If you like to watch Shark Tank, you may remember a beer dispenser called “Fizzics” that was presented to the Sharks a few weeks ago. A beer can, bottle or growler is placed inside the device, and with the pull of a tap handle, the beer is dispensed into a glass. “So what? I can pour my beer into my glass myself, thanks.” Well, the gimmick is that at the end of the pour, an ultrasonic blast builds a big, creamy head on the beer. On the show, each of the Sharks tried a standard pour alongside a pour from the Fizzics dispenser, and each agreed the latter was better.
Because all my family and friends know that I am a beer aficionado, I received a Fizzics dispenser as a Christmas gift. I have to admit to being a little skeptical, feeling that if a beer is properly poured in the normal fashion, a thick, creamy head is easily achieved, which in turn releases the full aroma of the beer. But, hey, I’m an engineer, so I decided to run some tests to see if this is a scam or the real deal. (And BTW, I was once offered a job at Underwriters Laboratories, so I could have been doing this for a living.)
My first test was dispensing from a 12-ounce can. Pulling the handle forward provided a nice pour. My mistake was pouring the full 12 ounces of beer. The good news is that it does a remarkable job of dispensing all the beer without leaving any behind. The bad news is that you need to leave an ounce or so for the second phase to work properly. Lesson learned.
Next up was a howler of a fresh IPA from Homestead. This time, I filled the glass about 2/3 full per the instructions and then pushed the handle to the back to deliver a very thick, creamy head. The resulting head visually looks like a well poured nitro beer. It does enhance the aesthetic appearance of the beer, but does not fully achieve the creamy mouthfeel of a nitro brew. After enjoying most of the glass I topped it off with another 8 ounces of beer and put a new, fresh, creamy head on it once again. Very nice.
The final, and most severe test was a growler of Elevator IPA. I opened it a couple hours after purchase and, of course, achieved a heady, aromatic glass of beer. The next day, I reopened the growler and got similar results. On day three, again, a nice pour with a thick, creamy head. I generally expect to get a flat, unappealing beer by this point from a growler, so this was a pleasant happening. Day four, again, a nice pour with a thick, creamy head. Now, I’m definitely impressed. Day five, I tried once again, and this time the beer was beyond redemption. Even the Fizzics dispenser couldn’t coax any manner of head on this very flat beer.
Something I didn’t test was the cooling retention of the unit. Fizzics claims that it will keep a bottle or can cold for 12 hours when locked in the unit. Or if ice is placed in the unit, it will reportedly keep the beer cold for 48 hours. And cleaning is not an issue. Simply put a glass of warm water in the unit, and dispense it into another glass.
My final thoughts; it’s the real deal. I’m not certain there is much value to using the Fizzics dispenser to pour a beer from a standard bottle or can; although some might argue, an improved mouthfeel. But clearly, if you are a frequent growler purchaser, or like to take beer on outings, road trips, or picnics, the Fizzics will provide you a nice, creamy, aromatic pour every time. And if you don’t always finish a growler on Day 1, you should be able to enjoy a fresh pour for several days.
The Fizzics beer dispenser retails for $200, on sale right now for $169.99. There is also a lower cost version that retails for $149.99, currently on sale for $129.99. You can get purchase online fizzics.com.
(In case you were wondering, Fizzics founders Philip Petracca and David McDonald raised $2 million on Shark Tank from Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner in exchange for a 16.7 percent interest in their company.)