Meet your new best friend: the uKeg

Kaeru Beer was introduced to the innovative GrowlerWerks uKeg yesterday.  And we’re impressed.  It originates from Portland, Oregon — of course it does! — but is available in Europe through Belgium’s Brouwland.

Our love of innovation and disruption is no secret.  Our love of innovative keg dispensing systems and the forward-thinking brains that produce them is no secret.  Our love of growlers is no secret, yet their uptake in European markets is something of a disappointment.  Till now.

Meet the uKeg.  What is it?  It’s a vacuum-insulated, airtight and pressurised growler that seemingly straddles the line between a commercial product for consumers and an indispensable product for nano-breweries, homebrewers, brewpubs, cider-makers and anybody else who needs a small, portable keg.  No external gas is needed; it has its own internal pressure (the regulator cap holds food-grade CO2 cartridges), the level of which can be set and monitored externally — from zero carbonation to 15 psi.

It even has its own built-in goose-necked tap, with an interchangeable tap handle that allows beverage companies to display and promote and brand their products in a way familiar to beer- and cider-loving connoisseurs.

The promotional literature states it fits perfectly into a refrigerator door, although we suspect the copywriter has never experienced a European fridge, dwarfed by its humongous transatlantic cousin.

Its application appears endless.  In what way could this not be a small, yet powerful tool in the arsenal of any brewery, home-brewer, cidery, taproom…or just about anybody who enjoys fresh, correctly carbonated beer at home?

And then there’s the environmental impact.  We are particularly vocal in our opposition to the needless waste and the environmental impact of transporting bottled small-batch beers or ciders to festivals and events, only to then simply dispose of the empty bottle.  There are greener, more effective alternatives.  KeyKeg’s 10L keg, its Party Pump or its new manual dispenser is the answer for small breweries and cideries, and for those even smaller there is now the uKeg.

It’s not just about beer.  Any company producing (or consumer consuming; or consumer producing) a cold beverage in small quantities that could be dispensed fresh and under pressure may find value in the uKeg — Cider, Cocktails, Sake, Spirits, Wine and everything in-between.

The uKeg is available in two US sizes 64 oz (1893 ml, just over 3 imperial pints) and 128 oz.

And if anybody is still unconvinced, how about the range of accessories that includes an Infuser, wooden carrying cases and canvas carrying bags (both of which could be branded — as potentially could the uKeg itself), and the uPint, a double-walled, vacuum-insulated ‘beer chalice’ to keep cold beers cold?