Pat's Backcountry Beverages claims to have invented the first and only fully portable brew system on earth.
Wherever you are, the company claims all you have to do is simply add water to brew your own beer.
That's a lot of promise packed into each 50 milliliter pouch for an initial investment of almost $100.
So, America Now decided to put Pat's convenient beverages to the test.
Pat's Backcountry Beverages claims its beer concentrate is comparable to most microbrews on the market.
The company describes its beer as "elegantly crafted" with a "delicate blend of aromatic malts and cascade hops."
Chad Henderson is the head brewer at NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte, NC. Since he's an expert on beer, we asked him to help us evaluate Pat's Backcountry Beverages.
"It smells boozy," Henderson said.
We also asked Shawn McBride, who is an expert homebrewer, to give us his opinion.
"It smells like, it smells sweet," he said.
After trying our three samples, another tester named 'Pete' said, "Fail, fail, and maybe."
Before our testers took the first sip, we had to spend some serious time reading Pat's study guide.
"Alright, got a book here," McBride said.
It didn't take long before we realized we had a big problem.
"We have the beverage, we have the carbonator, but where's the activator?" McBride asked.
Four packs of concentrate had to be ordered from a different website which is one of Pat's online partners.
Our tab started with one "Pale Rail" and one "Black Hops" at $99 each, plus an additional $25 for shipping.
Then, we tacked on another $44 to cover shipping for the custom carbonator bottle at Pat's website.
Neither of our orders, however, included 'activator packets' and that's pretty important for getting bubbles into the brew.
"I know it probably weighs less than carrying a 4-pack around and all, but I bet the tool box you'd have to buy in order to get it all together will probably outweigh everything," Henderson said.
Nevertheless, we were determined not to give up.
"We'll still try to do it right," Henderson said. "It says to start the reaction, unlock the lever and cycle it."
He held the lever down firmly and shook the bottle vigorously for two seconds. Next, the instructions said we needed to stop shaking, wait one second and lift the lever up. Then, we had to wait two seconds before repeating steps for one to two minutes.
"You will also be made fun of by all your friends in your hiking party," Henderson said.
Giving his weary arm a rest, three glasses of both types of beer were poured.
After taking the first sip, we asked Henderson what he thought about it.
"Like a sweet, weird, hoppy note," he said.
It seemed the process, not our lack of carbonation, was what really fell flat about this brewing system.
"I would think in camping, you try to make things easier," Henderson said.
If you plan to make beer concentrate out in the wild, you will have to find a water source which means you'll also have to boil or find a lake or stream with purified water.
But that's not all. You'll also have to cool it or bring your own seltzer water along with you which really defeats the whole weight-saving idea.
So, what was the verdict from our testers?
"I don't know what sort of camping person carries so much beer on their trips that it's become this great, arduous, toil for them to deal with," Henderson said. "Most people usually just take a couple packs, that's it. They don't intend to go up and get tanked in the mountains!"
While beer concentrate may be an interesting and alternative idea, the craft beer lovers we spoke to said there's no room for concentrate when a little extra energy and cargo space let's you sip from your favorite microbrew can.
Instead of removing water from beer to concentrate it, Pat's Backcountry Beverages uses patent-pending technology that adds almost no water to begin with!
The result is so concentrated it actually has to be classified as a 'distilled spirit' and not a 'beer.'
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