Here in the Pacific Northwest we love our beer. Here in Oregon a cottage industry has blossomed to help serve and enjoy local microbrews. Here in Portland we’re veritable beer snobs. And here in my neighborhood, no insulated beer growler has inspired as much conversation as the combination of the DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap.
The DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap are a sweet tandem that turns your growler into a miniature keg. Based in the Central-Oregon microbrew haven of Bend, DrinkTanks sells the two items separately. I can’t imagine why you’d ever purchase one without the other. The Juggernaut costs about $110, while the Keg Cap costs $45. For those of you taking notes at home, that makes the DrinkTanks Juggernaut about twice the price of a standard insulated growler. What gives? Simple: it’s twice the size.
Looking at the photo above, you’d never know the DrinkTanks Juggernaut towers above the competition. If you read my head-to-head insulated growler comparison (coming soon), you’ll see its stature quite clearly. You can also see it in my brief comparison video below, which also shows how the DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap work together. Suffice it to say, the Juggernaut is a man among boys when it comes to insulated growlers. Where most products handle 64 ounces, DrinkTanks’ entry allows you to transport a full 128 ounces. That’s eight pints of beer rather than the standard four.
For extended day trips, barbecues or even car camping, that means the DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap boost your party potential to 11. Of course, with that size come limitations. For instance, storage and packing are both a challenge. And no matter how deft your backpack is at handling hydration bladders, there’s no chance you’re taking this big boy out on a hike. Even if you can handle the weight, its sheer size will cause lesser backpacks to shrink away in fear.
Fortunately, there’s little limitation in terms the DrinkTanks Juggernaut insulation properties. During my tests a full Juggernaut allowed the beer’s temperature to increase an average of 4.7 degrees over a 24-hour period. That was a full 0.7 degrees cooler than the 2015 Hydroflask growler I reviewed, which is impressive. The Juggernaut isn’t ideal for warm beverages, as it performed poorly in those tests. But it’s a beer growler. Beer isn’t supposed to be warm. So where you’d want the DrinkTanks Juggernaut to perform well, it does.
By default, the Juggernaut comes with a thick metal-lined cap that clamps down hard on the lip. And I do mean hard. Like, “grit your teeth hard.” Fortunately, the Juggernaut has a long neck and beefy handle, both of which make pouring easy if you don’t get the Keg Cap. But honestly, don’t pass on the combo of a DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap.
Here’s how it works. The Keg Cap looks just like the Juggernaut’s standard lid, with the exception of a small circular opening and a little plastic nipple. Through that opening is a long plastic tube that goes inside the growler. At the exterior end of that tube is a spigot. The beer inside the growler requires pressure to pull it through the tube and into your pint. That pressure comes from a special DrinkTanks adapter that attaches to a CO2 cartridge (think air rifles and paintball guns). By pushing that CO2-equipped adapter onto the nipple, the growler becomes pressurized and allows the spigot to pull beer out.
This mechanism means that once you clamp the Keg Cap onto the Juggernaut, you never have to remove it again until the beer’s gone. In my other growler reviews I’ve mentioned that beer loses its carbonation every time you pop open a big lid. The nice effect of not having to remove the lid if you use the DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap is that you retain carbonation longer. Result: beer stays fresher, longer. Combine that with good temperature-insulation qualities, and you’ve got a winner.
From a size standpoint, the Juggernaut is a man among boys. From a beer-freshness standpoint it holds that same status. It also performed well in insulation, though not as well the 64oz Stanley growler. Still, the freshness factor and novelty of having a mini keg at your disposal gets the Juggernaut and Keg Cap combo serious brownie points. And as a lover of craft beers, I sure do like the prospect of having twice as much frosty goodness at my fingertips than a standard growler offers.
The DrinkTanks Juggernaut growler and Keg Cap were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
DrinkTanks Juggernaut Growler and Keg Cap
- Twice the normal growler size means twice the beer
- Keg cap keeps pours clean and convenient
- Beer stays fresher since you don't have to remove the lid each time
- The size and novelty gets you serious social points
- Sweet handle, though it is overly large
- Using the CO2 cartridge a couple of times per pour is tedious
- Packing, even when car camping, is challenging