Das ist ein Wunderbar!

Be the envy of the beer garden with this gadget.

(NOTE: Yes, I am aware that this post's headline probably makes no sense.)

Wunderbar

By now, it's clear that "user-generated content" is going to be one of the big tech buzz-phrases of 2006. Most of the time, it refers to the antics of AJAX-filled Web apps with cutesy names and cutesier logos, or to grainy YouTube videos of kids breaking TV screens with Wiimotes. But clearly, user-generated content goes beyond the series of tubes and into other niches of 21st-century lifestyle. Boozing, for example. A while ago, we wrote about the WinePod , which lets oenophiles with a little extra time (and money) become do-it-yourself vintners. (Crave readers: Have any of you actually tried this thing or heard anything about it? Does it, like, work?)

There doesn't seem to be a beer equivalent to the high-end WinePod (the "Beer Machines" found in college dorms and frat houses don't count) but this contraption, called the Wunderbar, comes pretty close. Basically, you get a keg--about 300 brands of beer are supported--and stick it into this sleek, luxe-looking dispenser that will apparently use all kinds of innovations to produce the perfect beer. It comes in three sizes that are designed for various levels of intensity: from "party" to "professional." The lower-end "party" model runs on AA batteries, so you can even put it in the back of your car and be the classiest tailgater around. And there you have it: user-generated professional booze-serving. Power to the people!

And, if you're a teetotaler, you can use an add-on "uni-keg" so that the Wunderbar will dispense chilled soft drinks.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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