The options for draft beer at home have been bleak, historically, so I was pretty excited when I got a call asking me to try out a new option. Previously, my options for draft beer at home were something like this:
- Get a keg – The problem here is that you either need to invest money and space in a kegerator, or you need to drink it all RIGHT NOW. The former is not an option in a small NYC apartment like mine, and the latter is something best left to those rowdy college kids who don’t mind tapping a warm keg the next morning, if need be.
- Homebrewer friends – I have a friend who homebrews and fills old soda kegs that might actually fit in your regular fridge if you clear some groceries out. The problem here is that I only know one guy who does this, and you probably don’t also know him (maybe you do, we’ll call him J-Mac for short). So this is not really a widely available option. He also lives 3,000 miles away in CA, so it’s not even really an option for me.
- Get one of those mini kegs a the super market – These are fine, I guess. But they’re basically big cans with a pour spot at the bottom. They don’t exactly keep beer fresh for an extended period of time, and tapping into one after a few days only to find stale flat beer is a very disappointing experience.
So basically, I’m SOL, right? Up until recently the answer to that would have been “yes,” but now I know there’s a new option (I don’t really write product reviews on here very often, but sometimes something is worth sharing).
It’s called the Draftmark. It’s a home draft system that’s just a little bit bigger than one of those long fridge soda packs, and holds about 11-12 beers. It keeps beer fresh with some sort of internal air bladder biz, or something like that, so you can tap one of their barrels and have fresh beer for the next 30 days. Not that you’ll need 30 days to drink that beer, I know, relax. But I’ve had one at home for about a week now, and I gotta say, it’s really nice having draft beer in the fridge. Just an example, last night I was mixing up some rum-lime-beer cocktails, and it’s great not having to open a bunch of bottles to pour out 4 oz of beer over and over, only to have the last bottle be 2/3 full at the end of the night. That right there is a wasted beer, and a major faux pas in my book. I can also get the exact amount I need for cooking something. Overall, it’s a really nice thing to have (pro tip: would make a great gift for someone you know drinks a fair amount of beer)
Distribution and selection are a bit limited right now, but I have a feeling that more beers will be added to the lineup soon. Oh, and I heard something about Fresh Direct having a Black Friday deal on the actual Draftmark system (there’s that and the gallon beer barrels), so go check that out this weekend.