What should you do when you’re an engineer, who loves beer, but isn’t satisfied with current craft beer growlers on the market? Design your own. That’s exactly what a company of engineers did from Portland, Oregon. Fed up with pouring precious IPA’s and other craft beers down the drain due to shoddy insulation dynamics in traditional beer growlers, GrowlerWerks, composed of Chris Maier, Evan Rege, Brian Sonnichsen, and Shawn Huff, started their quest for a “beer growler that works.”
After funding their own 3D printed prototypes of the uKeg64 model, as well as the uKeg128 model using $80,000 of their own money, GrowlerWerks embarked on a Kickstarter campaign in October of 2014, in order to raise more capital for their actual product designs. At the end of the campaign, the team raised an astonishing $1,559,525 which was over 20 times the amount of their initial goal of $75,000, making it one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns to come out of the Portland area. GrowlerWerks was now ready to put their 3d printed prototypes of their patent pending growlers to the test.
From 3D Printed Prototype To Beer Growler
Despite a relentless domestic search for a suitable manufacturer, the team was unable to find a company that met their needs, so they decided to look overseas. After choosing a Chinese manufacturer specializing in double-wall vacuum sealed stainless steel bottles, they were ready to start production of their beer growler in both 64 and 128 ounce sizes.
The uKeg is born
Ranging in price from $129 to $179, the uKeg is equipped with an automatic(patent-pending) regulator cap that holds CO2 inside the device, allowing for pressure to be continuously maintained and oxygen kept out. According to the company’s website, the uKeg also has a carbonation system ranging from zero to 15 psi, as well as a host of other features ensuring that your brew is kept cold and delicious.With Kickstarter investors getting dibs on the first 12,500 growlers last month, GrowlerWerks has scheduled their retail units to be available this fall, via their website, as well as other choice locations, just in time for Oktoberfest.