There was a post on Dont Drink Beer a couple days ago about a device called the Beer Caramlizer(sic), which was a copper post you heat in a fire and then dunk into your beer to “caramelize the sugars for a richer flavor” or some such. What followed what a hilarious DDB-style rant about all of the reasons that’s a bad idea. Make the beer warm, make the beer flat, break your glass, get ash and dirt in your beer, and of course the coup de grâce, WHY?? On what planet is this a good idea? You should go read the post HERE and if you don’t follow DDB on Instagram, you should.
This reminded me of all the other ridiculous things I’ve seen that go with beer. I see them all the time on Facebook and even in the pages of Craft Beer and Brewing and Zymurgy magazines. Let this serve as my humble warning. You don’t need these things at all. They will not enhance your drinking experience and they will ruin your beer. I’m purposefully not linking to the product’s websites since they don’t need the traffic from me, but you can find them if you Google.
First we have the “Chill Stick”. A stainless steel rod, which I assume is filled with that blue re-freezable gel from ice packs, that you stick in a beer bottle, to keep it cold.
First question, how long does it take you to drink a beer? Second question, why is this a thing? Here’s the problems they don’t tell you about on the fancy website. One, the beer has to be cold to start with. It will “keep your cold drink cold for up to 30 minutes”. If you stick this in a hot beer to try to cool it down it’s going to foam up all over the place and you lose half the beer. Two, you have to make room for it. You have to drink half the beer to be able to stick the damn thing in there. Really, really pointless.
The price has been dropped from 29.95 to 19.95 for two of them… Gee I wonder why. (Also, that’s a case of beer right there).
Next, we have the Fizzics.
Tada!! The idea behind this machine is that it allows you to dispense a bottle or canned beer, as if it were on draft. Not only is this completely unnecessary, but now that I read the website it’s even more ridiculous than I originally though. I assumed it pumped CO2 into the beer to push it out. Oh no, it uses “pressure” to dispense the beer (but does not require CO2 or Nitro cartridges, somehow) and then with the last two ounces of beer it runs a sonic wave through the beer to add the perfect head of foam. There’s another technique that accomplishes this exact thing. Opening a can and pouring it into a glass. The website claims (and I quote) “Fizzics uses patented sonic wave technology to deliver the fresh taste of draft from any bottle or can”. Whoa whoa whoa. I’m gonna stop ya right there boss. A fluffy head isn’t going to save a bad beer. Throw a two year old, oxidized and skunked bottle of Hienie through that thing and you know what you get? Skunked, oxidized nasty beer with a fancy fluffy head. The other problem I have with this thing is you’re exposing your beer to air and lets be real, after the novelty of the first couple, you aren’t gonna use for a while, you aren’t gonna clean it, some nasty shit is gonna grow in there and every beer after that you run through it will taste like bleu cheese. Oh yeah, and this can be yours for the low, low introductory price of $169.00.
Next we have the Growler Chill. This is the Fizzics, but for growlers (and three of them!). Ok, so this is a bit of a novel concept, but also unnecessary. To-go beer, be it growlers or crowlers are meant to be consumed the same day. The beer in a growler doesn’t stay fresh, even if you keep it under pressure, as this machine claims to do. At least this one uses CO2, but still. It’s just not the same as a factory sealed bottle or keg. The problems with this are similar to the Fizzics. How the hell do you clean the thing? A growler full of water isn’t going to do the trick. And then, well… it weighs 69 pounds, takes up 2 feet of counter space and costs $500 bucks! Do you know how many growler fills you can get for $500 and then drink them before they go flat? A lot.
Last, we have GrowlerWerks. I almost hate to rag on these, because they are made in Oregon and they are absolutely works of art, but again I fail to see how it’s necessary.
They look good, I’ll grant you that. But that copper comes at a price ($169.00!!). This is a pressurized growler designed to keep beer fresh for “up to two weeks”. Again, growlers should be consumed pretty much right away. I can almost guarantee that when it’s half full it’s going to go flat. The pressure needed to “serve” a beer is way lower than what’s needed to carbonate a beer. It’s just not going to stay. They also don’t work very well, in my experience, but some people like them. To each their own, but the only way I’ll have one of these is if I win one, and even then I’d be hard pressed to actually use it.
A fool and his money are soon parted…. be wiser.