Growlers are a great way to buy beer from your local bar or brewery, but they tend to go stale or flat after a couple of days. There have been a few attempts to solve this problem by replicating the tap experience of a bar at your home, but nothing I’ve seen solves the issue as completely as the Growler Chill, a countertop tap system that’s currently looking for funding on Kickstarter.
In addition to just keeping your growlers cold and pressurized so they last longer, the Growler Chill has some thoughtful design touches. It can hold up to three separate growlers at any given time, keeping them at whatever your desired temperature is, and dispense them through taps. The growlers get fitted with a proprietary, reusable Magic Tap cap that allows the “Virginator” (yes, it’s a terrible name) tool to vacuum out the oxygen inside the bottle and replace it with CO2, which should keep the beer fresher for longer. That cap also allows the growlers to be inserted upside-down in the Growler Chill to make it easier for it to dispense beer.
But it’s not just a cleverly designed beer fridge. This is The Verge, which means that yup, it’s a smart beer fridge. The Growler Chill can connect to a companion smartphone app through Wi-Fi, which allows you to remotely control temperature, track the amount of beer left in each growler through built-in weight sensors, record your history of past brews, track CO2 levels, and notify you when you need to clean it.
The Growler Chill is also good about being universally compatible: it claims to work with both 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers of almost any size or shape and uses standard 90-gram food-grade CO2 canisters (which the company estimates should last for around nine growlers).
It’s worth keeping in mind that the Growler Chill is still a crowdfunded Kickstarter project from a first time company that’s never shipped a product before, and while the company has a working prototype, it still has yet to go to mass production. The Growler Chill is available to back on Kickstarter for an early-bird price of $379, with the first units planned to ship in August later this year.