It what could be either the best or worst idea ever, a SodaStream is now capable of making beer. The company has launched Beer Bar, which lets thirsty users brew booze at home.
We say "brew", but actually there's no brewing involved. Instead, Beer Bar is just the name it's giving its new concept of loading a beer concentrate into a regular SodaStream, to which you then add carbonated water. The result is a tall glass of a light beer carrying a fairly respectable ABV of 4.5%, called Blondie. The company says the brew has "a smooth authentic taste, and a hop filled aroma", which to us describes most beers.
SodaStream has opted to launch Beer Bar first in Europe, possibly because of the rising popularity of craft beers in places like the UK, or maybe just because Europeans like to drink a lot. Either way, the product is now available on SodaStream's online store in Germany, where you can pick up a litre of Blondie concentrate for €2.99 (£2/$3). This will give you approximately three litres – or 5.2 pints – of drinkable beer by SodaStream's estimations.
Beer Bar is expected to come to other markets throughout the rest of the year and 2017.
"We are excited to launch a brand dedicated to serving the global growing trend of home crafted beer," said Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive officer of SodaStream. "Our core carbonation technology and distribution infrastructure provide a great platform for us to extend our business into this emerging category, and we choose to do so with a dedicated beer brand."
Don't go fobbing off your local boozer completely though, because they need your support: the latest statistics from the Campaign for Real Ale show the number of pubs in the UK to be at their lowest for a decade, with an average of 27 closing every week. Instead, think of Beer Bar as a way of seeing you through those last few, cash-strapped days at the end of each month.
We'll drink to that.