In an effort to make homebrewing more accessible, Boulder's BeerMKR is developing a compact countertop brewing device that takes up only about as much space as a standard microwave.

Prototypes of the self-contained, automated system will make its debut later this month at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

"Compared to traditional hombrewing systems, it is smaller, cleaner and basically idiot-proof," said Brett Vegas, who leads the company's marketing efforts.

"It's going to take five minutes to set up, while other systems take two hours just to sanitize them for the first use," he said. "We're taking brewing out of the basement and bringing it into the kitchen."

The BeerMKR team hopes to have the first devices, which brews a 12 pack of craft beer at a time and can be controlled and monitored with a mobile app, shipped to customers by next spring. The company is launching with a crowdfunding campaign this month to raise capital for the first manufacturing run.

The retail price of a BeerMKR unit is expected to be around $300.

The company also plans to sell customizable ingredient kits to be used in the BeerMKR system.

Not only is BeerMKR designed to make it easier to brew beer in smaller spaces, it aims to improve the quality of homebrews.

"The key to this system is to never have to transfer the beer," BeerMKR founder Aaron Walls said. "It all stays in one place throughout the brewing process."


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This closed system allows homebrewers to make higher quality beers that are less likely to be contaminated during the brewing process, he said.

"The idea is really just to make more brewers," Walls said. "There are so many people who love craft beer, but there are significant hurdles and barriers that can keep people from getting into brewing. This machine solves a lot of those issues."

Lucas High: 303-684-5310, lhigh@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/lucashigh