The Growler


5.00 out of 5

Pulling inspiration from the famous Offset guitar shapes of past and present, The Growler is the ultimate Indie/Alternative Rock guitar.  There is something very familiar when you first pick it up to play, but it has its own mojo and feel. The 12″ radius fingerboard, and .800 to .880 compound radius “Comfy C” neck profile really gives this guitar a hot rodded vintage guitar feel.

** Please allow 2-3 months from pre-order placement/payment to delivery confirmation email sent for Domestic USA orders & slightly longer for International.  They are built to order and we do not have any in-stock at the moment. **

Want this guitar but in a different finish with different woods, or more strings? Check out our Semi-Custom Series here: The Growler Semi-Custom Shop

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– Korina Body
– 25.5″ Scale,  22 medium jumbo stainless steel frets
– Hard Rock Maple Neck
– Ebony Fingerboard (16″ radius)
– One volume, One tone (coil split), 3 way switch
– Balaguer “Hemlock Series” Evergreen Humbuckers
– Balaguer Locking Tuners
– Balaguer Hardtail Brass Bridge

** Please allow 2-3 months from pre-order placement/payment to delivery confirmation email sent for Domestic USA orders & slightly longer for International.  They are built to order and we do not have any in-stock at the moment. **

Weight 16 lbs
Dimensions 48 x 20 x 8 in

Gloss Seafoam Green, Gloss Shell Pink, Gloss Sky Blue


Left Handed, Right Handed

1 review for The Growler

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I’ve owned a number of guitars of varying price points, quality and brands over the years. Everything from Gibson, to Rickenbacker to Fender. I’m a hobbyist player and play more riffs than leads, so take my review with that in mind. I have no affiliation with Joe or the rest of the Balaguer staff, or the company in general. I accidentally came across Balaguer through some people I follow on Instagram, and was really digging their designs.

    Build Quality – 4.5/5
    Solid. Feels well put together. Nothing is loose, no weird wiring issues, nothing you would find on a guitar at the big box stores. The korina wood body is very light and the gloss finish is the smoothest I’ve ever felt on a guitar. Seriously. It doesn’t have that ‘tack’ a lot of gloss finishes have. No friction whatsoever – it’s almost like plastic (in a good way).

    There are some minor details that prove this guitar is at least partially done by hand. Joe has a great attention to detail, however, and I believe in later manufacturing runs these details will be ironed out.

    Sound – 4.75/5
    The humbuckers the Growler comes with are a custom design by Balaguer. They aren’t super high output, but they do have an interesting range of nuance and bite. They are sensitive and can pick up the strings lightly resonating through the body (via string-through bridge design). They clean up nicely, and offer a unique sound profile. Pinch harmonics carry well with these pickups, and they offer a full, rich sound when played clean.

    The coil tap can come off a little harsh before you roll off the treble. Kind of a bitey, jangly sound without getting too close to Ric territory, but doing it’s best to mimic a telecaster.

    With the korina wood, you can really feel the notes resonate through the entire body of the guitar and it really adds a really satisfying ‘meaty’ quality to chords. You feel every note, similar to a semi hollow body. It feels great to play even unplugged.

    Full disclosure: I’m playing this guitar through a Blackstar Fly 3 amp, so unfortunately that does affect what I’m hearing. I won’t be able to see how it sounds through a tube amp.

    Looks – 5/5
    This guitar just looks badass. From the offset body, to the deep sparkle of the moonstruck black. The high gloss finish looks stellar as well. The headstock is eye catching – a modern spin on a classic profile. It’s a guitar that will make you do a double-take when you see it in person, the pics really don’t do it justice.

    Features – 4.5/5
    For a guitar in this price range, the features are fantastic. You get locking tuners, a graphite nut, stainless steel frets and a coil tap. They put the thought into what really matters on these guitars and they are built for players. Some extra knob controls would be nice, but single volume/tone are fine.

    Feel – 4.5/5
    This guitar feels great. The frets are smooth, even and comfortable. The knobs are out of the way, but the pickup selector is easy to reach. The heel where the neck meets the body is smooth and comfortable. The gloss finish on the body is insanely smooth, and the satin neck is perfect. Like the thicket, the contour of the body has curves in all the right places and is extremely comfortable – standing or sitting. These guitars are absolutely designed by someone who plays guitar. The Growler is several pounds lighter than the thicket and much easier on the shoulders for those long sessions. Get this guitar. Stop reading and just add it to your cart.

    Setup – 4.5/5
    This is another area where Balaguer shines. Many ‘off the shelf’ guitars come with the stock setup done at the Korean / Mexican factory to get the thing out the door. This isn’t good enough for Joe and the team. Each guitar gets a once-over and setup in their shop in the US before being sent to the customer. Something that is totally hit or miss with a lot of the big manufacterers. Plays great right out of the box.

    A guitar setup is personal and you may want to change it yourself to something you like. The setup Balaguer provides gets you playing right away. Nothing is worse than spending forever setting up your guitar before you can even really hear it scream. Out of the box, my action was a little high on this model.

    I’ve tried both the Thicket and Growler from Balaguer and the Growler is my favorite (though the Thicket is no slouch). It’s hard to go wrong with these guitars though. I can’t put it down. I sneak away from my family to play it throughout the day.

    Aside from the guitar, their customer service is great and they seem to be great dudes who love what they do. I look forward to ordering a semi-custom in the future.

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