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SFU students developing ‘Keurig for beer’

By Eric MacKenzie

A rendering of what the Brewstr would look like. 
SUBMITTED

A rendering of what the Brewstr would look like. SUBMITTED

Simon Fraser University student Ryan Lymburner’s first experiences brewing beer at home were frustrating. He’s hoping a product he’s developing with five classmates can make the process much simpler for other craft beer lovers.

Brewstr is a concept for an automated home brewing machine that fits on a kitchen countertop and makes it faster and easier for users to create their own batches of beer and cider.

“The quick form of the way we pitch it to people is that it’s a Keurig for beer, essentially,” said Lymburner, who studies business and mechatronics at SFU.

“The process (of home brewing) itself is fairly simple, it’s just tedious, and we wanted to remove that aspect and give that to everyone and give everyone a shot to play around with it.”

With the support of SFU’s entrepreneurship program, Lymburner and his team have developed a semi-automated prototype and are moving closer to having a fully automated one complete this year.

Brewstr takes care of elements of the brew process such as sanitation, temperature control and yeast selection that often make home brewing a challenge, said Lymburner, and can also force-carbonate the beverages produced. The result is a start-to-finish process of two weeks or less — cutting the length of production in half compared to traditional home brewing.

The device would be controlled and monitored through a smartphone app that also connects to a larger community of Brewstr users, allowing them to share and download recipes that are relayed directly to the machine.

“All you’re required to do is put in the ingredients,” said Lymburner.

With interest in craft beer exploding in Vancouver, Lymburner said the response to Brewstr has been “really positive.” He’s hopeful that completion of the 2.0 prototype will bring the concept much closer to reality.

“The next steps in the coming months here are to finish our prototype and get it to a stage where it’s presentable and we can push forward with it (and seek out) funding or venture capital firms in the future,” he said.

More details can be found at thebrewstr.com.