The American brewing industry reached another milestone at the end of June, with more than 3,000 breweries operating for all or part of the month (3,040 to be precise). Although precise numbers from the 19th century are difficult to confirm, this is likely the first time the United States has crossed the 3,000 brewery barrier since the 1870s.
The company's prototype, called the SYNEK draft system, sits on your kitchen counter and dispenses beer—even from the most obscure craft breweries. The secret behind this "Keurig for beer" is a new kind of flexible packaging that holds the equivalent of about eleven 12-ounce beer cans, says SYNEK strategic director Mike Werner.
The idea is that any brewery can fill up the bags and ship them out in cartridges, which look like the boxes coffeehouses sell for meetings. Take a box home, pop it into the toaster-size SYNEK, and pour a cold one whenever you want. The cartridges keep the beer fresh for about 30 days and are as easy to store as a bag of ground coffee.