In the United States, late 19th – early 20th centuries, an open one-quart pail of beer purchased at a saloon for consumption elsewhere. The beer was usually drawn from the bottom of the barrel and was of low quality.
The term is enjoying a revival in the early 21st century. Retail stores licensed to sell beer and wine in cans and bottles are filling a customer's container from a barrel, for consumption off-site. Often the store also sells the empty container, which they call a growler. No specific size is mentioned.
William L. Downard.
Dictionary of the History of the American Brewing and Distilling Industries.
Westport (CT): Greenwood Press, 1980.
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