According to one of the entrepreneurs behind BEERMKR, their product democratizes the process of beer making. Aaron and Matt introduced their automated beer-making system on episode 23 of ‘Shark Tank’ season 12, looking to get the investment that would take their company to the next level. Already causing quite a buzz amongst home brewers, the device promises to simplify the notoriously complicated process of brewing beer. Intrigued to know how more about the product’s current status? Let’s take a look at this innovative product’s journey so far!
BEERMKR: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
BEERMKR was started by Aaron Walls and Matt Goff, who both attended Cornell University in New York. Along with their friends, Brett Vegas and Evgeniy Tkachenko, they enjoyed experimenting with brewing beer during their college days and subsequently missed it when they moved on and got busy with their respective lives. They initially designed BEERMKR so they could continue experimenting with different ingredients and flavors of beer.
Despite coming from different academic backgrounds, Aaron, an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and Matt, with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, collaborated effectively and founded BrewJacket (now BEERMKR) in 2013 with Immersion, their launch product that helped brewers craft lager-style beers. When Brett, also an MBA from Cornell, and Evgeniy, who had previously worked at NASA, joined the team, their company got the boost it needed to create their fully loaded home brewing system.
According to Brett, as compared to other brewing systems, theirs is “smaller, cleaner, and basically idiot-proof.” It is also much more convenient, taking only a few minutes to set up, and alerts the user through its smartphone app when the beer is ready to be taken out. Brett continued by saying that they had essentially taken the home brewing process “out of the basement” and onto the kitchen counter.
BEERMKR provides prepackaged kits for beginners, but their device also allows advanced brewers to use ingredients of their choosing and have complete control over the brewing process. Even with their pre-made kits, called MKRKITs, the BEERMKR team encourages experimentation by adding ingredients like chocolate or coffee. They also offer a variety of grains, sourced from suppliers used by major craft breweries, as well as a variety of yeasts, allowing even beginners to experiment extensively with different combinations.
With prepackaged ingredients, an automatic start-to-finish process, and constant temperature regulation, BEERMKR compresses the work of many hours into a few minutes. It also significantly reduces the set-up and cleaning times required in the process and can make roughly 1 gallon of beer per cycle. Including fermentation, the entire process gets completed between 3-7 days.
Being wifi compatible and with a dedicated app, the device gives step-by-step instructions as well as alerts about the beer-making process, letting the user know when the beer is ready to be taken out of the system. It can then be transferred into the BEERTAP, which comes with the device, and allows for the freshly brewed beer to be stored in the fridge and carbonated before serving.
BEERMKR: Where Are They Now?
BEERMKR is now located in Boulder, Colorado, which has given it the craft-startup atmosphere that it needs to flourish. After initially making a debut at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, the BEERMKR team launched a Kickstarter campaign in September 2018 that helped them gather much-needed funds. Their initial target of $100,000 was significantly surpassed, and their campaign was pledged $398,276 by 1000 backers.
The company had to soon move into a bigger space to house their expanding operations and were further helped in their initial stages of inventory financing by Kickfurther. In 2017, they raised funding from Sage V Ventures, a local food venture fund. The company’s growth did not go unnoticed in the media, and BEERMKR was featured in online publications like CNET, Business Wire, the Boulder Daily Camera, and The Spoon. In 2021, the sleek beer brewing system was featured at the Consumer Technology Association’s annual trade show, which took place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now, with multiple years of R&D as well as a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the BEERMKR team is looking at its next big step— to get substantial funding in the ballpark of a million dollars. They’ve already sold 1,000 units, with more orders pouring in, and currently running a campaign on Start Engine to meet their funding needs. Through the campaign, they are offering a stake in BEERMKR, which is currently valued at $18 Million on the equity fundraising platform, at $8.97 per share.
The BEERMKR is currently available through their website as well as on online stores like Amazon.com for $579. It comes bundled with a BEERTAP. An additional BEERTAP to store additional quantities or varieties of beer can also be purchased for $119. The premade MKRKITS cost $12 and come in a variety of blends including Chubby Stout, Future IPA, Redwood IPA, and Jurassic Ale.
Read More: Update on SneakERASERS From Shark Tank