De Struise Brouwers, the West Flanders brewers with great beers and a world-wide cult following, have started filling growers to go at their brewery/taproom in Oostvleteren. “The idea is to offer special beers only, ones that either we do not bottle, or which you’d have difficulty finding in bottles,” Urbain Cotteau, one of the several partners who own the brewery, told me during my visit on Saturday, September 12. “In fact, this is the first time we have used this new growler filler,” he said as I watched him fill growler number 1.
“This Russian-built grower filler was made by Pegas, and can give a perfect fill every time. That’s why we invested in this machine. We want to make sure we sell a quality product that will last for some time in the growler until opened. Of course, we recommend drinking beer filled into a growler as fresh as possible,” Urbain remarked. “You could probably keep the beer for a number of months, and as long as it is kept cold continuously, the beer should be good,” he added.
“We can also adjust the amount of CO2 and use different size growlers with the Pegas filler, which is very flexible. What we are using now are 75 cl, flip top growlers, and they cost 15 euro, filled with beer, here at our Old Schoolhouse brewery,” Urbain added. You can see how this machine works in this video
I brought home a growler of Aestatis Reserva, which is described as a summer saison, with 11% abv. I taped the flip top area heavily before putting the growler into my checked bag, to prevent pressure in the cargo hold from blowing open the top during flight. It worked, and a friend and I enjoyed the growler a few days later.
De Struise Brouwers also has some very interesting projects ongoing involving barrel-aged spirits. Delicious ones. More on that in the future. See some photos below.