We’ve seen a few of these machines floating around, and they all look fairly fun. There’s the Brewie, which claimed to be the “world’s first fully automated homebrewing machine.” There’s the PicoBrew Zymatics, which claimed the world’s first “all-grain beer-brewing appliance.” Now enters the Minibrew, an app-controlled countertop machine that makes precision brewing possible in just three and a half hours, which is pretty much the same time as those other guys, but this looks like a cool contraption nonetheless.
With its fourth prototype, the Minibrew team has reached its vision for the machine, and that vision is launching a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo on October 21 (today!). Feel free to go fund it right here, or maybe just go watch this chubby samurai slice water bottles like a maniac. Who can say where your internet journey will lead today?
But if you’re choosing the former, here’s how this the Minibrew works. After a brews in a few hours, a weeklong, or longer for some brews, semi-automated fermentation process follows to produce 5 liters of small batch beer. According to the Minibrew crew, for the first time ever the brewing, cooling and fermentation processes are in one simple device. Also, specially designed software (used via your smartphone) allows brewing to be faster. The Minibrew library has already grown to 50 brewing recipes for lagers, stouts, blondes, IPAs and more. The Minibrew app also connects the user with other brewers and craft breweries around the world.
Two Dutchmen founded Minibrew in 2014, inspired by a vision of quality homebrewing that was both simple and accessible. Olivier van Oord has more than 15 years experience as an entrepreneur in brand and product design. Bart van de Kooij’s background is in business strategy and product innovation and development. Today the duo says it’s fully committed to refining small batch brewing. The team’s dedication saw the initial machine evolve through months of design work into a full-scale brewing system. In 2015, the Minibrew team added chief software developer Adrien Jean Jean and chief brewer and operations lead Ko Hendriks.
The startup secured its first angel investment in November 2014 to cover the steep development from prototyping to the first production series. The team sees their business as a two-sided marketplace, with plans to sell the machines and new recipes created by Minibrew and microbrewers and added to the free app. In addition, Minibrew sees microbreweries as a big consumer group. The machine gives them both an opportunity to rapidly prototype new recipes, and to connect immediately with beer lovers. The most eager beer appreciators can order the Minibrew Beta, or reserve a later regular edition during the crowdfunding campaign this October on IndieGoGo.
Over 1,700 brewing enthusiasts have already staked their interest in purchasing the machine once it is launched. The design group Vanderveer has created a model that combines the three principles of Minibrew: a simple brewing process, the joy of sharing and Dutch ingenuity. Minibrew partnered with manufacturer AMS Group, chosen for their successful supply chain management track record, to spread the home brewing ethos to counter tops around the world. AMS Group focuses on high-end smart devices engineered in The Netherlands. Minibrew Beta will be shipped in January 2016. The first production run will begin in April 2016.
In 2015, Minibrew presented their concept and the machine at the Accenture Innovation Awards and The Next Web in Amsterdam, as well as TechCrunch in New York. In November, the company will participate in Web Summit in Dublin, where it has been shortlisted for the prestigious PITCH startup competition.