Brewing beer is a great hobby. It can be a challenge and it definitely takes patience, but most home brewers agree that the rewards are worth the effort. Nothing is quite like a carefully made hand crafted beer and those who engage in the home brewing hobby find great satisfaction as they continually seek out new and improved ways to hone their craft.
Still, brewing beer can be a hassle and this is particularly true for the uninitiated. Finding the right equipment, making accurate measurements, timing the boil, and other factors can drive home brewing newbies to the brink. But now, there is alternative: Brewie, the world’s first fully automated home brewing machine. This European based company established an indiegogo campaign and smashed its crowdfunding goal in only a matter of days, demonstrating that Brewie is a revolutionary product that has captured the imaginations of beer lovers everywhere.
Brewie Co- founder Marcel Pal, an extremely busy man nowadays, was kind enough to spend some time with Great Beer Now, answering questions and providing some insights into the Brewie concept, its progress, and its future. Here are Marcel Pal’s answers to your inquisitive questions:
1. What inspired the creation of the Brewie automated brewing machine?
Making Brewie was actually inspired from our own experience: Andrew, the inventor of Brewie, and an avid home-brewer, asked himself: Why does brewing your own beer have to be so difficult?
Being an engineer, he set out to make the process of brewing your own beer more accessible and more convenient for everyone. So, the funny thing is: In fact, we actually started out to make the machine for ourselves.
2. Are you convinced that more advanced homebrewers will use Brewie or do you anticipate that amateur and beginning homebrewers will be your main customers?
I believe that Brewie is perfect for both amateurs and experts. Here’s why: Amateurs can finally brew their own beer without having to go deep into the craft and science of brewing. Brewing is a complicated process and it requires specialized equipment, time, knowledge, and oversight. For beginners, Brewie makes it easy to start home-brewing. They can order a Brewie Pad with the ingredients, press the start button, and let Brewie do the rest.
At the same time, Brewie allows more advanced home-brewers to experiment with 23 parameters like water amount, time, and temperature. Experts can discover the wide range of brewing possibilities, fine-tune their favorite recipes, and create new and original kinds of beer. That’s how we want to take brewing your very own perfect beer to the next level.
Saving your favorite recipes allows you to reproduce any type of beer, anytime — which is almost impossible if you choose to brew manually.
3. Brewie can brew many types of beer. Is it also capable of making home made cider? What about mead?
Brewie can brew every type of beer that you can think of. Literally any type of beer.
You’re free to brew according to the Reinheitsgebot or add additional ingredients or flavors during the fermentation process. Customers told us they want to try adding ingredients like green tea leaves, strawberries, or chocolate to give their beer their very own note.
Home-made cider and mead don’t require brewing, but you can use Brewie’s 5-liter (1.3-gallon) kegs for fermenting cider and mead as well.
4. Some people are loyal to a specific brand of beer and taste. Have you thought about creating Brewie pads with specific ingredients that attempt to replicate a specific brand of beer, like for example, a Brewie pad that creates beer very similar to Pilsner Urquell or Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier?
So far we offer Brewie Pads that allow you to make four different types of beer: Pilsner, IPA, Stout, and Red Ale. Plus, that’s the simple idea behind the RFID card: Simply hold the card in front of the RFID reader inside Brewie and the machine knows which brewing process to select.
We’ve already reached out to a number of breweries and we’re currently working on creating new recipes and Brewie Pads.
Furthermore with Brewie, we want to empower our customers to create their very own brand of beer. Brewie’s social network allows you to organize beer tastings in your city and exchange recipes with users from all over the world.
5. You met your fundraising goal on Indiegogo very quickly. Does the overwhelmingly positive response change your plans? Are you considering a different business approach now or will you stay the course?
We have a clear vision of where we want to take Brewie, no matter how many pre-orders we collect on Indiegogo: We want to enable everyone to enjoy their own premium craft beer.
6. If Brewie catches on, it could become popular for bars, taverns, etc. Is there a larger size Brewie in the long term plans if demand calls for it?
Yes, definitely. The current version of Brewie allows you to brew 20 liters (5.3 gallons) of beer. The technology behind Brewie is very scalable. That’s why we are considering to make different versions and sizes of Brewie in the future and extend the product to more markets.
7. Brewie is based out of Europe and will be manufactured there. Do you foresee an expansion to North America with a manufacturing facility in the USA or Canada?
The USA is our most important market with almost half of all orders coming from the U.S.
We’re considering to expand our manufacturing there, depending on the amount of incoming orders until the end of the campaign on January 31, 2015.
What I can say is that we’ll definitely be present with a field office in the United States in the near future, as it is our primary market. Almost half of all machines that have been ordered on Indiegogo (www.igg.me/at/brewie) so far will be shipped to the U.S.