Carst And Walker

The rise of automated home-brewing

Tech has infiltrated the home-brewing space with digital tabletop brewing devices poised to be the next frontier of the beer industry as consumers look for a more personalised beer drinking experience, says Euromonitor senior alcoholic drinks analyst, Spiros Malandrakis.

The growth of the craft beer category, which had been skyrocketing for almost a decade, has now flatlined in the US market: heightening brewers’ search for a new way to reach beer drinkers, according to Malandrakis.

“I think ‘nano’ will be the next ‘micro’,”​ he told BeverageDaily.

Home-brewing is not a new concept, but its execution will become much more precise, automated, and customised, according to Malandrakis.

“This is the polar opposite of craft beer’s origin,”​ he said. “Back then you would buy 10 litres from a [home-brewer’s] garage.”​

Now, at-home devices like PicoBrew​ add an element of personalisation by allowing the home-brewer to recreate recipes from their favourite brewer or discover a new beer from a brewery across the country or from another country. 

Small and independent brewers such as Elysian Brewing have made their Dragonstooth Imperial Oatmeal Stout available to the home-brewer in the form of portioned PicoPaks that can be made with the PicoBrew.

The traditional, detail-oriented home-brewing process can now be fully automated with various countertop devices on the market, most of which can be tracked with mobile devices.

Open-architecture design

While the rise of home-brewing technologies allows brewers to reach more consumers, in order for the segment to crossover into the mainstream an “open-architecture”​ system is key as it allows nearly any third party brewer to participate by providing users with their beer recipes, Malandrakis said.

Those which used a closed architecture format – which can only be used with one brand or company – may put themselves at a disadvantage.

Formulation flexibility

Unlike beer sold at retail or in the taproom, at-home brewing systems allow consumers to customise their beer by choosing certain ingredients to add or omit during the brewing process.

In addition, the rise of countertop brewing systems can also expose home-brewers to new flavour profiles and ingredients not readily available in their home market fostering new beer styles and flavor innovation.

“Collaborations and support by as wide a range of brewers as possible, flexibility in ingredients and synergies allowing for experimentation and personalisation will be the deciding factors in unlocking the segment’s full, untapped potential,”​ Malandrakis said.


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