Tender Is The Beer

Here’s an interesting looking gadget. Heineken teamed up with Krups, the people who make those high end coffee machines, to create the BeerTender. Essentially, the BeerTender is a mini kegerator that holds 5-liter kegs. As fr as I can tell it’s already available in eight European nations and beginning March 1 will be sold in the U.S. at Williams-Sonoma stores. At least that was the announcement made at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, which began on Monday.

It’s a beautiful looking piece of equipment and would be great if it could be used with those 5-liter kegs of German beer you see everywhere. I sort of doubt they will, though, they’ll probably only work with Heineken mini-kegs and the other brands they deign to package them in the minis.

Here’s some info about the BeerTender from the Unofficial Heineken USA BeerTender Fan Site, BeerTenderUSA:

Imagine…fresh Heineken and other European beers on tap whenever you want it.

The Heineken BeerTender … is a personal draft beer (or draught beer, if you prefer) system for home use. The system consists of a draft beer dispenser and the exchangeable BeerTender kegs each holding and chilling four liters of premium European beer. While at-home beer taps are nothing new, the BeerTender system is unique in its size, style and function.

The recyclable BeerTender four liter keg is inserted from above into the BeerTender, which keeps the beer cold and fresh for up to 30 days from the first glass. Then run the keg’s plastic tube to the BeerTender’s tap and you’re done. It’s that simple. Inserting a keg takes less than 15-seconds.

Heineken has also made the Krups BeerTender sold in France and the ones coming to the US compatible with its standard five liter DraughtKeg kegs (which are available in most US supermarkets) by using a special tube (a five-pack comes with the BeerTenders sold in France and to be sold in the US). Replacement five-packs will be available after March 1 at www.BeerTender.com.

In the US, Heineken is preparing for the launch of the BeerTender on March 1, 2008 after performing a market test in Rhode Island. The current US DraughtKegs, while compatible with all BeerTenders (with the special tube) will not dispense all the beer. To answer this, Heineken is introducing a BeerTender compatible US DraughtKeg (five liters) that comes with the special tube and has a bigger carbonator inside. That keg is will be available nationwide in both Heineken and Heineken Light. Other European beers are available in Europe.

Operating the BeerTender is a snap. While some models have computer operation and temperature controls with an LCD display, pulling a beer is as simple as pulling the BeerTender’s handle. And if you’ve got kids, you can easily remove the BeerTender’s handle. Best of all, the beer only touches the easily removable spout under the handle, making clean-up between kegs a breeze.

BeerTenders are not cheap. List price in the US will be $400, with street prices down to $299. European versions are just as expensive.

It would certainly look great sitting on the bar, if only it didn’t have that Heineken label on it. Damn.

 

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