Belgian beverage start-up Bar.on has developed the world’s first molecular beer printer, capable of creating multiple types of beer in seconds. Using molecular-level flavour compounds, different beer styles can be constructed and customised in terms of alcohol percentage, bitterness, fruitiness, sweetness and spices.
The Antwerp-based company’s pioneering One Tap prototype can produce various beer styles such as blond, brown, IPA and triple, to name a few, including high-quality non-alcoholic variants. Users can choose any beer of their taste, fully customised and freshly mixed, to enjoy at home or in a bar.
You instantly make any beer you and your friends like by pushing a few buttons. Or get creative and experiment with your own flavour combinations. High, low or no alcohol? More or less fruity, bitter or sweet? The only limit is your imagination.Bar.on
The start-up uses natural flavour compounds, many of which are also used in conventional brewing processes. However, the One Tap beer printer bypasses the need for fermentation and also avoids the shipment of heavy finished product, significantly reducing the ecological footprint and cost of transportation.
Additionally, Bar.on aims to reduce waste, by minimising packaging, and it also makes efficient use of water, requiring only locally sourced water from the tap. Their mission is to provide instant, fresh, personalised and planet-friendly beer, using water from the tap. The company’s founders, CEO Dirk Standaert and CPO Valentijn Destoop, teamed up with VIB/KU Leuven’s professor Kevin Verstrepen to create the prototype.
Creating molecular recipes is based on a decade of specialised research conducted by experienced scientists, brewers and sensory experts on the chemical and sensory characteristics of beer. So far, the first molecular beer recipes have performed strongly in blind taste tests, the company says, opening new possibilities for enjoying beer tailored to individual tastes in a more sustainable way.
While the launch date and price for the One Tap are yet to be confirmed, a version for pubs and bars, called One Tap Pro, is currently being developed and is expected to be field tested later this year. “As a science company, we are building smart devices to demonstrate the capabilities of digitising beverages”, says Valentijn Destoop, Chief Product Officer. Bar.on is initiating talks with hardware manufactures who could assist in rolling out beer printers to different markets.
Bar.on raised €1.8 million in seed capital in 2022 and is currently in conversation with beverage brands to set up a collaboration, offer a more sustainable solution and potentially even lower the production costs, particularly for non-alcoholic beers, since the market for low to non-alcoholic beer is expanding rapidly, with more consumers seeking better-tasting options.