It seems that I end up getting all of the alcohol-related reviews here at Techaeris, and believe me I’m not complaining! Today I’ll be looking at a device that claims it will make your store-bought bottles, cans, or even some growlers of beer taste like a beer fresh from the brewer’s tap. You can read about my extensive testing process in this Fizzics review.
- Fresh, draft taste from any store bought beer
- Fits most cans and bottles, even 64 .oz growlers
- No separate CO2 or Nitro canisters necessary
- Uses just 4 AA batteries (not included)
- Dimensions: 6.8 x 11.7 x 17.8 inches
- Weight: 4.3 pounds
What’s in the Box
- 1 x Fizzics system
- 1 x Instruction manual
- 1 x Setup guide
The Fizzics system looks as though it could be somewhat heavy but it really isn’t. The mostly plastic construction lightens the load, making this an “appliance” that can easily travel with you. If you like to drink beer on the beach, it can easily be transported to the beach, for example. The base platform is a grey plastic oval, with a circular cutout inside where the Fizzics system sits and a slightly cut out circle where the removable rubber drip tray rests.
The Fizzics system is a black plastic cylinder, slightly larger on the top than on the bottom. It’s topped by a grey plastic lid, which attaches to the system via a hinge on the back, and two plastic clamps on the front. The pour spout comes out of the front of the top cap. Inside of the main compartment is a removable plastic reservoir. This is the area where you’ll put your bottles or cans to allow the machine to work. This reservoir is removable for easy cleaning in case of spills. The top of this container has a clear rubber gasket to seal the top and bottom sections while in use.
The top cap is where all of the Fizzics magic happens. You won’t really get to see any of the magic, but you’ll be able to see a long rubber hose protruding from the bottom that will ultimately sit in your bottle or can, pulling liquid from that conveyance through the machinery and pushing it back out into your waiting glass. The top cap has, as previously mentioned, two plastic clamps that secure the top to the bottom while the machine is in use. On the very top are the tap handle, and battery door.
Ease of Use
Upon opening your Fizzics box there are a couple of setup requirements, none of which are particularly difficult. The tap handle needs to be popped onto the top, four AA batteries (not included) need to be installed into the top battery compartment, the bottom panel needs to be attached to the bottom of the device, and the rubber drip tray can then be placed under the pour spout on the bottom panel.
After you’ve got your Fizzics put together, you’ll want to run at least one cleaning cycle to clear out the tubes. Cleaning is pretty easy too. You’ll just need two glasses of equal size — pint glasses would be particularly appropriate here — one filled with warm water. You’ll first open the top hatch by releasing the two clamps. Once opened, you can place the water-filled glass down into the reservoir. You will not want to pour liquids directly into this reservoir, you’ll always want to keep them in some sort of container.
With the water glass in place, you can close the lid, ensuring that the intake hose goes into the water. After clamping the top, simply hold your empty glass under the “tap” tube, and pull the tap handle on the top forward. This will cycle the water through the system, cleaning as it goes. If you want to run the cleaning process more than once, simply replace your warm water with each run so you aren’t cycling the same potential contaminants through the machine. Once you’re satisfied with the machine’s cleanliness you can replace the warm water with a nice cold beer.
Beer will work just a bit differently than the cleaning process, but not by much. Fizzics can accommodate nearly any size bottle or can, and can even hold some 64oz growlers. My growler was just slightly too tall for the machine, so all of my testing was with bottles and cans. The loading process will be the same as it was with the cleaning process — open the top, place your opened beer into the reservoir (in its container, you still can’t just pour it in there), insert the intake tube into your beer, then close and seal the top. That part is still the same. Pouring will be just slightly different.
If you’ve watched a bartender pour a pint before serving it to you, you’ll notice they hold the glass (or at least they should be holding the glass) at a roughly 45-degree angle, allowing the beer to hit up near the top of the glass before pouring down into the glass. The same sort of logic applies here. Hold your glass at a 45-degree angle and pull the tap handle forward to start pouring your beer. Once you’re close to the bottom but not quite empty, release the tap handle, hold your glass upright, and then push the tap handle backwards to add a uniformly foamy head to your beer.
The head is important to the whole Fizzics experience as their main draw for improving your beer is in creating a dense series of bubbles, or micro-foam, to top off your beer. This creamy, foamy head is said to enhance aroma and create a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. We’ll get more into how that all goes down in the “Performance” section just below.
I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical before I fired up Fizzics for the first time. After putting the first few beers through, my results were decidedly unscientific but I did feel as though the beer tasted a bit fresher than I would have imagined. For reference, the first few beers to go through were Yuengling, which isn’t available in my immediate vicinity, so road trips are required, meaning I’ll usually drink my supply a bit slower than other beer. That can eventually cause some drop in freshness. After a simple gut feeling on the first few beers I decided to be a bit more calculating — but only very slightly so, I’d already had a few beers…
I poured roughly four ounces of my next beer into a separate glass before running the remaining beer through Fizzics. Taking a sip of the “before” beer versus the “after” beer caused a noticeable difference and improvement in overall taste and experience. I asked my wife to verify and she too noticed a difference. This has been the case with the several varieties of beer that I have tried with Fizzics, though some do report that certain types of beer — generally some craft beer or stouts — do not see the same type of improvement. Some of the fun will be figuring out what works and what doesn’t, because let’s be honest, you’re still drinking beer and that’s great!
There will also be some trial and error when it comes to actually pouring your beer. Since the beer is sealed inside of a closed container when Fizzics is in use, there’s no exact way to know when you’re getting close to the bottom of the beer. Especially when there is some difference in your destination container — i.e. 12oz beer versus 16oz pint glass — you may start to foam either too early or too late. If you’re foaming too early, no big deal, there will still be a little bit of beer left in the bottom of your bottle. If you start too late, the machine can sputter and spit out the last of the beer, which can cause a little bit of a mess.
Once you hit that sweet spot and can just “feel” when you’re getting to the appropriate stage for foaming, Fizzics really does improve the beer drinking experience for most beers. It may just take a few pours for you to get there.
Fizzics suggests that your four AA batteries should power through at least 100 pours using a 12oz beer as the guideline for a single pour. Surprisingly, I haven’t hit that number yet, and through a few months of use my machine is still going strong. It is suggested that if you plan on storing your Fizzics, or not using it for more than 60 days that you should remove the batteries prior to storing it. Most should be able to get at least a few months of use out one set of batteries, unless you’re having people over for beers frequently, in which case your mileage may vary.
Fizzics is currently available for $150, which isn’t a lot if you frequently drink beer at home, or would like to improve your beer drinking experience. Fizzics does also have a smaller option coming soon, the Fizzics Waytap, which is currently on Kickstarter (it’s already killed its funding goal, so no need to worry there). The Waytap is cheaper, with backer levels still available at $90 or $110, though the Waytap is also significantly smaller, only accepting bottles and cans. Both devices use the same underlying technology, so it really boils down to what size of beers you’ll want to run through your Fizzics. If you drink a lot of beer, it’s easy to find value in Fizzics.
If you enjoy drinking beer at home, Fizzics is worth a look. Your beer will be elevated to a level you may not be familiar with if you’re always drinking out of bottles or cans. Even if you’re used to fresh draught beer, Fizzics can improve your bottles and cans to a point nearing something fresh from the tap. If you drink a lot of beer, you’ll want to at least check it out.