The Bottoms Up beer system, which promises a perfect fast pour of draft beer, has finally been released to eager DIY fans. Fans who have already figured out how to auger the normally commercial grade system into everything from a recliner to a shower. The Bottoms Up system is simple and ingenious. The key is a special cup with a magnetized lid in the bottom of it.
When the cup is pushed down over the dispensing unit, the lid pops up and beer flows freely into the cup. When the cup is lifted off, the lid snaps back down keeping the beer from coming back out again. Filling from the bottom has the obvious and immediate upside of reducing the chances of generating a massive beer foam head and means that the cup can be filled much more quickly. Also, since the cup locks to the dispensing unit, it's a totally hands-free filling experience.
The company that makes Bottoms Up, GrinOn Industries, was reluctant to release the system for home use because its business model relies primarily upon selling large volumes of proprietary cups. But the demand was so great that it finally started shipping a system suitable for home installation.
Because it's not immediately clear how to order the home unit, we gave the sales department at Bottoms Up a call. The helpful rep informed us of the following pertinent details:
- The Bottoms Up Home Unit is just the dispenser. The cooling system is extra and you'll need to provide your own CO2 and kegerator. They suggest looking for tips at this site.
- It's not exactly cheap. The dispenser will set you back $1,149.
- The home unit comes without the stainless steel chassis featured in the commercial unit. This means you're given more flexibility for installation. Shower? Sure. Recliner? Absolutely. Dining table? We don't see why not.
- Speaking to the cooling system, which costs an additional $125, the rep suggested that while it's not strictly mandatory it's generally a good idea. The cooling system is a glycol-filled sheath that fits over the tube that feeds the Bottoms Up from your keg. Without it, hot spots can develop in the line and the proportion of foam to beer, even dispensed from the bottom, can get out of control. This problem isn't that big of a deal if the distance from your keg to dispenser is shorter than few feet, but it becomes more pronounced after that point. In other words, if you're planning on building your own shower beer dispenser you'll likely need the cooling system to prevent taking a beer foam shower.