I realize that this topic might be a lightning rod in this forum since there is a lot of strong opinion about Mr. Beer, but having had my start in brewing with a Mr. Beer Kit it's what I'm familuar with. I have now done other extract brewing and even an All Grain recipe or two. Lately I have become interested in what BrewDemon is doing (as you might have guessed from some of my other posts) but I also got to wondering about other "starter beer kits" and what the competition is. I know there is a system called "The Beer Machine" but what other competitors are there in this part of the market?
While a Mr. Beer kit is a perfectly plausible way to enter the hobby of brewing, always recommend a starter kit because all that equipment will be usable down the road, as to where if you want to dive deeper into brewing, your mr. beer kit will most likely gather dust. Although that small chamber may be nice for experiment batches :-)
my 2 cents.
Brew long and Prosper... May the wort be with you... Yippeekayay master brewers... You had me at free beer.
My buddy is using two Mr. Beer fermenters to do 2.75G All Grain BIAB batches. He does all his dryhopping and such in one "brown keg" and has made a couple of fantastic beers in it! He did a Simcoe SMASH that turned out amazing!
It's definitely an option for those without the room for a full 5-gallon setup and want to do stovetop brewing.
Location: The Hinterland of the South Shore, Massachusetts
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Northern Brewer and Brooklyn Brew Shop both stock nice 1-gallon kits (equipment as well as ingredient kits). I'm working on a BBS Everyday IPA that had grains and hops and the whole shebang. There is also the imaginatively named Small Batch Homebrew:
The prevailing attitude that I have encountered in homebrew shops is that "small batch" = "Mr. Beer" = "A joke". A lot of this is just ignorance of the growing availability of small batch kits for serious brewers. There is a lot of interest in having a small brewing setup due to space/kitchen constraints but also brewing a good quality beer. It will take a while for the image of Mr. Beer to fade in many homebrew shops. It would be great if some of these shops could start stocking quality small kits vs. deriding Mr. Beer.