Originally Posted by Leithoa
The product looks reasonably well thought out. Though for $1400 I'd prefer no plastic on the hot side of things.
Yep. That's one thing I'm not too keen on.
Originally Posted by mjdonnelly68
But today, the quality and diversity of craft beer is such that you can buy pretty much whatever floats your boat.
Maybe in the US, but not everywhere. Many places do not have the selection available. A large reason I got into AG myself was because none of the beers I liked were available up in Canada.
I have seen first hand a lot of people come over and try my beer and enjoy it but when I tell them it's a 6-8 hour process + fermenting + kegging, and so forth, their eyes glaze over a bit.
I think it's perfect for someone that just wants to tinker with recipes and doesn't want to make a whole lot of beer at once. Given that it's somewhat automated, even though it's small 2.5 gallon batches, it's less work so just run it a couple of times to get a full 5 gallons.
One thing that both these automated setups is doing right is that they're brewing AG and not extract. These should give a LOT better quality than some Mr. Beer kit (which often just ends up turning the aspiring homebrewer off of making beer).
While neither setup is something I'd be interested in myself, I do think more interest in making beer yourself is a good thing for the homebrewing hobby in general. The more people that are interested in making beer (regardless of how it's made), the better for the rest of us who have an interest as well.
It means more shops to buy supplies, more online stores, etc. I imagine one day when every one of my neighbors stands around talking about what they've brewed up last. How cool would that be!