Brewie's smartphone-controlled system makes homemade beer easier

We've seen connected gadgets for homebrewing (and serving) beer before, and now there's another gadget looking to do the heavy lifting for you. This is Brewie: a self-contained brewhouse that will have your next batch started in minutes. For the novice beer maker, pre-portioned kits and an RFID card sorts all the settings and measurements -- all you have to do is toss in the ingredients, scan the recipe card and hit start. Of course, the machine also allows for more advanced tweaking, serving up 23 separate parameters (water levels, boiling temps, hop additions, etc.) for further fine-tuning. Once you've dialed in that Double IPA, Brewie saves the settings to produce the same results for the next batch. Looking for something new? There's 200 recipes programmed already, should that need arise.

In addition to storing recipes, the WiFi-equipped beer factory can be controlled from a computer, tablet or phone, relaying real-time info on the suds and alerting you when the brewing process is finished. For on-board controls, there's a 4.3-inch touchscreen to cycle through settings and recipes; however, hooking up a water source lets the machine do measuring automatically, and when it's done, it cleans up after itself. We'd surmise you'll still need to remove that spent grain though. That's all crammed inside a gadget that touts a 20-liter (5.2-gallon) capacity -- a pretty common batch size for at-home brewing. When it's ready, your wort can be transferred to a fermentation vessel with the push of a button.

If you'll recall, BrewBot is a similar self-contained system that allows you to take control via a trusty handset and equips aspiring brewers at all skill levels. That machine is massive, but the smaller PicoBrew Zymatic offers a similar ease of use while taking up a bit less space in the garage for $1,699. Looking to give it a go? If you miss out on any of the early adopter discounts, $1,599 secures the Beginner Pack with the machine, one "Pad" (read: ingredients kit) and four 5-liter kegs. Advanced homebrewers can splurge for the $2,299 pro option that includes detailed testing equipment. Brewie is a pretty big appliance though, so you're looking at a few hundred dollars more to ship the 55-pound behemoth, too.