Seeing these reminds me of the Woot! of old.
Was just coming to post the same thing. Haven’t seen this guy around in ages.
I don’t normally drink beer, but I bought this on a lark years ago. The beer it made was actually really good, and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done as far as “DIY” stuff goes.
Though now I’ve moved on to “About to buy a big winemaking kit to do mead”
I remember years ago Maxim magazine did a review of Mr. Beer. They commented that the beer tasted like the really fizzy cheap stuff. (while admitting everyone drank it anyway) but I’ll never forget their ending comment:
“This isn’t Mr. Beer, it’s Mrs. Beer.”
As a lifelong brewer, my advice is to un away from this deal unless you just want to get frustrated. Two gallons of beer at a time is just silly. Get a real five gallon kit from a brewing supply place.
These beer brewing kits can be a fairly inexpensive introduction to homebrewing your own beer, but the ingredients that are included in the refill kits and the included directions don’t really produce a beer that is representative of what’s easily possible to brew at home.
The big disadvantage to these kinds of kits is that, yes, you can brew a batch of beer fairly quickly, and it is at least drinkable, but many would-be homebrewers end up disappointed by the final product, compared to what they were expecting, and give up on the idea of brewing their own, wondering why they went to all that trouble for 11 beers, compared to the $7-$8 they could have spent on a 12-pack of perfectly good beer down at the corner convenience store. The plastic keg and bottles then get packed back into their box and stuck in the basement for the next garage sale.
If you do just a little research and learn more about basic homebrewing using modern techniques (I highly recommend Charlie Papazian’s book “The Complete Joy of Home Brewing” 2014 edition, and there’s much on the internet), you’ll see that homebrewing very good beer is entirely possible. And while you can re-use the equipment in this kit, you’ll probably not want to buy the Mr. Beer refill ingredients to brew any subsequent batches. The ingredients you need can be bought less expensively (based on a per case equivalent price) at your local or online homebrewing supply shop. And if you get that far, it’s not very expensive to acquire the proper basic equipment to homebrew using these modern practices.
Much obliged for the commentary. Always wanted give craft beer making a try and have been tempted to try one of these kits first but after reading your comment I think Im going to do this the right way. I hate to be disappointed with sub par beer and be done with it because of a kit like this one.
Had one of these several years ago. The beer was okay, not great. I ended up buying all sorts of equipment to do larger batches, but, alas, it’s a lot easier to head to the local liquor store!
I agree that the beer that comes from the more serious kits is much higher quality. But these Mr. Beer kits are a GREAT introduction to the basics, especially at this price. Starting right off with a big 5 galllon set-up for your first time can be intimidating, and there are many pitfalls you will find on your first attempt that could convince you the process is too hard. Mr. Beer simplifies the process, yes, but it helps to learn the basics. I am glad I started with a Mr. Beer, I still fire mine up from time to time, and at this price I might buy a second just for the hell of it. The bottles will always be useful even when you get a larger setup, and the keg you can use just like a smaller version of a 5-gallon bucket, if you want to experiment with a small batch of something new.
This thing is what it is. The final product is to beer what powdered Lipton is to iced tea. That said, if after you brew a batch or two out of this thing you find that you enjoy the process, do yourself a favor and pickup a legit starter beer brewing kit from just about any online retailer or your local hobby shop. You’ll be much happier with the finished product.
IMHO as a homebrewer, if you have never brewed before and want an idea of the steps it takes, a kit at this price point is a very nice introduction.
I am a small batch brewer and the little football you get with this is the perfect size, though I upgraded to a BrewDemon conical.
Oh, and while the beer isn’t the best in the world, it’s really not bad. And Mr Beer has all extract kits on their site that are of a much better quality than what you get in these starter kits.
edit: Just peeked at the specific kits since I wasn’t sure which ones I’ve actually had. The American light one is the so-so kit. The IPA kit is actually pretty nice.