If you don't know what a growler is, you probably don't spend much time drinking beer in local breweries. That's also why growlers are probably for you.
Growlers are refillable glass jugs — currently sold in 1 quart and 1 gallon sizes — that you buy from a brewery, refill from their taps and take home to consume. It's the best and freshest brew-to-go, and is perfect for basketball-viewing parties. Just be sure to keep them refrigerated and drink them within two days.
Almost every brewery in the state offers growlers, but if you've visited beermakers in other states, you might have noticed that most offer their beer in 64-ounce glass jugs. It's the industry standard, one that the Florida Brewers Guild would like to see here.
But just as the craft beer industry is blossoming, Tallahassee legislators are considering making it even more difficult for breweries to sell growlers. Big beermakers, represented by Florida's beer wholesaler association, want to maintain the long-standing three-tiered distribution system that prevents breweries from manufacturing or wholesaling their products.
Small breweries, represented by the guild, say the 64-ounce growler standard will help them increase sales. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, here are the growler offerings at South Florida breweries.
Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park, 954-440-0046, FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com; noon-midnight daily
Most growlers here cost $8 for the quart-sized fill and $26 for the gallon, plus the initial investment of the glass, $5 for a quart and $8 for the gallon bottle, which is yours to keep after purchase. Flagship brews include Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen. Every Tuesday after 7 p.m., Funky Buddha offers special-release growlers, often at a higher price. The brewery announces its special release Monday nights on Facebook. Linger at Funky Buddha to bowl on the full-sized bocce ball court. There are also two corn hole courts and an oversized Jenga.
Due South Brewing Co.
At this Boynton Beach brewery, a quart-sized growler bottle costs $4 and another $7 to fill. Gallons cost $10 and $23 to fill. Special brews are sometimes more, but flagship beers include Category 3 IPA and Caramel Cream Ale. Earlier this month, Due South won the award for Best Large Brewery in Florida 2014 at the 14th annual Best Florida Beer Competition. Gold medals were also awarded to Due South's Mariana Trench Imperial Stout, Category 5 IPA and Asylum Harbor Red Ale. Cafe Ole Espresso Porter won a silver and Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Pico Duarte won bronze.
Wynwood Brewing Co.
565 NW 24th St., Miami, 305-982-8732, WynwoodBrewing.com; 2-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 2 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday
While the father and son owners — Luis C. Brignoni and Luis G. Brignoni — have only been producing beer since August, they're already in the process of tripling their production capabilities. Along with their very cool tap room, they distribute to 100 bars and restaurants. The quart-
sized growler costs $5 and $7 to fill. The 128-ouncer costs $10 and $23 more to fill. Wynwood sells five year-round brews that you can fill during tap-room hours: La Rubia, Wynwood IPA, Pop's Porter, Magic City Pale Ale and BTM Wheat.
Miami Brewing Co.
30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead, 305-242-1224, SchneblyWinery.com/brewery; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 am.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Housed within the same facility as Schnebly Redland's Winery, owners Peter and Denisse Schnebly have been making wine since 2004 and brewing beer since 2011. A 32-ounce growler costs $14 with refills costing $8. The brewery's four flagship beers are Big Rod Coconut Ale, Gator Tail Brown Ale, Shark Bait Wheat Ale and Vice IPA. Growlers filled with special releases, such as the current Imperial Stout, cost $26, which includes the $6 bottle. While at the tasting room, you can order a $14 tasting flight, four small glasses of different beers plus a full pint of your favorite. You get to take home the souvenir glass.