I enjoy the language of beer. Wort. Bung. Mash Tun. But I really like the local words for quantities or container sizes of beer. Like "rigger" which I saw for the first time today in this oddly detailed article:
It took a little adjusting for us to appreciate the plastic soda bottle-type riggers in use when we moved here. But we quickly learned that, in the short term, riggers keep the beer in good stead. Riggers are made of PET, a form of polyethylene that is lighter than glass, recyclable and poses little breakage hazard. But it does have some drawbacks. PET is not entirely air-tight, and over time will let in oxygen and let out the pressure that keeps the fizz in the beer. Some commercial PET beer bottles have an interior coating to keep out the oxygen, but we could not confirm that New Zealand riggers use this technology. PET also lets in the UV light that can spoil beers at equal or greater rates to glass of the same colour. Amber is the best protection.
There was a brewery in Ontario, Algonquin, in the mid-90s that sold its beer in one litre plastic bottles like this and they were fine and dandy... but what is up with the word "rigger"? The article doesn't say. The photo is from a certain Br3nda's photo stream on Flickr but it doesn't explain either. Rigger can mean someone who rigs something, usually with pulleys and ropes. Or someone up in the rigging of a ship. It can be a paint brush or even a sort of sailing ship, too. Growlers growl when the beer sloshes about. When does the beer make a rigger rig?