Scott Smith of East End Brewery posted a note on his website (http://eastendbrewing.com/node/946) about cleaning out growlers. If I read between the lines I see that some people who buy growlers from him are bringing them back in a not too clean condition. May I shake my finger at them? One should always clean out a growler when the last drop of beer comes out.
First, you need to keep the growler clean so the nest beer does not become infected. Why spend good money on good beer to have it go bad? As any good bartender will tell you, there is a correct way to clean a glass for beer. Never use detergent and never wipe the glass with a towel. Hot water rinse a few times and let air-dry. But I think Scott tells you that.
Second, do not abuse Scott’s kindness. He is kind enough to clean your growler for you before he refills it. This also costs him water and labor. Not too much of a big deal but one that we should be doing ourselves. If he has to clean the growler for the guy in front of you then you will be delayed. It is also easier to clean a growler when just emptied than days later.
Please and thank you to Scott and his staff when doing refills are always in order and one way to say thanks for good beer is to bring back a clean one.