Growlers are the new green way of drinking Arran beer

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A refillable, low environmental impact bottle called a growler is to become the new green way of drinking beer.

The Isle of Arran Brewery is the first island business to introduce the concept to Arran.

Growlers might be familiar to craft beer drinkers who visit craft breweries on the mainland, however, the name goes back to when growlers were covered pails used for transporting beer and the name comes from the gas rattling the lid as it was carried.

The growler filler in its shop at Cladach was made possible with grant funding from Zero Waste Scotland which was provided by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

And the initiative will assist Arran Brewery to reduce its packaging.

The way that growlers work is incredibly simple. You take your growler to the Arran Brewery Shop (or rent one from them), they wash it then fill it.

The whole process only takes a few minutes and you don’t pay for the glass bottle, the labels or the crown caps which are normally part of the price of bottled beer.

Since growlers are larger than standard beer bottles and are re-usable, owners/renters are able to have their growler filled multiple times without the need to recycle glass, which, although better than producing virgin glass, is still a high energy process.

This is far more environmentally friendly than current methods, something which Arran Brewery strongly advocates; less environmental damage, less wastage and a reduced carbon footprint.

Currently the Brewery Shop in Cladach is the only place where it is possible to get a growler filled with Isle of Arran Beer but it is looking to expand this service to two further outlets on the island and is looking for recommendations from islanders as to where these might be located.

Additionally, the type of beer available from the growler filler will change regularly and so growler users can keep trying new varieties of beer.

A monthly newsletter called Milestone will update users on which beer is available and this can be found on the brewery’s website at

Arran Brewery is offering the first 10 people to visit the brewery shop – with an original copy of this article – a free one-litre growler. *

*Free growler does not include beer. Maximum one per person