Beer is said to be the most democratic of beverages. These three beer innovations cost way less than a commercial brewery and have the ability to make beer prettier, smoother, colder and more convenient—even yours.
If you prefer your beer to come with a free show, the NitroBrew nitrogenizes any beverage at the point of service in less than a minute, creating a mesmerizing cascade of tiny bubbles in your pint glass. An air compressor infuses the beverage with nitrogen while reducing carbonation. The stable nitrogen bubbles are uniform in size unlike carbon dioxide, giving any beer a smooth mouthfeel, well-rounded texture and a rich creamy head—right on the spot. The nitrogen can also bring forward different flavors and enhance aromas. It works especially well with coffee, too! $500, NitroBrew.com.
Say farewell to trash cans full of ice at your backyard party. Hank the Beer Tank is the first-ever portable electric kegerator that holds 1/6 of a barrel, or 55 12-ounce pours, anywhere you need cold beer. Hank has a thermostat with circulation blowers to control temperature from zero to 41 degrees. It uses less power than a 60-watt lightbulb and can be plugged into a household outlet, boat, battery or 12-volt car outlet. It also takes measures to ensure it doesn’t drain your car battery. The Hank the Beer Tank crew is still looking for investors to bring this electric kegerator to market, but you can get one in the meantime by backing their Kickstarter campaign, which is set to relaunch mid-September. $750, HankTheBeerTank.com.
And for your control freaks, Brewie is a fully automated, self-cleaning, home-brewing system that does everything for you except drink the beer. The system allows for as much or as little user control and invention desired. There are 200 pre-set brewing processes and recipes, or you can customize your own by setting the 23 different brewing parameters. These parameters control everything in the 10-step process from mashing and sparging temperatures to time settings, such as when to add hops. Beers are carbonated with provided Brewie kegs or an external CO2 tank. A downloadable app allows the home-brewer to monitor their beer by alerting the brewer at each step of the process. $2,000, Brewie.org.