The Popping Bubble: Ridiculous Cash-In Gizmos Crashing The Bandwagon
My friends, the indie alcohol bubble may be popping. But it's not due to over-saturation of the market, and not due to the hops shortage, and not even due to InBev becoming the beer industry's own C'thulhu rising from the depths. (iA! iA!)
No, I'm talking about the recent proliferation of some of the most ridiculous gizmos imaginable, created solely for separating wealthy poseurs from equally-ridiculous amounts of cash in their quest to prove they can spend more on alcohol-related junk than you.
And as anyone who remembers the days of disco knows -or has just seen Saturday Night Fever- once a trend starts catering towards the rich and dumb, it's all downhill from there.
The Top Five Most Ridiculous (And Overpriced) Alcoholic Gizmos
1 - Le Whaf ($169)
"I'm so awesome, I don't even drink my booze. I inhale it."
At least, that's what the creators of Le Whaf were presumably hoping someone, somewhere would say. This device has the sole purpose of turning perfectly good beer, wine, and liquor (or pretty much any other liquid) into a cloud of mist. In the process, it loses all the calories, most of the taste, and all the alcohol.
While it could probably be used by some high-end bartenders to make $30 cocktails for suckers, that hardly makes things any better.
2 - eCool ($369)
"Save the World one earth cooled beer at a time" proclaims the website, surely winning an award for Egregiously Shameless Greenwashing. The eCool is a four-foot-high plastic and metal monstrosity that's buried in your backyard (probably with a gas-powered garden drill). Then, rather than storing beer in the refrigerator you undoubtedly already own, you can instead keep them underground and bring them up to the light with a handcrank.
(And they're now available at the Whole Foods in South Park...)
3 - Custom RC Coolers ($199-$399)\
Do you know someone who loves beer, loves sports, has way too much money, and rivals The Dude for sheer laziness? Then they can pay hundreds of dollars for a short-range RC car with room for 30 cans of beer (or one screaming child) wedged inside. They're available with official branding from a bunch of NFL, MLB, and college teams, or can even be ordered with custom livery if you truly cannot get enough electric neo-chintz.
Oh, and it includes a smartphone dock and music playback capabilities, because of course it does.
4 - Kuvee ($179)
If there's one thing worse than pretentious beer snobs, it's pretentious wine snobs. However, it's hard to imagine what sort of pretentious person would find the Kuvee appealing. This is an Internet-of-Things, WiFi-connected, Cloud-based wine bottle. Because someone out there, somewhere, seriously wants a touchscreen on their wine bottle rather than being able to actually see how much wine is left.
Supposedly it can keep a bottle good for up to a month (in pricey proprietary non-reusable metal cans), but talk about a solution in search of a problem!
5 - Synek($330)
Who doesn't drool at the idea of being able to pull their own hand-crafted pints straight from a tap in their own kitchen? With Synek, that dream can become a reality. Well, as long as you don't mind single-use baggies for storage which can only be filled at a handful of participating brewpubs. Oh, and if you're comfortable dealing with CO2 tanks that might burst out of it and go spraying around your room.
But they've got their own subreddit and a .beer URL domain, so clearly, it's a true Internet revolution.
(Seriously... dot-beer domains are a thing now?)