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Small Appliances

For better or worse, SodaStream unveils an instant beer machine

The SodaStream Beer Bar brews from concentrate.

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SodaStream

Just add water, and you can brew beer using SodaStream's Beer Bar. The latest beverage machine from SodaStream, the makers of popular countertop carbonators, aims at an adult crowd. Mix concentrate with freshly carbonated water, and you'll have a glass of beer to drink in seconds.

The Beer Bar is only available in Germany and Switzerland for now, but SodaStream expects to launch it in other markets by the end of this year and early next. It ships with a 1-liter bottle of concentrate for a light beer called Blondie that yields 3 liters beer that is 4.5% alcohol by volume.

Of course, saying that you're brewing beer by adding sparkling water to concentrate equates to cooking by microwaving a frozen dinner. I'm highly skeptical that a beer made by the Beer Bar would actually be something I'd enjoy drinking, but I've been wrong about beer devices before.

I thought Fizzics -- which claimed to make bottled beer taste more like it came from the tap with sound waves -- would be a bust, but it was surprisingly effective. Pat's Backcounty Beverages has sold beer from concentrate for awhile now and has garnered some positive feedback. Sparkling Drink Systems -- a SodaStream competitor -- has a similar beer making device that uses Pat's mixture.

If you want help automating a more authentic beer making process, check out the PicoBrew Zymatic, or the upcoming PicoBrew Pico, Brewie or ArtBrew. Whirlpool is even getting into the beer brewing game with a machine that helps you ferment beer called Vessi.

All of the above machines still require some effort and input on your part, so if you want to just push a button and be done with it, the Beer Bar from SodaStream could be for you. Just be sure to drink the results responsibly, and cautiously.

Where to Buy

SodaStream Beer Bar

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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