As a long-time home brew technology nerd, I’ve been waiting to get an up-close look at the BEERMKR ever since its Kickstarter debut last fall.
So, when I saw the BEERMKR was on display at the Housewares Show a couple weeks ago, I asked company founder Aaron Walls to give me a walkthrough.
In case you’re not familiar with the beer brewing appliance that hit nearly $400 thousand on Kickstarter, it’s an open-system automated brewing appliance from the same folks that brought you the Brewjacket fermentation system. The system, which comes with a brewing appliance and a beer dispenser, sells for a post-Kickstarter price of $399 for the complete system. MKR KITs, the optional ingredient packs for those that want to “brew-by-number”, will each cost $12 and deliver a gallon or so of beer.
Chris was optimistic about the BEERMKR’s chances of success in what is an increasingly crowded home brew space in part because of the flexibility it provides the brewer as compared to the PicoBrew. While the BEERMKR does come with brew kits that provide all the necessary ingredients for those who want to simply “brew-by-number”, the kits are more a loose mix of ingredients as compared to the closed-pod system of the Pico. Brewers with the BEERMKR can also use their own ingredients as well as add flavors as they see fit.
I think Chris is right that the BEERMKR’s simplicity and brewing flexibility are its biggest selling point. While PicoBrew has hinted at the ability to open up PicoPaks and add your own ingredients, for now users of the Pico need to use an online PicoPak creation tool to get creative. With the BEERMKR, users can throw in flavors or add their own grains and hops.
Walls told me the BEERMKR will ship in July. This is a few months later than the original March ship promised in the Kickstarter, but the backers all seem pretty ok with it since delays are more the norm than the exception for hardware crowdfunding and Walls & team have been giving them updates on the regular about the product development and ramp-to-manufacturing process.