A startup that provides a countertop-sized draft beer dispenser with two-liter mini kegs to fill it with is making waves in the craft beer world. Hopsy launched in the San Francisco area three years ago and is expanding to new cities. The premise is simple. Customers buy the Sub Home Tap system from Hopsy, and order keg-sized torps filled with microbrews to fill it.
The company’s subscription model guarantees a steady stream of revenue. The SUB compact machine only fits torps that Hopsy sells, and customers are bound to place recurring orders for as long as they own the device. In addition to providing convenience for craft beer enthusiasts, the company also benefits from a commitment period, currently set at three months, that gives it access to special offers and discounts with breweries.
There are some kinks in the system, however. For one, it takes between 10 and 16 hours for a torp to cool down to the correct temperature. Another drawback is that there is no display to show how much beer is left in a torp or a counter to indicate when it’s no longer at its best.
Lastly, while the SUB’s keg-sized torps do have an expiration date on them, they are not refillable. It’s a shame, because the idea of having Pliny the Elder or an exclusive IPA from your favorite brewery at home is pretty appealing. But it is a small quibble. As for cleaning a torp, it is just a two-piece plastic assembly that features a valve and spout. The spout tube is attached to the neck of the torp, and the rotatable collar guides the tube away from the neck so it doesn’t get tangled when emptying.