Can this tabletop Krups keg really deliver a perfect pour? We asked beer snobs

The Krups SUB Home Beer Dispenser ($180) is an in-home mini draft system, letting you enjoy your favorite local beer from your kitchen. It’s like a growler, but one that will keep your beer drinkable, and more importantly carbonated, for more than just a day.

KRUPS has partnered with HOPSY, a growler shop-turned-beer delivery service, to bring craft beer directly to your home. It’s unbelievably easy to use, and their website boasts that the device keeps your beer fresh for up to 14 days after you tap it.

Sure, it’s Pretty

The dispenser is sleek and compact, weighing just 15 pounds, and fits anywhere on your kitchen counter. It has the look of a barrel put on its side, but classy. The SUB fits a two-liter mini keg, also known as a Torp, that holds about four full pints of your favorite beer. The beer is supplied by local breweries who have partnered with HOPSY — you can get an IPA brewed in the Bronx or a Lager from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. If you’re not feeling like drinking, they also offer kegs filled with cold brew and kombucha.

How does it work?

It’s unbelievably easy to use, especially with the simple diagram directions that the system includes. Once you get your mini keg in the mail — we had to wait one week before it arrived at the office – you insert it into the dispenser. Attached to the top of the keg is a built-in hose that you run through the device’s tap handle, then close and lock the door. You have to wait until the keg gets cold enough and the green light turns on. When we went to pour my first beer, it was a bit alarming to hear a weird machine noise, but that’s normal.

How does it stay fresh?

It’s important to note that there is no CO2 involved, which seems a bit confusing since CO2 is what keeps beer carbonated. Krups actually uses air to keep the beer fresh. When it’s time to pour, the tap pushes air into the plastic bottle, this puts pressure on the bag inside, squeezing the beer out through the tap and into your glass.

The Taste Test

We ordered the Cool Down IPA from Gun Hill, a brewery in the Bronx, New York, and had a little tasting around the office. It was a mixed bag. While some said that the beer was super chilled and had good flavor, others thought it was under carbonated and a bit oxidized. Everyone thought that the dispenser itself was easy to use and agreed the beer wasn’t too foamy. Some would have preferred the beer a little bit colder, but thought the overall taste was good.

We had a little tasting around the office. It was a mixed bag.

The freshness of the beer didn’t last as long as we hoped it would, though. One person in our office tasted the beer a week after it was first poured and said it was so bitter that he couldn’t drink it. Another person who tried the beer after a week said it was skunky and didn’t seem cold enough. We’re not sure that the company’s claim that the beer will last for up to 14 days is true

To Buy or Not to Buy?

To be frank, the Krups SUB is a bit of a novelty item. At a price of $180 and mini kegs going for $20 plus shipping, the whole system can cost a pretty penny. That being said, it does exactly what it says it’s meant to do: it serves as an in-home beer dispenser. Enjoying a cold crisp beer from the comfort of your home is obviously convenient. It might also be nice if you are someone who likes to try different beers from around the United States. Overall, HOPSY does a great job of offering a variety of beer choices. Maybe you know someone who would prefer beer tapped in their own home, but we’ll be sticking to refilling our growlers or going down to the local brew pub.

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