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Lift a glass: tabletop craft beer system launches on kickstarter

iGulu - Smart Automated Craft Beer Home Brewery
Update:

After successfully completing a campaign via the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, a smart homebrew appliance by the name of ArtBrew decided to not only take its talents to Indiegogo, but change its name in the process. Now officially named iGulu, this at-home beer maker’s foray to another crowdfunding site gives those who missed out on its first discounted showing another opportunity to secure one of these at a premium price. Whereas the Kickstarter version allowed interested buyers the opportunity to secure an iGulu at $489, the Indiegogo variant runs backers a tad more at $549.

As of this writing, a total of roughly $821k had been raised for the iGulu between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Original article:

As the appliances around us continue to get smarter, it’s not the least bit surprising to see the rise of automated beverage systems. Made famous by Keurig’s pod-brewing coffee system in the mid-2000s, there now exist machines capable of whipping up everything from glasses of wine to cups of soup. Naturally, this phenomenon found its way to the world of beer and starting today, the Keurig of craft beer has officially launched on Kickstarter.

Dubbed the iGulu, this innovative machine not only simplifies the manufacturing of craft beer but features so many different compatible beer types that you’ll have a hard time deciding which to enjoy next.

As is the case with any automated brew system, the iGulu requires a minimal number of steps to successfully create a high-quality glass of beer. After filling the machine with water, users simply add their desired ingredients (either a prepacked iGulu kit or their own hops, yeast, etc.), choose which beer they’d prefer to brew, and then click “Start.” Depending on the type of beer selected, the machine takes anywhere from one to three weeks to mash, sterilize, and ferment the brew before it’s ready to drink. In the meantime, the machine monitors and maintains the temperatures and pressures needed for each specific beer, assuring a tasty brew during each use.

artbrew2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The iGulu team takes ease-of-use even further by allowing users to monitor each cycle directly from an Android and iOS-compatible smartphone application. Everything from the current brew’s operating temperature to phase and time are viewable via the app, while advanced users also have the ability to manually adjust the cycle’s time or temperature. Even the app’s interface is designed to be user-friendly, and features sliding scales which display a brew’s flavor profile, bitterness, and alcohol content, among other factors.

Cleaning up after a cycle has been made as easy as possible as well, as all that’s required is for users to remove the machine’s miniature kegs, add some fresh water, then select “Clean/Rinse.” Considering that cleaning up after a conventional home brew tends to be a messy affair, iGulu’s simple wash process alone should attract even moderate beer lovers to consider adding one of these to their kitchen. Moreover, the entire wash process takes just a few hours, so users won’t have to wait long before beginning another brew cycle.

artbrew5
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yet another facet allowing the iGulu to stand out from its competition is its price. For its launch on Kickstarter, the team behind this innovative machine is offering the system for a surprisingly low price of just $489. Granted, the Kickstarter page admits that this reflects an approximate 50-percent discount off MSRP, however, even at a full price of roughly $989, the iGulu should still be considered a hell of a deal. Depending on which tier backers decide to purchase, every iGulu machine comes with the system itself and some combination of either a free minikeg, some Master Brewer Artpacks, and ingredients.

As of this writing, iGulu’s Kickstarter campaign has already raised $19k to its $100k goal within just two hours of being activated. So it seems to be only a matter of time before its goal is reached — and likely surpassed.

Updated 7/6/2016: Updated to reflect the system’s name changing from ArtBrew to iGulu, as well as its move to Indiegogo following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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Rick Stella
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