the Growler rush story
The name Growler Rush comes from a term first used for transporting beer as early as the 1880s.
Brander Matthews wrote about it in Harper’s Magazine in July 1893: “In New York a can brought in filled with beer at a bar-room is called a growler, and the act of sending this can from the private house to the public-house and back is called rushing the growler”. The job of rushing the growler was often given to children with parents calling out for them to “rush the growler!”
Other terms were used around the same era to refer to fetching a container of beer. These included chase the duck, roll the rock, and hurry the can. Ultimately rush the growler became the more commonly used phrase.
So, how did we end up calling the container a growler?
In those days, the can or pail (often attached to a pole) would be loosely sealed by a flat cover over the brim of the container. As the carrier made their way home, the beer sloshing about inside resulted in a sort of burping action with gas from the carbonated beer lifting the cover and escaping. The resulting noise could be described as a growl. That’s how we came to know our beer carriers today as growlers!