LG will be unveiling a smart craft beer machine at CES 2019

We’re more used to seeing LG unveiling giant television screens and robots at CES, but the South Korean company has unveiled an unexpected product ahead of time: a smart craft beer-brewing machine, called (of course) LG HomeBrew.

That may sound a contradiction in terms, given the craft of craft-beer making is being replaced by a machine, but there we are. For those that want to make their own brews in house, it certainly sounds like it has an appeal. Just pop in the capsule of your choice, wait around two weeks and you’ll have five litres of beer just waiting to be poured and consumed.

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HomeBrew’s capsules contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring in different balances depending on the brew you fancy. LG says five mixes will be available to begin with: an American IPA, an American pale ale, and English stout, a Belgian Witbier and a dry Czech pilsner.

Everything from fermentation to cleaning is handled by the hardware itself, making it a bit like a slower-moving Tassimo machine – only for booze, rather than caffeine. And of course because everything has to be smart, there’s a companion app for iOS and Android that lets you check in on your beer to see how it’s going and just how long you’ll have to wait for that first refreshing sip.

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“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we have developed over the decades,” said LG’s Song Dae-hyun. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barrier to entry and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Whether those people want something quite this simple remains to be seen – part of the appeal is in the art, after all, and a machine that automates everything completely takes that away. A lot, we suspect, will depend on the price – and that hasn’t been revealed yet. We’ll just have to wait until January for more details at CES 2019.

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