About this project
If you’re like us, many of your favorite microbrews aren't sold in bottles. When you bring home that limited-release double IPA from your favorite brewpub, chances are it comes home in a glass growler. However, we know glass growlers have their drawbacks: They go flat once they're opened, they let in air, which spoils your beer, and they don't travel well.
Our mission at GrowlerWerks is to make a growler that works. One that doesn’t let air into your beer, maintains perfect carbonation from the first pour to the last, and keeps beer cold for hours – all in a product you'll love showing off at your friend's next BBQ or party. GrowlerWerks was created by local Portlanders who love craft beer. We've drawn on a combined 47 years of engineering and product-design experience to make a better way to store beer, so it always taste exactly how the brewmaster intended.
Our design is complete, the prototype works great, and we've partnered with a manufacturer. Now with your help we can bring this idea and product to market! Thanks for supporting our project.
Using the cap is as easy as using a seltzer bottle or refillable whipped cream dispenser. It's innovative feature is variable pressure regulation -- that can be set from zero (off) up to 15psi. On the uKeg, the cap automatically regulates pressure to continuously maintain your desired carbonation level. You don't need to manually refill or use separate filling devices. One CO2 cartridge keeps one uKeg growler full of beer fresh for up to 4 weeks.
- Load a CO2 cartridge in the holder and screw onto bottom of the cap.
- Fill the growler with your favorite brew and screw on the cap.
- Set your desired carbonation level with the selector dial. The regulator automatically maintains your setting.
- Pour your brew, sip, enjoy, repeat.
CO2 cartridges are readily available online or at kitchen stores for less than $0.50 ea. Two cartridges will be included with each uKeg.
Cool Hunting – “A new in-growler carbonation system keeps beer cool and fizzy all day long.”
Food and Wine – "uKeg May Have Solved the Biggest Problem with the Beer Growler."
PDX Eater – “PDX Ingenuity Means No More Flat Beer.”
Uncrate – “The uKeg Pressurized Growler maintains perfect carbonation from the first pour to the last.”
First We Feast – “The uKeg Pressurized Growler Could Be A Microbrew Game-Changer.”
John Foyston (The Oregonian) – “Brave new growler: uKeg will keep your beer cold AND carbonated.”
Cool Material – “Besides keeping that microbrew fresher for much longer, the uKeg looks damn good with brass accents and whatever tap handle you feel like tossing on it.”
Portland Tribune – “Finally, a sign that we show our local innovators mad love: A Kickstarter project for Portland-based GrowlerWerks was funded in one day.”
Dude I Want That – “keep contents cold for hours at parties, tailgates, and in your friend Cornelius' basement during the LoTR movie marathon.”
Portland Craft Beer – "GrowlerWerks isn't reinventing the growler, they're trying to create a new fresh beer system, unlike any growler before."
Oregon Business – “The beer drinkers of the world evidently think that's a pretty great idea.”
Risks and challenges
There are always unforeseen challenges in bringing a brand new product into production. As a team of engineers with a combined several decades of experience in R&D, high tech and consumer products, we are confident that any issues we encounter moving into production can be quickly resolved.
We've already chosen the suppliers who will be involved in the manufacture of our product. After several discussions with their engineers, we’ve integrated their feedback into our designs and they are now ready to start tooling.
We've partnered with a local supply chain management company that employs manufacturing engineers where the factories are located. We will be actively involved with the tooling and validation, and plan to travel to the factories in order to inspect and test the initial production pieces before shipment.
We will keep you up to date with regular emails as our product gets closer to production, and we'll be doing everything possible to stay on schedule and deliver you a high quality and beautiful product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We'll contact you to collect your artwork at the end of our Kickstarter campaign in December. Your artwork can be any standard picture file type, like .jpg or .gif. We'll give you detailed picture guidelines when we contact you in December.
Once we've processed your artwork we'll send you a proof; a picture of your artwork on the side of the growler you selected. Once you're happy with the size, orientation and location, we'll send the proof file to our laser engraver to be etched on your growler(s).
A lot of people want more than one reward, but Kickstarter makes you choose just one. So we put in a "Build Your Own Option". If you would like more than a single offering from our rewards, sum up the pledge amount of the rewards you want, choose the "Build Your Own Reward", put in that amount for your contribution. We'll contact you at the end of the campaign to find out what you want and send it your way.
We’ll unlock the uKeg 128 once we reach our $120k stretch goal, because extra funds are needed to pay for the new tooling involved. Now that you can keep beer fresh -- why not go 1 Gal? If you pledge any level now, we’ll notify you when it’s available, and you can change your pledge and reward choice then. Or go to our website and sign up for our mailing list (www.growlerwerks.com) that will also get the uKeg 128 announcement.
The uKeg 128 will fit unthreaded, food grade 16g cartridges. They are available at brew supply stores and on the internet. We will also offer them on our website and work to ensure that breweries and fill stations that carry our products have them too.
The uKeg 64 is capable of force carbonating beer and other beverages. To ensure you have enough CO2 onboard we recommend using a 16g cartridge for the uKeg 64. Special holders to fit the 16g cartridges will be available on our website sometime before May.
The uKeg 128 currently uses a 16g CO2 cartridge. This may be sufficient, however, we’re not confident that’s always enough CO2 to both fully carbonate and dispense your beer to your liking. To ensure you can fully dispense, the cap can be easily removed to replace the cartridge after carbonating and before dispensing. We’ve had really strong interest in using the uKeg 128 to force carbonate home brew and other homemade beverages, so we’re developing a specialized cap holder that accommodates 33g cartridges. Sign up for our email list on our website and we’ll keep you updated. www.growlerwerks.com
We designed this version of our regulator cap to go between zero (0) and 15 psi. Zero psi corresponds to the "off" position when the regulator is closed, and the cap will not dispense the contents of the CO2 cartridge. The off position is for taking the cap on and off of the vessel. 15 psi may be good for force carbonating homebrew or other beverages, or highly carbonated stuff.
You can put soda, soda water, or other carbonated beverages in the uKeg, such as kombucha, sparkling wine or homemade cocktails (just add rocks glass). Our system is optimized for beer, which is carbonated at a somewhat lower level than soda, although our growler would definitely keep soda much more carbonated and better tasting than a standard 2 liter bottle. One of our team members even used it for apple cider for his kids last weekend!
You can get N2 (and also N2O) in 8g and 16g cartridges. These will work with the uKeg, however there isn't normally enough volume in these gasses to fully empty the uKeg at the pressure you'd want, even using a 16g cartridge.
If there is enough demand we may consider a redesign of the regulator body to accommodate the larger, 33g cartridges.
If you set the pressure low enough, or use N2 or N2O cartridges instead of CO2, the uKeg should be able to dispense non-carbonated beverages just fine. We haven’t tried this yet.
Cleaning the uKeg is easy. Rinsing with water after each use is the best practice. Any leftover CO2 can be used to flush the tap with water, but turning the uKeg upside down works too. The cap can be removed to easily clean the inside of the stainless steel vessel. The tap assembly, sight glass and pressure gauge can be fully dissembled for deeper cleaning when needed. Check our YouTube channel for a technical video with cleaning information (starts at 3:58) https://www.youtube.com/watch…
Beer (or other beverage) travels through an inner dispensing tube within the sight glass, that connects to the tap, while the sight glass is an extension of the vessel with openings at both the top and the bottom. The pressure gauge measures pressure near the bottom of the vessel.
Yes. You can add the carrying bag to your rewards. Use the Build Your Own reward option to select any combination & number of reward levels, and increase your pledge by $15 (ea). There are more photos of the carrying bag on our website under the Products page (www.growlerwerks.com).
Following the end of the campaign we'll email a survey to all backers, circa Dec 8. The survey will confirm your pledge and reward selection, and we'll collect your shipping address. A holiday themed gift brochure will be sent to this address, and we'll also email an electronic version to you. If you Built Your Own reward, or added on options such as Copper Plating or a carrying bag, we'll confirm this with you and maintain a record of your rewards selection.
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