When my editor instructed I evaluation the SUB Home Tap Compact, a standalone mini-keg chilling machine with a paired supply service, I believed, “That sounds perfect—who doesn’t want that?” But then I discovered the kegs are proprietary, solely maintain simply over 4 pints, and might take as much as 12 hours to relax. Plus, the entire thing prices $200. So, the truth examine impressed a brand new query: “That sounds horrible—who would actually buy that?”
Well, after utilizing Hopsy for over a month, it’s precisely as I believed it could be—besides that, surprisingly, I loved my time with it.
The system’s key ingredient is the SUB compact, a chiller and faucet designed by Krups that’s capable of chill beer in ambient room temperatures as much as 82 levels. My house by no means received previous the mid 70s throughout testing, and the chiller was capable of cool a beer to a pleasurable 35 levels—an indicator turns from pink to inexperienced signifying readiness. The included handbook says Hopsy can take up 12 hours to relax a keg at a room temperature of 72 levels, however fortuitously it took about 7 hours for a room within the mid 60s for me.
The handbook recommends storing further kegs (comparable in measurement to 2-liter soda bottles) in your fridge, which actually defeats the aim of getting a countertop equipment. The Hopsy is ready to regulate stress within the mini-kegs, however the pump emits a loud deep buzz and also you’ll hear this while you set up a brand new mini-keg or any time beer is poured. The unit feels well-built and it’s actually fashionable, albeit a bit massive at 17.8 x 7.5 x 15.1 inches. It’s general countertop presence evokes a big stand mixer. The Hopsy averages lower than 20 watts to maintain chilled, and if it ran 24/7 for a yr, your vitality prices would possibly hit about $25.
Hopsy’s proprietary mini-kegs simply slot contained in the chiller and embody many of the shelling out faucet system, so that you don’t should endure the effort of cleansing traces such as you would with a traditional faucet. Cutting open one among these plastic containers revealed a second plastic chamber throughout the outer one. Keeping the beer remoted on this inside chamber whereas the skin chamber is pressurized by the SUB prevents the beer from oxidizing and going dangerous.
Hopsy says the SUB can hold a mini-keg contemporary for as much as two weeks, and testing that timeframe appeared to show the case—carbonation remained constant and I by no means encountered discernable off-tastes. Each mini-keg prices anyplace from $10 to $21, holds 67 fluid ounces (the equal of a 6-pack or 4 pints of beer) and the beer is sourced from business breweries, most of which could possibly be labeled as craft.
Hopsy says it’s capable of present more energizing beer by shortening the provision chain and going from Brewery to Hopsy to the shopper, generally in only a few days, however I didn’t see bottling dates on any labels. Adults 21 and older can buy particular person mini-kegs on-line as packs or as a daily subscription, however sadly Hopsy is simply out there to clients in California, New York, and Illinois, and you may solely get beer delivered from breweries inside your personal state.
So is Hopsy well worth the cash?
Ultimately, there’s isn’t something horrible about The Hopsy SUB—however there are a couple of explanation why you simply don’t want to purchase it.
If you favor to have selection in your beer-drinking life, you’re higher off shopping for 6-packs and storing a variety in your fridge. If you drink usually or have frequent small get-togethers, 4 pints is hardly sufficient, and also you’ll be confronted with storing further mini-kegs within the fridge (which entails common alternative, and the noise that comes with it). In reality, if you happen to entertain usually, you’re higher off going with a full kegerator that may deal with standardized kegs from 2.5 gallons as much as 15 gallons.
Furthermore, I wasn’t impressed with the beer choice. At the time of this writing and taking a look at California service solely, the positioning provides solely 15 beers from six breweries and 5 of these beers are brewed by Gordon Biersch. I don’t take into account myself a beer snob and I feel Gordon Biersch is okay, however the choice significantly lacks selection. Granted, I stay within the Bay Area and the beer choice out there at virtually each close by retailer is healthier—so perhaps I’m spoiled. I encourage you to take a look at the Hopsy beer list and see if you happen to really feel the identical. It’s price noting that two of Hopsy’s associate breweries are Heineken and Dos Equis, which don’t essentially scream prime quality.
Finally, whereas I had no points with temperature or carbonation, the entire system could possibly be extra clever, adjusting each the beer temperature and serving stress to the exact specs from the brewer for that individual brew. This is the sort of management a real beer fanatic would anticipate to see.
After a full month of testing, I believed the entire idea was a bit foolish, however I did discover myself having fun with it for one easy cause: the power to attract 6 to 8 ounce pours. Whether it’s for small breaks throughout weekend home work or a nightcap earlier than mattress, I don’t all the time need to commit myself to a full 12 ounce beer.
All that stated, I can actually solely advocate this for one sort of particular person. If you drink usually, however don’t drink very a lot at a single sitting, and don’t want a very massive or distinguished number of beers, the SUB Home Tap could possibly be for you. Of course, you’ll even have to soak up the price of the SUB and its beer service, have a number of counter area, and don’t have any good beer out there close by.
Do you match that invoice? Then the Hopsy SUB Home Tap could possibly be simply what you want.