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Is an amber growler worth it over a clear growler for a small craft brewery?

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The first thing to keep in mind is that amber growlers are more expensive per unit.  Generally, an amber growler will cost you around 30% more per unit than an equivalent clear glass growler.  There are clearly substantial savings to be made by going with a clear growler as opposed to an amber growler.

On the other hand, amber is great for holding beer for longer periods since the amber blocks UV light that causes 'skunking' of the beer flavor and smell.  This is why amber beer bottles are popular.  An amber growler makes sense then if you are holding the beer for a longer period of time and thus exposing it to potential 'skunking'.  Many craft breweries nowadays sell growlers on-site.  Some fill up the growler directly from the brite tank.  The customer may then drink the beer later that day or over a relatively short period of time.  In this instance, investing in amber growlers may not make financial sense, since the risk of skunking is relatively low.  Of course, if you are aware of customers keeping the growlers for a long period of time before drinking, then it makes sense to invest in amber growlers.

Some breweries do distribute growlers through traditional sales channels, and for those breweries (due to the extended exposure to light) amber growlers are also a good investment.
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simple solution.  Use a clear carboy and cover with a black t-shirt (or two).    
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