The internet of beers is here: MiniBrew brings craft revolution home

20 Apr 2016

MiniBrew co-founder Olivier van Oord at Uprise Festival 2016

The craft beer revolution is a godsend for entrepreneurs and beer lovers alike. But Dutch start-up MiniBrew is concocting the formula to be the Nespresso of beer-making for amateurs and professionals alike.

MiniBrew, an Amsterdam-based start-up, has created a smart brewing machine that is connected to the cloud and helps beer lovers and enthusiasts brew their own flawless IPAs, porters and ales.

The company’s business model is quite reminiscent of Nespresso, in that customers who want to brew their own beers are provided with a kit of everything they need, including the hops and yeast.

‘In every beer you brew lies a story to be told’

The web-connected machine consists of a small cask that can sit on any kitchen top and a glass container for the yeast, malt and hops that makes it look like a coffee machine.

Where the technology kicks in is when the beer-brewing machine is connected to the cloud via an app, which users can use to define the kind of beer they want to create and the instructions follow.

Go with the flow


MiniBrew’s internet of things beer brewing machine

The app also informs the user of the kind of beers they can brew based on the temperature of the fermenting alcohol.

MiniBrew recently surpassed a $100,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, raising $126,000 from 86 backers.

“In every beer you brew lies a story to be told,” said co-founder Olivier van Oord, who was speaking with at the Uprise Festival for start-ups in Amsterdam.

He explained that the idea is to empower beer enthusiasts and their friends to prepare brews for their own enjoyment and for occasions like barbecues, parties, birthdays and anniversaries.

“I was a rookie brewer and I picked up the hobby in Australia, experimenting with all the different cans, powders and eventually you had a beer.

“But the problem was coming up with a quality beer like an IPA or a porter.

“Our technology includes a vessel that has a cooling and heating system that allows you to vary the time period you need to start brewing and you can brew close to six litres of beer and start brewing again in three hours.”

Each mini brew machine costs €1,950, including tax and shipping.

“We are only getting our first postal orders and a shop will be live in May. Our first shipment will be to our Indiegogo backers in September.”

Van Oord said that the ultimate purpose of Minibrew is to democratise the brewing space.

Interestingly, it seems master brewers are on side and the company has been testing the system with brewers in Holland, Germany and the US, with the master brewers trying to replicate their recipes on the machine.

“In fact, one of the ideas is to help people brew a beer they love to the brewer’s specifications. The key here is the cloud comes into play to ensure that they make the right adjustments at the right time and end up with a perfect brew.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years