Back when the beer choice at your local grocery store came down to lager or light lager, homebrewing was a serious undertaking. It involved a large investment of space, time, and money for results that, unless you were a seasoned pro, could end up middling at best.
Thankfully, everything has become easier. You can probably find a variety of styles, from IPAs to sours, at a store near you. And if you’re interested in home brewing, there are a ton of options that make it a less expensive, less demanding hobby with a much smaller margin for error, something that even busy parents can pursue. And if you’re more interested in drinking than brewing beer, a new category of devices designed to enhance the flavor, aroma, and texture of your beer is worth checking out. These are some of our favorites from both categories.
Beep. Boop. Beep. The BeerDroid may not be able to fix your X-wing mid-flight, but it is a home brewing machine that make it simple to brew up to 2.6 gallons of beer at once. To use it, all you have to do is fill the droid with water and put in a BrewPrint, a readymade packet of fresh ingredients. You can use the control panel and/or companion smartphone app to adjust the settings to your liking and monitor the progress of your brew. Once it’s ready you can drink straight from the built-in tap or transfer to BrewFlo kegs. And while it’s not scientifically proven, we’re pretty sure beer you make yourself tastes better every time.
This device is a beer dispenser that keeps beer cold and pours without CO2. The secret is the compressor. It keeps the beer inside at the perfect temperature and allows you to skip onerous trips to swap out CO2 containers. While you can’t use it to brew your homebrew, it can make your homebrew taste better than ever. And with disposable keg liners and lines, keeping your tap clean is painless.
The best part of this automated home brewing machine brewer might just be the app. Use it to select recipes, order ingredients, and provide instructions to make great beer with pre-measured, high-quality ingredients every time. It can even show you the fermentation progress of the kegs you’re working on. And because you can drink directly from the keg, there’s no onerous bottling process. The delivery service brings fresh, pre-measured ingredients directly to your door, taking a lot of the hassle out of the brewing process. That simply means you’ll have more time to relax with a cold one.
This inexpensive appliance sits on your counter and pours beer from specially-marketed canisters from Hopsy, a craft beer marketplace. You can order mini-kegs that lock right into the SUB and give you easy access to delicious, hand-poured pints. Hopsy has lots of options in terms of beers, brewers, and delivery schedules, and you can even get variety packs with themes like dark beers and easy drinkers. If you don’t want to invest in a full-sized keggerator (and full-sized keg), the SUB is a great option that doesn’t cost much. And don’t underestimate how fancy you’ll feel pulling a tap handle instead of cracking a can.
This compact machine uses Pico Packs — think of them as giant K-Cups for beer — filled with ingredients for beers from 180 breweries around the world. You can insert one in the machine, adjust the ABV and IBU to your liking, and wait for the beer to brew. When it’s ready you can hook up the included kegging appliance to transfer the beer into a keg you can keep in the fridge. Toss the brewing chamber into the dishwasher and you’ll be ready for your next batch in no time.
Normal growlers hold beer. Good growlers keep it cold and fizzy until they’re opened. This growler actively keeps beer at the optimum carbonation, which makes it an absolute gamechanger. Pop a CO2 cartridge into the uKeg and you’ll be ready to store and serve perfectly fizzy craft beer for weeks after it’s been poured. There’s a pressure gauge that lets you monitor what’s happening inside the growler and a tap that lets you pour without depressurizing the growler or exposing your delicious beer to the elements for even a moment.
The Fizzics isn’t a machine for beer brewers; it’s a machine for beer drinkers. Simply put, it makes beer taste better. All you have to do is insert a can, bottle, or growler into the center chamber of this device and feed the included tube into it. Patent-pending tech utilizes fluid dynamics and sound waves (seriously) to enhance the aroma, texture, and taste of whatever you’re drinking. If it sounds like science fiction, it’s only because we’re living in the future now.
Like its non-nitro cousin, the Fizzics DraftPour dispenser is here to enhance your drinking experience. Simply put a beer — everything from a can to a bomber — inside the central compartment, close it, and pull the tap to start pouring a draught. Thanks to the nitrogen, it comes out smoother and creamier. You can even push it the opposite way to create micro-foam, a denser, more aromatic way to experience the nose of your beer.
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