Mr. Beer began their campaign to make homebrewing accessible, affordable, and flavorful in 1993. Twenty-five years later, those just starting to make their own beer still recognize Mr. Beer as the ideal homebrewing kit to begin the hobby. Today numerous breweries across the United States are headed by brewmasters who started with a Mr. Beer Kit. Mr. Beer secured their position as the petite-but-powerful homebrew kit by making large improvements to their product and staying in tune with their brewers across their 25-year history.
As early as 1999, Mr. Beer improved upon their original two-gallon fermenter design. The first fermenter had a clear plastic body and stood upright. The model that replaced it resembled a little brown keg, keeping light off the fermenting wort and collecting sediment or “trub” from fermentation in its curved base. This smart advancement, now affectionately named the “LBK” for Little Brown Keg, is still Mr. Beer’s most popular fermenter. While many fermenters have been added to the Mr. Beer lineup since, the LBK remains a top-seller because of its lightweight, unbreakable design which assists in clarifying the beer and preventing skunking.
In 2012, the malt extract in every kit took a large leap in quality when Coopers Brewery of Australia acquired Mr.Beer. Coopers, the largest Australian-owned brewery, began providing Mr. Beer with hopped malt extract made with their own world class malt. Mr. Beer continues to be the only homebrewing kit with malt extract provided by a brewery.
Just 2 years ago, Mr. Beer recognized the growing interest in more intermediate homebrewing recipes, adding several “partial mash” recipes to their typically extract-only collection. As recently as last month, “steeping with specialty grains” homebrew kits were added to the Mr. Beer store in small one-gallon batches for new brewers who want “more hands-on experience with the ingredients that build their favorite craft beers,” said VP of Sales and Marketing Patrick Bridges.
Last month’s kit release also marked the occasion for the first glass fermenter ever included in a Mr. Beer kit in their history. Though the kit maker hasn’t turned entirely away from their durable and lightweight plastic fermenters, they see the increased desire for glass and the opportunity to better witness the beer’s fermentation.
Mr. Beer’s receptivity to the desires of both their loyal community of brewers and those eager to begin homebrewing has secured them their place as a household name for simple beer making kits. Encouraging homebrewing as an opportunity for creativity & experimentation, a hobby with community, and a chance to share with friends & family proved successful for Mr. Beer. The next 25 years will no doubt mean more shrewd product releases and modifications from the Mr. Beer team, all of which can be tracked from their frequently-refreshed homepage at www.mrbeer.com.