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Christmas Gift Guide

The Synek Counter Top Beer Dispenser

Bringing the bar home

A beer doggie bag

The CO2 regulator

Temp-controlled chamber

Plug in the beer

Locked and loaded

On tap

Readying a taste test

Synek vs the growler

Which one's which?

Not the beer we were looking for

Not aging well

Falling flat

The Synek Counter Top Dispenser lets you bring home a doggie bag of your favorite beer and pour it from the temp-controlled, carbonated tap. Click through to see how this magic beer machine works.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The $330 Synek comes with three beer cartridges, a cap allowing you to hook the cartridges into the dispenser and an empty CO2 tank.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Take a cartridge to a participating bar or brewery to get it filled. If they fill it with a Synek fill kit, the beer won't be exposed to oxygen during the pour.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Fill up your CO2 tank and twist it into the regulator during setup.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The beer goes into the left compartment of Synek.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Click the CO2 line onto the bag.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Then click the line that connects the beer bag to the tap and slide the beer into place.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Pull the handle and your beer will pour.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

We asked a local brewery to fill up a Synek cartridge and a growler with the same beer so we could do a blind taste test.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

With the cups next to each other, I invited my coworkers to take one from each row, without telling them which glass came from Synek and which came from the growler.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

On the first days of the test, the beer from the growler and the beer from Synek tasted similar.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The beer from the growler tended to lose flavor after two days.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

But Synek only lasted three or four before losing flavor itself.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The Synek Counter Top Beer Dispenser is a great device in theory, but I was hoping the cartridge would keep beer fresher for longer.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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