Fizzics Waytap review: Fizzics Waytap puts a taproom head on your bottled beer

What's new?

Almost everything I described above is the same on both the Waytap and the original Fizzics. The only significant differences between the two are the price and the look. Again, the original Fizzics is $170. The Waytap is $130. The Waytap is slimmer and lighter (3 pounds/1.4kg vs 3.5 pounds/1.6kg). It's also much more attractive. It has the look of a sleek bar tool that would blend in with a number of decors.

Press the button to pop the top off of the Fizzics Waytap.

Chris Monroe/CNET

I liked the design of the original Fizzics when I reviewed it last year, but the Waytap makes the original look bulky and industrial by comparison.

The one drawback of the new Waytap vs the original Fizzics -- it can't fit growlers. Waytap holds 12 or 25 ounce cans and 12 ounce bottles. The original Fizzics holds all of that, plus bigger bottles and cans, all the way up to 64 ounce growlers.

Fortunately, the Waytap isn't replacing the original Fizzics -- it's just adding to the company's lineup. Deciding between them is simple -- if you often bring home growlers, get the Fizzics. If not, go with the Waytap.

Taste test time

Here's a quote from the Waytap's successful Kickstarter campaign, "Waytap converts the beer's natural carbonation into densely compacted, uniform Micro-Foam bubbles unlocking the true taste of any beer..."

The company's obviously bragging, but as a beer snob, I take offense to the idea that changing the way a beer was meant to be carbonated helps unlock its "true taste." And Fizzics does change the texture of your beer -- smoothing out the carbonation. With the White Rascal mentioned above, some coworkers found that to be a good thing. Fizzics reduced the "bite" of the beer. I missed that sharpness in the Fizzics version, as did two of my other coworkers with a penchant for Belgian style beer.

Fizzics Waytap digitally controls the flow of your beer while it pours.

Chris Monroe/CNET

We also tried a dark beer -- Left Hand's Milk Stout -- and a hoppy beer -- Flying Dog's The Truth Imperial IPA -- with the Fizzics Waytap. I preferred the original bottled version with these beers too, but I was in the minority on both. With the IPA in particular, I didn't like how the Waytap blunted the bitterness of the hops, but my coworkers found the original too hoppy and liked the Fizzics effect.

With Left Hand's Milk Stout, Fizzics accents the sweeter flavors already in the beer to great effect. I still slightly preferred the balance of the original, but I'd be happy if a bartender poured me either glass.

For the review of the original Fizzics, we tried a macrobrew -- Bud Light -- and took Fizzics to a bar for a side-by-side taste test with beer from the tap. Fizzics did give the Bud Light a boost, but couldn't live up to the taste of an actual draft beer.

Now playing: Watch this: Can Fizzics unlock your bottled beer's true potential?
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Verdict

The original Fizzics surprised me quite a bit. I really wasn't expecting it to do anything, but it genuinely transforms your beer into something livelier and smoother using sound waves. The second version of the Fizzics -- the Fizzics Waytap -- is cheaper, slimmer and more attractive. For $130, it's well worth a buy if you want to change up your beer routine and impress your friends with pours that look like they came from the tap. It's perfect for beer lovers who like to tinker.

It's less perfect for beer snobs like myself. Like the Fizzics before it, the Waytap doesn't perfectly replicate a draft beer, and it changes the texture of the beer and the balance of flavors in its attempt at imitation. It never ruined a beer in my opinion, but it does take something away from hoppy beers in particular. I wish Fizzics had addressed this issue with the Waytap, but a cheaper, more attractive, and equally capable product as the original is still something worth drinking to.

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