Aussie rides US beer growler Juggernaut
At last year’s Great American Beer Festival one of The Sip’s operatives exerted a bit of Crocodile Dundee cheekiness to one of the major stall owners.
As he walked towards the Drinktanks booth he was taken by the visual marketing showing off the brand’s growlers and small kegs in extreme US conditions.
There was a Drinktanks Juggernaut in the snow. Another was pictured on a mountain hike. A couple was photographed with the regular sized growler while camping – and the vessel was being used to keep soup warm! And since the GABF was in Colorado there was the ubiquitous display of the canister with the Rockies in the background.
That was when the cultural cringe kicked in with The Sip’s man on tour.
“I see you’ve tested these growlers in some pretty tough conditions,” our man (let’s call him Reg) said to the Drinktanks rep crew. “But how does it go with spiders?”
The look from the other side of the stand was incredulous. Spiders? What spiders? And what part of the South could produce such a god awful accent.
“Well, has it been tested against spiders,” Reg persisted. “We have spiders in Australia that can bite through that steel. (Fake News Alert! That is spiders don't do that but the Drinktanks products are indeed made from stainless steel.)
“And how would it go against the Drop Bears? Our guys get to about six foot and they go crazy when they smell aromatic liquids. If a bear fell on it from a tree branch would it be okay?”
It was cruel to ask such questions because not only have the Drinktanks people not got the scientific results of such conditional crash tests but as we all know in Australia Drop Bears can only smell cider, not beer, and the one variety of Australian spider capable of ripping a hole in such a rugged surface is restricted to Canberra.
But Reg’s point was that Australia has some of the toughest conditions on earth and that our natural environment would provide a far greater test of the durability of Drinktanks products.
“You should give me one to take back to the Kakadu and I can give a real work-out. Crocs, wild boar, killer snakes, huge waterfalls, you name it that region has it and then we’d get to see how good the Juggernaut is,” cried Reg.
Whether they just wanted Reg out of sight or they actually fell for the horrible Bush Tucker Man impression but the Drinktanks team took up the challenge. The only issue is that Reg is 4000kms from Kakadu, has never been there and isn’t planning to any time soon.
Yet when the sliver Juggernaut arrived The Sip team decided the challenge was still on. The 128 fluid ounce (yes, that is about 3.78 litres – double the usual growler size) personal keg is far bigger than Reg could remember. But it looks stylish and the handle makes it super easy to transport.
Filling it was the next step. Fortunately, there is a growing band of bottleshops, small breweries and bars that are willing to pour their goods into growlers. None have prices for the big size so the charge was double the regular growler-sized fill. In our test case we got the Mash Black Cat (6.8%) from Mane Liquor at the price of $52.
Now considering there are about 9 schooners (at 425ml it is The Sip’s preferred serving size) in the Juggernaut the cost of the fill, for draught beer, was around $5.70 per glass).
Josh Daley from Mane Liquor is taken by surprise at the size of the Juggernaut.
The Juggernaut comes with its tight lock cap or that can be replaced by the Keg Cap and accessory kit that turn the vessel into a draught system. Owners can then use a CO2 cartridge apparatus to give a small injection of gas via a cap connection and the brew is ready to pour with nice fluffy head.
That’s the easy part.
The Sip had to live up to its promise. So Juddy Juggernaut went to the beach full of Kombucha. It's dual insulation worked a treat on keeping the beverage cool on a hot day. Then it was cleaned and refilled with beer. The team proceeded to drop it out of the car. Let it roll around on the back seat. Stored it in a fridge for two days during a long weekend holiday. They got a 60kg german shepherd to sit on it. It was left out for the birds to peck at. The kids kicked their footballs into it. And we even put a pale lager in it!
And after tasting following each event the beer (even the pale lager) tasted as if it had come from the pub taps. Mash’s head brewer Charlie Hodgson labours hard to make Black Cat and the beer deserved a suitable serving method. No problems with it coming from the Juggernaut even after it took a tumble from the box it was in during transit to The Sip HQ.
So it passed the Australian test. After all, the majority of punters who would be keen on a Juggernaut are more likely to be using it in similar family conditions, not necessarily while re-enacting stunts from Bear Grylls TV shows.
And if it can get through that environment and still keeps the beer in good drinking condition then its job has been done. In this example it passed through with flying (black) colours.
For more information about the Juggernaut or its small cousin visit the Drinktanks website. Tell them Reg sent you.