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TrailKeg Growler

TrailKeg will keep your beer carbonated for weeks once pressurized.

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MSRP: $40-$199

BEST FOR: Drinking

Bringing together post-climbing libations and keg-quality beer has long been the goal of civilization, from Babylonia to the Greeks and onto ‘Merica…but, alas, problem solved. TrailKeg has brought us portable, carbonated beer, requiring only an easy screw on lid, a few tubes and a CO2 cartridge (the kind that fit in your palm)…all of which they provide.

Never one for moderation, on my first outing with the gallon-sized version (it also comes in a 64 ounce half-gallon) I tossed it in the bottom of my pack and skinned up Aspen mountain after work, over 3,000 feet of vertical. I figured the extra weight would be good training. And, oh boy, it was. On the summit, however, the agony vanished and man was I thirsty! The sun went down, fresh snow fell, a fox shimmied about, and we tipped cups with the best summit beer I’ve had.

Of course, it can be used at home, the campfire or kept waiting for you in the river until you get back from the crag, but it’s good to know it can be tossed into a pack. Assemblage was easy, about 20 seconds on your second try—unscrew the lid, mount desired pouring tab (tap or keg style) and attach the pressurizing thing-a-ma jig. The gallon-sized growler is thinner than a milk jug, but taller, and all the accoutrements package up to the size of an overweight grapefruit.

Like analogous devices, theTrailKeg will keep your beer carbonated for weeks once pressurized. The lid comes with the option to set the pressure, from 0-30 PSI, required for different styles of beer. The CO2 regulator and other attachments can be removed for portage and the growler will remain pressurized. Kindly of them, TrailKeg’s lids are compatible with other growlers on the market, so check out their site to see if you have one of those.

The growler is stainless steel, double-walled and insulated, so your precious IPA (or, should you choose mere H2O) will stay cold for about a day. In terms of durability, it’s sturdy and plenty tough. Likewise, the attachments are made of heavy steel and its designs are clean, modern, and intuitive to attach/detach; it uses standard ball-lock connections. The sides are ribbed, so when it’s in the fridge, it doesn’t roll all over the place. My only suggestion to TrailKeg—the handle on the top is just fine, but perhaps partner with a backpacking company to devise a mesh backpack for this precious item.

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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.