No, this is not some George Clooney suggestion for a pet. The pig I'm referring to is quite different.
Our lovely town used to recycle glass, but when fuel prices went up, it became to expensive to drive it to Bozeman (at least I think that's where it went).
And, though I am not a big drinker, my passion for all things food-related includes microbrews with meals. The end of the glass recycling program put a big damper on my Bayern Dancing Trout with bison burgers or Big Sky Mooose Drool with pizza. I just hated tossing bottle after bottle into the garbage. There are some places that offer a few varieties of high-quality beer in cans, but I quickly grew tired of the lack of options. It's like being forced to eat one flavor of ice cream for months - I couldn't do it anymore!
Ah.... but then a solution presented itself. Many breweries offer pig services, and there's one just a few blocks from my house called The Kettlehouse. Their Double Haul IPA is great, the Coldsmoke is fantastic, and the Lake Missoula Amber absolutely delicious - the amber being a favorite around here. All of which are often offered in the pig.
Now, to explain this whole pig-business. The pig is a reusable beer container that holds 2.25 gallons at a time. Everything stays fresh and comes out carbonated via a self-inflating pressure pouch. Unlike growlers which come in large juice-like, glass containers (but are also reusable and a good idea if you don't want a pig taking up residence in your refrigerator), the pig lasts as long as you need it to.
Without further ado, here is a pig:
This particular pig has been living in my fridge since early December. Unfortunately, I haven't been around much the last few months, and the handyman has been under the weather and not drinking as much when he's over here. So, I do think I've found somewhat of an expiration date - three months might be a little long to let that pig sleep in the cold box. Tonight I'm swapping this one in for a new pig.
Because, after you put down a deposit (ours was $20) for your pig, you take the empty back and trade it in for new one that runs about thirty bucks. It's a little pricey up front, but you don't end up opening more beers just because you want a little more. Instead, you go fill half a glass from the pig to enjoy with the last few bites of that lasagna...