A growler is a 1.89 liter (64 oz) glass jug used to carry beer home from a brewery or brew pub. It's filled directly from the tap, topped with a screw-off cap and plastic seal. Once filled, beer can last up to 7-10 days but should be consumed immediately after being opened. It's perfect for camping, parties or just enjoying on your own if you're more than a little thirsty.
In the Ottawa-area (I know I'm stretching that 'Ottawa-area' bit) there are six breweries and brew pubs that offer beer to-go in a growler. While filling fees vary from brewery to brewery they all follow the same rules laid out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and will only fill their own branded growler. For example, a Beau's growler cannot be filled at Big Rig. The up side is that the brewery exchanges the used, dirty growlers for ones that have been cleaned at the brewery.
There are a few breweries/brewpubs in the Ottawa-area that don't offer breweries - check out this Foursquare list and visit them all!
Ashton Brewing Company
113 Old Mill Road; Beckwith, ON / (613)257-4423 / http://www.ashtonbrewpub.ca
The Old Mill Pub has traditional pub fare, a killer summer patio and it's home to The Ashton Brewing Company. Once you're finished with your beer sample truck you can choose your favourite brew to take home. Although, with more than six types available and seasonals it may take a bit more sampling to figure out which one you want to-go. Growlers are $17.00 and include a $5.00 deposit which is returned once the bottle is returned to the brewery.
Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.
10 Terry Fox Drive; Vankleek Hill, ON / (613)678-2799 / http://www.beaus.ca
Beau's was one of the first to offer growlers as a means of getting their customers large amounts of their flagship Lug Tread Lagered Ale for less. Now they are the first to offer growlers (as well as bottles and merchandise) for sale online and delivered right to your door through their charitable BYBO (Buy Your Beau's Online) service. Growlers are $15.00 and include a $4.00 bottle deposit.
Beyond the Pale Brewing Company
5 Hamilton Avenue; Ottawa, ON / (613)695-2991 / http://www.beyondthepale.ca
Ottawa's latest brewery located in Hintonburg promises to be innovating and exciting. While they may be small they have some impressive brews for the locals to enjoy. Growlers are available in 32oz which are $10.00 and include a $3.00 bottle deposit or $16.00 with a $4.00 bottle deposit for the standard 64oz. The Imperial Super Guy is slightly more expensive at $12.00 for 32oz and 64 oz for $19.00 (includes bottle deposit).
Big Rig Brewery & Kitchen
2750A Iris Street; Ottawa, ON / (613)688-3336 / http://www.bigrigbrew.com
The west-end's latest hot spot! While you may not be willing to wait to be seated in the upscale sports bar there is the option of ordering one of their famous Montreal-style pizzas and grabbing a growler of beer to-go. The only problem is, which one of Brew Master Lon's creations do you want tonight Growlers vary in price depending on brewery and beer type but range from $16.75 to $20.00 with a $5.00 bottle deposit ($11.75-15 to refill).
Broadhead Brewing Co.
81 Auriga Drive, Unit 13; Ottawa, ON / (613)695-9444 / http://www.broadheadbeer.com
Before Broadhead Brewing Co. moved from one side of the strip-warehouse to the other, it used to be hard to buy some of their popular brews before they sold out. Now they've increased production and all six of their beers have better availability. That isn't saying they still won't sell out though.. Growlers are $15.00 with a $4.00 bottle deposit ($11.00 to refill).
715-C Principale Street; Casselman, ON / (613)816-2317 /http://www.casselbrewery.com
45 minutes from Ottawa, along the mainstreet of Casselman, is Cassel Brewery. Still pretty small, they have limited hours and availability of their seasonals so best check the website before stopping in. Growlers are $15.00 or $16.00 (depending on the beer) and include a $4.00 bottle deposit ($11-12 to refill).
Kichesippi Brewing Co.
866 Campbell Avenue; Ottawa, ON / (613)728-7845 / http://www.kbeer.ca
Located in a small industrial area near Carling Avenue, Kichesippi Brewing Co. is always ready to fill a growler with their Natural Blonde, 1855 or special seasonal. Growlers are $14.75 and include a $4.00 bottle deposit ($10.75 to refill).
Mill Street Brew Pub
555 Wellington Street; Ottawa, ON / (613)567-2337 / http://ottawa.millstreetbrewpub.ca
Although I'm sure you'd rather sit down at their stunning location off the Ottawa River Parkway and work on your MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation), growlers are available at the retail store. Growlers of Mill Street's seasonal beer can be bought for $16.50 and include a $4.00 bottle deposit ($12.50 to refill).