Don’t tell my boss I went day drinking at CES 2024, thanks to this new home brew machine

(Image credit: Future)

Sometimes, there are some real perks to walking for miles around the CES exhibition halls. Such was the case when I happened upon the booth for iGulu, a new home brewing machine that simplifies the process of making beer in your home. 

Eager to demonstrate that its product is no swill, the company was handing out small samples of IPAs, lagers, ales, and other flavors of suds at CES 2024. So, I sidled up for a sip and a demonstration.

The iGulu machine is about the size of a very large air fryer; the cylindrical machine has a tap on the front with a small touchscreen. Open the lid, and you'll find the fermentation keg, which holds just shy of one gallon of beer. 

To use the machine, you first get a brew kit for the type of beer you want to make; each kit contains a packet of malt extract, yeast, hops, and whatever else that particular brew requires.  

Next, you fill the keg with water, and follow the instructions on the machine or the connected app to add the various ingredients. Barcodes on the kits let the machine know what you're making, and it will tell you when to add each packet.

From there, you connect the keg to the machine, which takes over from there. In as little as two weeks, you'll have your own beer, ready to go. Simply pull on the tap and enjoy. 


(Image credit: Future)

Obviously, this is all much less involved than what traditional homebrewers have to do, and iGulu is not the first company to try and simplify the brewing process; others, such as PicoBrew have tried and failed, so it remains to be seen if iGulu will thrive or be nothing but foam. However, PicoBrew did involve a few more steps than the iGulu, so it had a higher barrier of entry.

The iGulu F1 is currently available for preorder for $599; its regular price will be $749. Extra kegs can be purchased for $59 each, so you can make several types of beer and store them. The company has three beer kits on its site — a pale ale, Bavarian wheat, and an Amber lager — but I saw a much wider range at its booth at CES. Each kit costs between $17.99 and $19.99, so between the cost of the machine and the kits, you'd have to brew a lot of beer before you'd break even from buying it at the store.

As for the iPA I tried? It was no Lawson's, but it had a pleasing taste, even if I enjoyed my sample at 10 a.m. I'm just glad our CMS has a spellchecker.

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.