Fizzics is a new gadget that's precision engineered to perfectly pour your beer. It's an impressively designed toy. I just tried it, and OK maybe I'm a little drunk, but I think I'm in love.
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How it works
The new Fizzics is a tabletop gadget that the company founders told me delivers a "better-than-draft pour from canned or bottled beer. (More on this anon.) It's useful to think of Fizzics as the a la cart counterpoint to the popular Krups/ Heineken BeerTender. If you're not familiar, it's basically a tabletop keggerator, that takes mini proprietary kegs of Heineken of New Castle. They keep your beer cold, and pump it full of CO2 to give it a draft-like carbonation and head. They're fun pretty, if sort of fatally limited gadgets.
So here's how the Fizzics works: Open it up an insert the beer of your choice. Plug in your beer with a little plastic tube. Fizzics supports most cans and bottles up to 26 ounces (769mL). The production version will apparently take a whole 64-ounce (1.89 litres) growler. When you close the lid, the beer gets sealed in an airtight chamber.
You actually operate the Fizzics by using a lever on the top of the contraption. Pull the leaver forward, and AAA-battery air pump sucks the beer up and dispenses it from the nozzle at a microcontroller monitored flow rate.
When you're near the top of your pour, push the lever back, and the Fizzics pumps high-frequency sound waves through the beer, and pours luscious, thick foam. Your milk moustache will be jealous.
Why the hell don't you just pour the beer into the glass like a normal human? Well, sir, we live in a world where craft beer is rapidly gaining traction. I like to think of this as people seeing the light. Beer doesn't have to be terrible!
With craft beer we're faced with a conundrum of habits. We've been drinking beer forever like it was all Natty Ice, which is to say, drinking it as quickly as possible for the effects. Open can pour beer into gullet, repeat, and eventually, you can't feel the crushing pain of real life any longer.
This method works for drinking fine brews as well, but there is additional enjoyment to be had. Much like you take the time to decant good wine, you might also take steps to ensure your beer is properly delivered to maximise the potential of the brewer's hard work.
Hand pours and draft pours both have disadvantages, but the bottom line is that the foam and pour as a whole is thinner and the carbonation vanishes more quickly. This means flatter beer that doesn't taste as good as whole. But the consistency of the pour also has a significant affect on the flavour of the beer, as we'll see below.
Does it make a difference?
Yes! Totally. I tried a side-by-side comparison if a Brooklyn IPA that was hand-poured and one that was poured by the Fizzics. The gadget really does make beer taste different. It's a difference you can see. On a regular hand pour, the head dissipates quickly, whereas the super dense Fizzics foam hangs on top your beer like sudsy skin. Even on cursory inspection, the bubbles in the Fiizzics beer are smaller and dissipating at a slower rate compared to the hand-poured beer.
The taste and "mouth feel" of beer also changes substantively when you pour it from the Fizzics. The smoother bubbles make the beer smoother and less astringent. By comparison, the hand pour feels sand-papery on your tongue. When your tongue isn't chewed up by the usual raspiness, the carbonation is less over-powering to the flavour of the beer.
Of course, if you've been drinking beer like an uncivilised chump your whole life, your probably like it when your beer has the overpowering carbonation of a soft drink. It's what you're used to. I'm just saying that if you take some time to try something different, you too might taste the difference.
You do not need this gadget to enjoy beer. Not even close. It's probably not worth it to most people. But does it work? Yes it works.
How do you get one, assuming that's something you want?
The retail price for Fizzics will be $US200. It will be offered on Indiegogo next week at a significant discount, though, I'm not allowed to tell you how much yet. Sorry! You can sign up for updates on the matter here. The usual caveats about crowdfunding apply here. It seems like the founders have their shit together, but you never know!
Now should you get one? Well, it works, so if that hand-poured beer isn't doing it for you and you want a fun gadget to use to enjoy fancy beers/show off to your friends, I can't say don't buy one. I live in a tiny apartment, so Fizzics might not find a spot on my counter. But who am I kidding, drinking out of the bottle was always good enough for me anyway.