Remember those days pre-kids when you could get out to a bar, drink some fresh from the tap ice cold beer, and chase it down with some cheese fries? While the Fizzics isn’t going to help with the kids, fries or the temperature of the beer, the machine does wonders to make your shelf beer into something that tastes fresh from the tap.
You can think of it as a wine aerator for beer, and it was a hit at my birthday party even though we didn’t exactly use it as you probably should (there was cross beer contamination, people not quite sure where the “head” setting should start, and all around attempting to learn and pour at the same time). Hey, that’s ok, we just jumped into it and it worked. We did it wrong and it still tasted great.
That said, on our base cheap tester beer, which we shall call The ML, it noticeably improved the flavor and form. ITMama mentioned it “tasted like sports” in reference to what it’s generally like in a bar. We didn’t have cheese fries to go with it, that was something I regret and weighs on my soul heavily.
My review is based mainly on the cheap stuff, what it did to the good beer was fascinating and delicious, but oddly not what I had set about to try. The Fizzics made cheap beer good, and good beer really good.
Of the beers we tried it worked wonders on most of them. We did have one craft beer that I believe there was no salvaging that no matter what the beer technology employed. The Fizzics did an admirable job on everything I believe was salvageable. This craft beer didn’t taste good before the Fizzics and it didn’t help it now that it was creamier. I blame the beer.
If you don’t particularly notice a difference between tap and can/bottle, I envy you. I’d been craving a tap beer for a couple of months at the point the Fizzics showed up (I really could get out and get one, just only have so many hours for people in the day,) and while my first Fizzics experiments were so so (clean the hoses first, run some water through, don’t be like me,) I got what I was expecting by my second day/clean hose day.
Fizzics: how does it work?
First off you’ve got that handle on the top. Direction one is pour, direction two is head. You’ll need to experiment a little with your beer as in many circumstances you simply don’t need the head option with the Fizzics.
You pop the main canister open, pour in your beer, close the canister, and pump away. Well, the Fizzics pumps for you using 4 AA batteries. The pour is pretty fast, it’s not something that takes away from the overall delivery.
The tank inside can hold up to a growler’s worth of booze (64 oz,) or you can just chuck in a can of The ML and it’ll get most of it leaving only a little foam (alternately you could read the instructions and realize you can just sit a container in there and plug the hose in leaving no mess).
Improvement on the Fizzics?
The tap handle universally managed to be popped off by people on their first try. I’m not sure if my Fizzics was befarged or if it’s just designed for easy-release for when your drunk friend tries pushing it too far. It may be the only solution, but it would have been nice to at least have a string attached for when it popped off due to
drunken party-goer person learning how to use it for the first time.
I’d love to see a “suck it from this can” option (externally,) as with all the different beers that did show up at my birthday party throwing them all into the main canister did cause some spillover taste, spills, and sticky cans. Not a big thing but was something I noted. Actually it looks like from the product sheet I might have just missed this, although trying to get that tube in a 12oz can is probably going to end up slicing the tube eventually. Bottles and growlers appear to be serviced acceptably.
Above said, keep in mind several people used the device without reading instructions and everyone was impressed. Except with that skanky beer. There was no saving that one.
The Fizzics is portable and is marketed as such (watch the video on their website). The base pops off, the handle pops off, but beyond that the portability sort of becomes that of saying a toaster with a battery pack is portable because you can carry it. There’re no carabiner for easy portability, no way to collapse the thing, no easy tote bag. Great device, just not particularly what I’d consider an easy carry to the beach.
Last point is price point. As of this writing it’s up there. The Fizzics is mostly plastic and a pump with a little bit of fairy dust thrown in to make the beer taste perfect. It’s more than I would spend on myself at an MSRP of $199, but then again maybe you love your beer drinker 😉 (awww, cheap shot there).
Basically price is the only real mitigating factor I’ve run into, which is generally taken care of with how these things are released: high MSRP for initial runs, about two months down the road it’s about half due to production increases, four months down it’s at a quarter, yadda yadda yadda.
Fizzics wrap up
While I may sound like a raging cheap alcoholic, having a desire filled for the flavor and texture of cheap beer from a well maintained tap was actually what I wanted for my birthday, and I got it without the need to get a babysitter, grab an Uber, drink my fill, and Lyft it back.
It brought me cheap beer joy, and much better beer joy although the much better beer gets into weird subjective. Everything I tried tastes better with Fizzics (although I did not try Guinness, I am kind if interested to see if it’ll aid the US versions of that beer in any fashion).
I’d say it’s probably a near perfect gift for the beer drinkers in your family, perfect if the price point were a little lower, but I’m not going to rate on price because these things change within a week of me talking about how things are too much.
Get the Fizzics Revolutionary Beer System at Amazon or you can buy in-store at Brookstone, Target, Best Buy.
It’s a damned fine taste and texture it adds to any beer (except that one skunky one) and a product that’s earned a place on my shelf.