Brew Homemade Beer With The Brewie Machine

Meet Brewie, the K-Cup of the homebrewing world

Even the best food could use a dash of ones and zeros. Geek out with us as we explore the intersection of food and technology this month.

For a long time, a couple of my friends thought this is how an ice cream maker worked: Just sprinkle whichever flavor you want (strawberries, vanilla bean) into the frosty, rotating mixer and, voila, you've got ice cream. But once they were, ahem, informed that there's a lot more to ice cream making than merely dumping in chopped fruits, the homespun process suddenly didn't appeal to them as much.

Call it sort of adorable or a wee bit lazy, this line of thinking is actually what powers Brewie, the first "fully automated brewery" that's available for preorder now. Priced at $1,800 and weighing about 60 pounds, it's not exactly the most svelte of kitchen appliances, but it's still fascinating for pulling all the variables of homebrewing into one neat machine.

Simply drop in packets of hops, malt, yeast and water; scan your card for recipe instructions; and Brewie takes care of the rest. Adjusting temperature and adding hops? Check. Keeping you posted via an app? Check. Thorough cleaning at the push of a button? Check. After five to six hours of all that (minus cleaning) and another seven to 21 days of fermenting, you've got your own home brew without the mess of bottles and tubes or funky odors permeating your apartment.

Could this sleek and expensive system replace the down-and-dirty triumph of old-school homebrewing? Brew knows?