Brewie wants to help speed up your brew day. The startup that created an automatic beer-making robot of the same name back in 2014 on Thursday launched an updated version, called Brewie+.
The Brewie+ promises a number of improvements to the original machine (now called the B20). The company claims it's replaced many of the internal parts with new custom-designed hardware. As a result, Brewie+ should be able to brew beer 15 percent faster than its predecessor. Otherwise, the company is promising a better Wi-Fi connection, more storage for recipes, a more polished look and easier controls on the machine's display.
The upgrade looks mostly like quality-of-life improvements, but Brewie's also launching a fully functional app to let you control your brew remotely.
The basic function of Brewie will stay the same. You can supply your own ingredients or use prepackaged sets called "Brewie Pads" ordered from the company. Insert the necessary malt, hops and water into the various compartments of the machine, enter your recipe on the display and hit start. Brewie will automatically whip up a 5-gallon batch of beer. It'll also clean itself once it's done.
Like similar brew bots from PicoBrew, Brewie+ doesn't make beer instantly -- it's not a Keurig for beer. It automates a genuine brewing process, so expect the cook to take a few hours. Once it's done, you still won't have ready-to-drink beer, but unfermented beer called wort. You'll need to transfer the wort to a different container and add yeast so your beer can ferment. Expect to wait a couple of weeks before you can actually taste the results.
You can preorder your Brewie+ now, but be ready to splurge. The machine will cost you a hefty $2,400, though Brewie is offering discounts if you hop on and order early. That price converts to roughly £1,750 or AU$3,100. The machine will ship to the US, the UK and Australia. Head to the company's site to preorder and check on shipping costs for your region. The Brewie+ will start shipping in April.
The price for Brewie+ is similar to PicoBrew's original $2,000 Zymatic, which also lets you brew with your own ingredients. Since the Zymatic, PicoBrew has released more streamlined brewers such as the PicoBrew Pico Model C. The Model C only works with prepackaged ingredients, but the price is obviously much more accessible to curious hobbyists.
The advantage of the Brewie+ over the PicoBrew systems comes from the flexibility -- PicoBrew's models either work with your own ingredients or prepackaged sets; one Brewie+ can handle both -- it also cools your wort for you after the cook, which PicoBrew asks you to handle on your own.
With more refined hardware and more memory, the Brewie+ might be equipped to beat PicoBrew at its own game. Still, given that PicoBrew now has models that cost a quarter of the price, Brewie's beers better taste great to be worth the extra investment.