Beer’s history dates back almost 4,000 years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve on it. New micro- and craft breweries are emerging with regularity, each taking suds in new directions, and even entrepreneurs are starting to do exciting things with the technology available today to help make a pint of the good stuff even better. Herein, we found five pioneers who have taken to funding site Kickstarter to collect the ingredients they need to brew the next generation of beer tech.
Instant suds: Synek Draft System
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a freshly-poured draught pint, but who has the room for a keg in the kitchen? The Synek Draft System, billing itself as the Keurig of beer, has found a way to keep beer fresh in a portable cartridge that maintains its carbonation for up to 30 days (even outside the machine). The cartridges release beer through the appliance’s countertop dispenser at the pull of a handle. And it’s not just any beer on tap—the cartridges can be filled at dozens of craft brewers and bars to ensure you always have your favourite at home. The guys over at Synek have successfully crowdfunded almost $650,000.
Countertop craft brewing: PicoBrew Zymatic
Breweries are getting smaller. First we had craft brewers, then microbreweries. Now, you have the PicoBrew Zymatic, which further miniaturizes the process of brewing to the point that it fits on your countertop. The PicoBrew is the first fully automatic homebrewing appliace. After being filled with all-grain ingredients, it can brew you about three gallons of fresh beer in about four hours. More interestingly, it has the ability to connect to an online library of hundreds of user-made brewing recipes with the option to create and upload your own. The machine has impressively raised more than $660,000 on Kickstarter.
The ultimate beer drinker’s tool: The Sabertooth
Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make drinking more enjoyable. Take for instance the Sabertooth beer opener. The keychain-sized device performs the basics, such as opening bottles and pulling tabs, but the fun comes in the form of a spike designed to help open the perfect shotgun spout—a casual reminder that not everything about beer has to be highbrow. The project’s been successfully funded to the tune of more than $30,000.
The growler that’s also a keg: GrowlerWorks uKeg
Kegs are big and for frat parties, growlers are small and cool. That’s the apparent ethos behind GrowlerWorks’ uKeg, which is essentially a pressurized growler that keeps beer fresh up to 14 times longer than the traditional glass receptacle. It keeps air out (one reason your beer goes bad) and is easily transported without getting your suds warm thanks to double-wall vacuum insulation. This one’s expected on the market soon, having raised a whopping $1.5 million via crowdfunding.
Homebrew in style: HopBox brew kit
Take that, snow
What’s better than a cold brew and cool weather?
Old craft, new traditions