Aaron Walls and Matt Goff both attended Cornell University. Aaron earned an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, while Matt earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Both went on to work in their respective fields in various locations around the country. It may seem strange that the two went on to become co-founders of a company dedicated to the brewing of fine beer—at home. However, it’s a safe assumption they probably downed a few beers together while pursuing their advanced degrees at Cornell!
In 2013, they created BrewJacket (which was renamed BEERMKR, Inc. in 2021), with their first product, Immersion. This product allowed beer brewers to create a lager style beer without the need for refrigeration.
Kickstarter campaigns provided a large portion of the funding needed to create their current product. In September of 2018 a campaign was initiated with a goal of $100,000. By the end, over 1,000 backers from the United States and many places around the world had pledged $398,276.
The firm is located in Boulder, Colorado, and the prototype made its debut at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver at the same time the Kickstarter campaign began. Lucas High of the Boulder Daily Camera publicized the event with an article on September 6, 2018. Brett Vegas, who had joined the company as marketing director, described their new home brewing system as “smaller, cleaner, and basically idiot-proof.” Brett explained that many existing home brew systems took several hours to set up, were cumbersome and messy, and required transferring the beer during the brewing process. He said their home brewing system would take the home brewing process “out of the basement” and onto the kitchen counter.
That same month, Andrew Gebhart, of CNET, wrote that he had been unsuccessfully searching for a “beer bot” that fit all his criteria for a good home brewing system. He wanted prepackaged ingredients, an automatic start-to-finish process, and appropriate temperature control at all stages of the brewing process. Gebhart described the new BEERMKR as promising to fulfill all those criteria.
BEERMKR was featured at Consumer Technology Association’s annual trade show (usually held in Las Vegas, but in 2021 was digital due to pandemic restrictions). Valerie Antkowiak, who covers the trade show for, called it the best home brewing system among the many that have been shown to date.
BEERMKR is designed to allow brewers to use their own ingredients, but also provides pre-made recipes (MKRKITs). Even with the pre-made, BEERMKR encourages experimentation, perhaps adding some chocolate to Chubby Stout, for example. All the grains are sourced from the same growers that supply grain for major craft breweries, and are packed into pre-portion bags. A variety of yeast packets are also available. The unit and associated supplies and “swag” can be purchased through the website.