There’s a difference between beer nerds and beer snobs. Beer nerds will debate at length whether or not the malty effect caused by a decoction mash is worth the extra effort. Beer snobs will refuse to drink a Belgian tripel without the appropriate tulip glass.
One is deeply invested in a hobby, the other is just obnoxious.
Both, however, can agree on one thing: Growlers are problematic. If you’re a little lost right now, growlers are those half-gallon-sized jugs you can use to take beer home from breweries and pubs. Beer fans like them because they let you to take home quality, hard-to-find brews in relatively large quantities. The problem is, once opened they typically go flat within a day or two.
It’s rarely an issue for casual beer drinkers, but among aficionados it’s a common complaint.
Now there’s a solution, and—surprise!—it comes in the form of a Kickstarter project. With a name befitting a second-tier pharmaceutical company, the Synek craft brew dispenser works more or less like a tiny, tabletop Kegerator, though it has also been compared to a Keurig machine.
There are two components to the device: a pressurized, temperature-controlled tap system, and a removable one-gallon vacuum pouch. Together, they allow you to drink draught beer from your favorite brewery at home, without fretting about expiration dates.
So where can you fill one of these pouches? Pretty much any brewery or pub where you can fill a growler. At least that's the idea. For legal reasons, however, that excludes drinking holes in Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont.
The Synek works through a special tap system that prevents outside air from entering the UV-protected pouch, just like a keg. It also includes an adapter that allows owners to fill pouches from virtually any draught source.
Another advantage here is for homebrewers who are sick of the costly, time- and resource-intensive process of bottling their own beer. While storing your own beer in a bunch of plastic bags is less sexy than a Kegerator or a rack of pristinely labeled bottles, it’s a practical, easy solution. At the very least, it’s fodder for discussion between beer nerds and beer snobs.
Synek is currently eyeing a $250,000 funding goal. Pledges of $299 or more will receive a first edition Synek dispenser.