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Now, you can drink all of your local favorites without leaving the comfort of your couch. Support the craft beer revolution!
Now, you can drink all of your local favorites without leaving the comfort of your couch. Support the craft beer revolution!
2,191 backers pledged $648,535 to help bring this project to life.

Big day recap and design explanation

Posted by Steve Young (Creator)
35 likes

Hey everyone!

We had a really big day today with dozens of articles written (including Engadget!) and the most pre-orders in a day since the Kickstarter. As you most likely saw earlier through the email newsletter or social media, we released the final design and our brand new website (www.SYNEK.beer). While the response was very positive, there were some very reasonable concerns about the new design that we wanted to very clearly address.

^ Recent trip to our manufacturer, this is where baby SYNEKs might be born

Size: The unit that you see on the website and in the video is 16” x 17” x 16”. This prototype was hand-constructed by our engineers so that we could effectively communicate the general specifications to our manufacturers. Our manufacturers are confident that they can produce the same functionality at 15” x 15” x 15” and we will continue to shrink that design as much as possible. For perspective, the original prototype shown in the Kickstarter was 12” x 15” x 15”. The three inch increase is due to including the 20 oz refillable CO2 container which was requested by the Kickstarter backers in the survey released on July 21, 2014 (Backer update #6).

Window: When we spoke with the breweries, many of them were very excited about the bags but were sometimes indifferent to the box that enclosed it. Due to this, we decided that we will be launching with both bags in boxes and just bags by themselves, depending on the location. With the high possibility that only a bag would be in the dispenser, it would look very odd on your counter just seeing the metallic bag through the window. Thus, we decided to remove the window. We are working on an alternative to serve the same purpose of beer identification – possibly removable stickers. The removal of the window also lowered the energy consumption of the unit significantly, due to lost cooling. No window makes the unit much more eco-friendly.

Stainless steel tap: When we talked to several brewers and beer experts, they made it clear that a stainless steel flow control tap would be necessary for both quality control and pour control. This tap added a hefty cost to the product, but it provided a TON better control. With you guys in mind, we decided to add it to the final design.

Controls: When we met with the experts, they strongly suggested keeping the temperature and CO2 adjustment controls out of sight. They believed that a “set it and forget it” model was necessary for the mass market. While we absolutely believe that you should have the ability to control those two aspects, we took their advice and put them inside of the unit, easily accessible from the right door. While many of our backers are avid beer tech folks and are comfortable/qualified to play around with the settings, the rest of the market is not. Plus, come on. This is your baby. You don’t want your less-beer-inclined friends messing with your settings behind your back every time you get together!

Design: While this final model reflects the design we are moving towards, it was hand-made by our engineers. The final manufactured unit will look even sharper. We also now have the opportunity for cool design options like multiple colors and branded casings. (Think of your favorite sports team!) We will be sending out surveys as those options are finalized so that you can pick the exact variation that you would like to see!

Conclusion: With a huge emphasis on functionality, we built the new design making it as easy as possible for brewers and individuals to use. This functionality is extremely important as we lead this beer revolution together. We continuously try to balance a mass market approach with the high control for the avid beer tech star. Remember that the more craft beer lovers that SYNEK can appeal to, the quicker we can get you more access to the best beer anywhere (e.g. get on retail shelves and eventually direct-to-door). Together, we have to think big picture and long term to grow this movement. Head to the sky, but feet on the ground.

As always, feel free to reach out to Eric[at]SYNEKsystem.com with any questions or concerns that you might have. We are swamped with inbound emails/tweets/messages right now so please be patient with us as we get through everyone’s comments.

MattG, Brandon Galler, and 33 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Steve Young 3-time creator on

      Hey everyone,

      Again, I want to apologize for the late response, we have been totally swamped by incoming messages. We posted a new update a few minutes ago that answers some of the major concerns that have come up: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1620669801/synek-any-beer-ever-made-fresh-on-your-counter/posts/1120692

      We are working through all of your comments and we will make sure that they are all answered personally.

      - The SYNEK team

    2. Benjamin Gannon on

      I agree with some of the sentiment. the fact that it is 15 inches makes it so it now doesn't fit easily on my kitchen space. wish that I would have known that the 20oz canisters required an increase in size.

      I like the look.

      Wish that it was draper rather than square.

    3. Missing avatar

      Greg Gundesen on

      @Vien - exactly my thoughts. There's much more leeway on depth than width when trying to put this on a counter. This has gone from being slightly wider than a toaster to being the size of a small microwave which makes a BIG difference in where it can be placed.

      Losing the window doesn't particularly bother me and I actually agree with the reasoning behind that design change, but I also would much prefer to see the temperature display on the outside. Even if the CONTROLS for temperature are put on the inside, it'd be nice to see at a glance what temperature your beer is at.

    4. Vien on

      I'd be more comfortable with the design if the extra 3 inches were allocated depth-wise so that the synek will still be a rectangular shape with the tap still on the narrower front. A cube is more difficult to carry and move around than a narrow but longer rectangle. Is the drip tray included in the measurements?

      Also the explanation for moving the controls/displays to the inside is a little questionable because..

      1. I don't know if this is a normal thing but I myself personally do not go adjusting other people fridge or appliance settings when I'm visiting them. Besides if your guests are so drunk to the point where they keep hitting buttons randomly instead of pulling the tap then you should probably cut them off anyway.

      2. It'd be annoying to have to open and check the settings to make sure that your beer is at the right temp every time instead of just looking at the display. While I understand that it's simplified to appeal to a mass market, I don't think it's going to hurt casual beer drinkers to know the temperature of their beer at all times. Besides I feel that most backers of this project are a bit more dedicated than the mass market, since the purpose of the synek was advertised to replace growlers and a space hogging kegerator. Anyone that orders their favorite brew by the growler, has homebrew of their own, or has managed to convinced their spouse to dedicate a space in their home for a major appliance should be given benefit of the doubts when it comes to having beer savvy features. It would be helpful to include a cheat sheet for proper carbonation and temperature of beer styles if you're that worried about the user not knowing how to properly adjust these two settings.

      Also I'd like to know how the C02 controls/indicator are being handled? is there pressure gauge or and lcd display for lvls?

    5. Missing avatar

      Jesse Rodgers on

      I like the redesign and would like to know how to sign up for the red version.

    6. Jeremy Anderson on

      I'm also not thrilled with the new industrial design. As one who backed the "Bronze Beauty" (a perk that was, after all, all about aesthetics), I'm curious what my BB will look like now.

      I had envisioned something with a timeless, or perhaps old-timey feel, perhaps even a little Steampunk. Would love to see a prototype of it. I don't know that just replacing the non-tap parts with Bronze really qualifies anymore, you know? The new design and bronze would probably seem quite a disjointed.

      Can we BB backers please get some love? (In the form of an update...)? :-)

    7. Robert Farrell on

      Ugh. Why does this need to look like a 12" portable TV left over from the 1960s? Now it'll need to go under my bar and not on top of it. Or, I suppose, I could just get some large daisy-shaped stickers for it and tell my guests that it's a genuine artifact from Rowan and Martin's Laugh In.

    8. Aaron Hurt on

      I'm excited! Thank you for communicating the changes and the new design!

    9. MickAv8r on

      All of the internal changes don't justify the aesthetic trainwreck. I'll wait to see the final product and what your ideas of "options" are going to be - but your update just took me from 80% likely to ask for a refund to 97% likely to ask for a refund.

    10. Joe Hugen on

      It's down right ugly, I'm not putting this thing anywhere near my countertop. I'd rather have a keg-o-rator. Feeling really let down.

    11. Christopher Payne on

      I know the team at Synek is working to make as many parties happy as possible but for those of us who originally backed, it's clearly obvious we feel let down by the recent developments. Explaining the decisions makes it go down easier but without a doubt, we were expecting the product in the original video and nothing is going to make me think this current design is better. I hope you make the decision to revisit this design choice. We didn't need the glass but right now we are losing a great design to a piece that looks like I should hide it in cabinet.

    12. Manxome Foe on

      Gotta agree with Rob, stainless looks much nicer than the black or the red prototype.

    13. Manxome Foe on

      Don't worry @Wael, they'll probably get it only a month or so after you do ;^)

    14. Missing avatar

      Rob Dahl on

      Now that we are shown the "Red" version vs. the nice Stainless Steel version... I feel let down. The look and feel of the original is aesthetically pleasing and well designed, something I would be proud to place on my counter. The "Red" version looks haphazard and immature in design. I am not sure I want to place this in a visible spot.

    15. Missing avatar

      Wael on

      What about the price? I shouldn't have to pay the same price as someone ordering it 6 months later. You even specified that 349 was the retail price for those that didn't get the 299. Why are the pre-orders only 299?

    16. Joe Yee on

      What is the power consumption on this thing?