My brother and I have built stuff together all our lives. What else are two youngsters supposed to do after they are busted for watching T.V. and sent to their room; which they share? Well, I’ll tell you, you dump out the giant tub of Legos and start snapping together a spacecraft with rocket boosters, aerodynamic wings, and a landing station on the top bunk; I mean the moon. Yea, this became our nature. Out in the sand box we would wet down the sand and mound it up into huge piles that we would carve into castle like structures complete with supply roads for our trucks hauling top secret military loads of gravel, parking bays for tactically designed vehicles deployable for spy missions to the elm tree, and an airplane hangar with short steep runways capable of launching an airship at a moment’s notice. All this was defended by army rangers and GI Joe figurines with broken limbs and melted pieces of plastic that barely survived the chaos of the previous day. A water moat surrounded the perimeter filled with some old rusty pieces of metal we found in the ditch, which may or may not have resembled a crocodile, but sure as hell would have cut your foot if you stepped on them. I can still hear my brother yelling, “Turn on the hose, FULL BLAST!” It was natural, two brothers, only one year apart, time on their hands, a pile of old wood on our grandpa’s farm, what do you do? You build a fort! It was the nature of our relationship.
Years later we were rooming together and beer was on our minds. And yes, we had built a small and very functional brewery in the basement. One night, and I’m sure this is exactly how it happened, we were brewing. Not like witches, but brew masters using ancient techniques to weave together the flavors of roasted barley and hops. The mash tun had settled to about 158 degrees, perfect to give the brown ale the sweetness it needs to fight off the bitterness of the hops and the flavor I crave after a full day’s work. The smell of barley infused the wooden walls and tingled my nose with particles of chocolate and brown malt. The beer gods are real, I am certain of this. Somehow we got onto the subject of growlers and specifically, their limitations. Yes, a jug works good for water and even Kool-Aid or Tang, but beer? Do I need to answer that question? I probably have 10 of these things sitting around collecting dust and stealing my counter space. I have gotten growlers as gifts and given them as gifts, but I don’t use them because I can’t guarantee the beer will be fresh and carbonated when I want to drink it. That was the catalyst for our new building project. We envisioned a growler that could keep your beer fresh and carbonated. It had to have a CO2 source, it had to have a tap, it had to honor the brewery, it had to be a keg!
We put pencil to paper, booted up the internet. What parts can we find? Where can we get em? We were in our element. Parts arrived in the mail, “This part works, this part doesn’t work; that looks like shit!!!” Rework it, weld it, grind it. It was furious, but in the end the prototype worked! And here it is in all its glory. We call it the Hendrix Keg because Hendrix is our last name. You can use it like a growler and it will keep your beer fresh until you want to drink it.
We have been testing this prototype to find its limitations and how we can make it function better. We have moved the project into professional engineering to optimize the construction methods and design custom parts. We plan to roll it out on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter this summer, 2016. We hope you like it and if you are anything like us we think you will. Thanks a lot for reading! And visit us at hendrixkeg.com and follow us on social media for updates. Hmmm…What do we build now?!!