. Massive body, mouthfeel and hoppiness. Barleywines are the “brandy” of the ale world. A great sipping ale, and a perfect finish to any meal.

Ask us about our flights too!

 

 

By in Events, What's on Tap 0

First Annual Stout Week! Jan. 17th-23rd

Our First Annual Stout week is coming up, and we thought we should write up a bit of an explainer on the history and origins of stout beers. First of all, we love the style. Stouts come in a wide variety, all of which are dark. But never fear, most are very approachable. The term stout originally meant a stronger version of any style of beer, and as darker beers gained traction, this was often times a Porter. This characterization of course has changed in the modern era to mean a specific family of very dark beers. Although folks can argue over whether or not there is really any difference between the Stout and Porter Families of beers, we plan on ignoring that cacophony, and diving straight into the world of Stout Beers!

Let’s review Styles:

Milk stout

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout), is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Historically people thought of milk stout as nutritious, and hence was given to nursing mothers.

Dry or Irish stout

With milk or sweet stout becoming the dominant stout in the UK in the early 20th century, it was mainly in Ireland that the non-sweet or standard stout was being made. As standard stout has a drier taste than the English and American sweet stouts, and they came to be called dry stout or Irish stout to differentiate them from stouts with added lactose or oatmeal. Though still sometimes termed Irish or dry stout, particularly if made in Ireland, this is the standard stout sold and would normally just be termed “stout”.

Oatmeal stout

Oatmeal stout is a stout with a proportion of oats, normally a maximum of 30% of the grain bill, added during the brewing process. Even though a larger proportion of oats in beer can lead to a bitter or astringent taste, during the medieval period in Europe, oats were a common ingredient in ale, and proportions up to 35% were standard.

There was a revival of interest in using oats during the end of the 19th century, when (supposedly) restorative, nourishing and invalid beers, such as the later milk stout, were popular, because of the association of porridge with health. Some oatmeal stout uses a minimal amount of oats. With such a small quantity of oats used, it could have had little impact on the flavor or texture of the beer. Oatmeal stouts do not usually taste specifically of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats.

Chocolate stout

Chocolate stout is a name brewers sometimes give to certain stouts having a noticeable dark chocolate flavor through the use of darker, more aromatic malt; particularly chocolate malt—a malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate color. Sometimes, the beers are also brewed with actual chocolate!

Oyster Stout

Oysters have had a long association with stout. When stouts were emerging in the 18th century, oysters were a commonplace food served in public houses and taverns. Modern oyster stouts may be made with a handful of oysters in the barrel. Others use the name with the implication that the beer would be suitable for drinking with oysters.

Imperial Stout

Imperial stout, also known as Russian imperial stout or imperial Russian stout, is a strong dark beer or stout in the style that was brewed in the 18th century. It has a high alcohol content, usually over 9% abv. This style is often aged in used Bourbon or Whisky barrels to imbue the beer with a mellow, boozy, flavor.

There you have it folks! Now, we’re bringing in some delightful stouts for our event. We are leaning towards heavier, darker, barrel aged stouts. These bigger stouts tend to present a depth of flavor profile that we really love. The big ones are served in a snifter, and are surely meant to be sipped rather than quaffed.

Here’s a list of beers we’ll have on tap:

Bourbon County – Brand Stout                                                            13.7% ABV –  60 IBU – Chicago/IL
$9 per 12 oz snifter

Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.

Sierra Nevada – Narwhal Imperial Stout                                     10.2% ABV – 60 IBU – Chico/CA
$6 per 12 oz snifter

Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish.

Deschutes – Abyss Russian Imperial Stout                                    12.2% ABV – 86 IBU – Bend/OR
$8 per 12 oz snifter

A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate.

Elysian – The Fix Choc. Coff. Imp. Stout                                      8.9% ABV – 55 IBU – Seattle/WA
$8 per 12 oz snifter

Dark, rich, and roasty with Stumptown coffee and aged on cocoa nibs sourced by Theo Chocolate, this stout is complex and full of your favorite dark matter.

Big Sky – Ivan the Terrible Imp. Stout                                        9.5% ABV – 39 IBU – Missoula/MT
$8 per 12 oz snifter

Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout is Brewed according to the traditional style using English hops and the finest american malt. It’s aroma and flavor balance well between esters of dried fruit and roasted cocoa with a slight bourbon presence.

Grand Teton – Black Cauldron Imp. Stout                                        8.0% ABV – 47 IBU – Victor/ID
$8 per 12 oz snifter

This thick, rich ale was brewed with plenty of caramel and roasted malts, and subtly spiced with American Chinook and Willamette hops. It boasts flavors of chocolate and coffee, along with raisins and dried fruit soaked in sherry. We’ve accentuated the natural smokiness of the brew by adding a small amount of beech wood-smoked malt and aging the brew in an oak whiskey barrel, which also adds notes of oak and vanilla.

We will be offering Flights of all 6 stouts that we have on tap all week long.   

*Some beers will be restricted to no growler fills based on the limited quantity we are able to get!

 

By in Events, Uncategorized 0

Holiday Beer Fest: December 6th – 12th!

All week long from December 6th-12th, we’ll be featuring 6 rotating taps with over 14 different holidays brews from: Terminal Gravity, Scaldis, Dupont, Grand Teton, Stone, Anchor, Rogue, Moylen’s, Bayern, Sierra Nevada, Hoffbrau, He’Brew, Big Sky, and many more!

FLIGHTS: $12 – 6 pours of 5 oz. beers 

Holiday GLASSWARE: $10 – 2 16 oz. beers and you keep the glass

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Specialty Beer Paired MENU items from Market on Front (corner of Front & Pattee): Call for takeout 541-0246

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POP UP SHOP with Dig This Chick: Monday – Wed., December 7-9th Noon-9 pm Daily
Heaps of handmades, ready for your gift! Ability to custom create your item! We will have our sewing machines there, ready to make your vision. Deals for everyone: You show up, draw a ticket from the bucket and save 10-40%! A big ol’ chest of $5-$10 sale items! 

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Ugly Sweater Party and Hanging of the Griz Chair: Saturday, December 12th
Yep, that’s right, we’re hanging a chair from the 1965 Griz Lift, and you can take it for a ride! Also prizes for UGLIEST sweater!

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Events THIS Weekend:

Friday: First Friday with Tom Robertson – 5 to 10pm.

Saturday: Parade of Lights – Kids holiday banner making crafts – 3 to 5pm

Sunday: Gingerbread House Decorating with Taste Buds Kitchen – SOLD OUT – 4 to 5pm (Check out their website for other workshops for kids and adults!)

Give the Perfect Gift for the Growler Lover, and more! Click HERE to see what’s available in our online store and locally. 

 

 

By in Gift Guide, Merchandise 0

The Growler Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

Check out our 5 brand new items for the holiday season! We’ve got something to drink from, something to keep it bubbly, and something to transport your favorite brews, wines or sodas with. Take one to your next holiday gathering, and don’t forget the glassware! These items also make excellent gifts! In stock locally, or you can purchase from our website and we’ll ship it!

1. 64 oz. Handcrafted ceramic growlers from Portland Growler Co. (white) — $69
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2. 64 oz. Handcrafted ceramic growlers from Portland Growler Co. (blue) — $69

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3. 32 oz. cobalt blue flip-top growler — $10
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4. Footed holiday beer glass — $7
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5. Don’t finish a growler in a few days? This growl tap keeps your beer fresh and carbonated longer — $50growlertap