In February, The Coca-Cola Co. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., now known as Keurig Green Mountain, announced plans to develop a new at-home beverage system called the Keurig Cold that would enable consumers to make their own Coca-Cola branded drinks at home. This announcement triggered conversations about how the new machine could impact the home soda-making market. But while everyone was discussing the news, another product was in the works that would take at-home beverage-making to a whole new level.
Last month, Sparkling Drink Systems International (SDS) announced its partnership with Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Inc. to produce a range of beer concentrates for use with SDS at-home carbonation systems. The new beer collection will consist of a 5.2 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) pale ale, a 6.1 percent ABV dark ale, and a 4.2 percent ABV lager. The companies also plan to release a low-alcohol or alcohol-free lager. The concentrates are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2014 in 50-ml sachets and pods that can make up to 16 ounces of beer when mixed with carbonated water.
Although I would expect these beers to appeal to consumers who prefer the draft beer experience, I’d imagine they also could reach a new audience of consumers with an interest in craft brewing but without the expertise. Perhaps by carbonating their own beer at home, consumers will be enticed to go the distance and learn the entire homebrewing process. But, at the very least, with this system, they can feel as though they’ve crafted the beer themselves — and reap the professional results.