CraftFlow is on a mission to end flat beer, while also enabling the enjoyment of original craft beer anywhere. Our patent pending beer dispensing system preserves the quality and taste of tap-fresh beer for up to 2 weeks! It’s portable, too, which means you can now bring the microbrew tap with you wherever you go.
What does a life of craft beer not limited by time or taste feel like? Read on!
If you want beer to last for a long time, just buy it bottled or canned, you say? Sure, if you enjoy the diluted taste of pasteurized beer. Beer from a keg is non-pasteurized as it is in a sealed, pressurized environment. But once it leaves the tap, you’ve got 3 or 4 hours tops to drink it or it goes bad.
So, traditionally, we’re left with a choice: convenience or quality?
But here’s the thing: choosing between convenience or quality is stupid. This is 2015, people, we don’t have to make those kinds of choices anymore.
Just like a keg, the beer is pushed out by pressure and gravity, meaning no CO₂ is required. After all, a “portable beer dispensing solution” isn’t really a solution at all if you have to carry around tanks of gas with you. That’s just silly.
Bringing CraftFlow to Your Local Brewery
What’s the best way to distribute this next-level invention of ours? At your local microbrewery.
When you head to a microbrewery, what’s the one thing you plan on getting above all else? A growler, right? They’re fun, big, and filled with that pure gold craft beer you love so much.
But here’s the problem with growlers: their shelf life is pretty much nonexistent. When you were in college, nothing was better than downing a growler (or two) in a single sitting, but times have changed, haven’t they? Feeling like a huge sack of garbage the next day isn’t as exciting as it once was. We get you.
Just because craft beer brewers only sell their products locally, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to preserve that fresh-from-the-tap quality in your fridge for a while.
Well, worry about spoiling no more ‘cause the results are in: your favorite craft beer will stay fresh in our easy-to-use and refillable pouches for up to 2 weeks.
The CraftFlow container uses a flexible reusable pouch as the beer container. This pouch is then placed in a rigid plastic container with a flexible bladder. By pumping up the bladder with a simple hand motion, the beer is pressure dispensed through a tap on the front of the container. No air is ever allowed to enter the pouch, thus maintaining the CO₂ levels and ensuring the flavor and carbonation remains.
The container is the perfect size to store in your refrigerator — roughly the same size as a gallon of milk. The portable handle means you can take it with you on picnics or to the beach as well. It’s simple with very few moving parts — an easy to use and clean solution.
CraftFlow deploys two distribution models, local and online. Both of which allow breweries to brand our reusable beer pouches in any way they like.
- CraftFlow provides individual brewers with dispensers, filling stations, and proprietary sealed pouches.
- Pouches are filled at the individual brewer for local distribution.
- The sealed pouches are easily inserted into the CraftFlow beer dispenser.
- Original craft beer is enjoyed by the consumer anywhere.
- Individual brewers subscribe to the CraftFlow online ordering system.
- CraftFlow provides individual brewers with filling stations and pouches.
- Consumers place online orders for a dispensers, filling station, sealed pouches, and their desired craft beer.
- Brewers receive fill orders from CraftFlow.
- Beer orders are filled at and shipped from individual brewers in the sealed pouches.
- This approach allows consumers to try craft beers that are not from their local area.
CraftFlow is much more than just an ingenious idea — we have multiple working proof of concept prototypes that are well on their way to being ready for market.
Proof of Concept Test Results
We put our prototype up against a standard glass growler and a Grolsch style growler. With all test subjects, a 64oz container was filled directly from a standard craft beer tap, and 8oz of beer was dispensed each day for 7 consecutive days. The results:
CraftFlow prototype: 2.2% CO₂ loss after 7 days, maintained natural brewed flavor and aroma.
Standard glass growler with screw cap: 1.9% CO₂ loss after 7 days, spoiled taste and aroma on day 2.
Grolsch style rubber stopper: 1.9% CO₂ loss after 7 days, spoiled taste and aroma on day 3.
10-12 days after initial tap pour, the carbonation in our prototype was at 95% of original. The CraftFlow system has been proven to keep beer fresh for up to 14 days with daily dispensing, and up to 1 month without dispensing.
Protecting our Intellectual Property
We have filed a patent that covers our unique air bladder dispensing system and two fitment pouches. The air bladder compresses the beer pouch to a set pressure thereby keeping the natural carbonation in the beer, assisting in the dispensing of the beer, and eliminating empty volumes in the beer pouch. All of this prevents air from coming in contact with the beer.
Moving Towards Market-Ready
We’ve spoken with several brewers and end users about CraftFlow already and have received great feedback. We’re currently getting quotes from industrial designers, after which we can finalize a manufacturing partnership.
Make sure to request access to the business plan tab of this profile to see how you can get involved in the future of CraftFlow!
Gene Eckert, Co-Founder & Director of Marketing
Gene has spent his 40+ year career selling and managing automation for brands like Bosch and ABB. He is a partner in Package Flow Concepts and has 20+ patents pending. In addition to being a co-designer, as Director of Marketing for CraftFlow, Gene is our spokesman.
Dave Brown, Co-Founder & President
Dave is the President of Pack Flow Concepts. He has extensive experience with manufacturers in the areas of healthcare, security, product inspection, and military. His experience in manufacturing settings has involved products as small as contact lenses and as large as railroad wheels and axles. Dave has a BS in Electrical Engineering and has been involved with image acquisition and processing for over 30 years and with machine vision and automated inspection applications for over 15 years. He is a co-designer of the CraftFlow product and focuses on its manufacturability.
Steve Derby, Co-Founder & CTO
Steve is an expert in automation, design, and manufacturing. He is a retired professor from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has designed and prototyped dozens of novel automation products.
Richard Pickreign, Vice President & General Counsel
Rich is an intellectual property executive that focuses on small and early stage companies. He was previously Chief IP Counsel for a half a billion dollar tech company, Brooks Automation, and has extensive experience in IP creation, protection, and commercialization. Rich has a BS in Electrical Engineering, an MBA in Operations and Entrepreneurship, and a JD Intellectual Property Law.