Snow Peak Shimo Growler
Just in time for summer, Japanese outdoor brand Snow Peak launched the Shimo Growler, a vacuum-insulated, double-wall, stainless-steel growler that feels more like an insulated pitcher than a proper growler. But there’s a lot to love about this one—the wide mouth makes for easy cleaning, the double silicone seal of the lid holds beer pressure, so you don’t lose foam as fast, and the clever open/close valve built into the lid lets you pour without having to re-open the vessel to the atmosphere each time. As with every highly engineered Snow Peak product, the details are considered, and everything from the finish to the pour flow rate is just right.
Bootleg Biology FerMENTORS Series Cultures
Culturing bottle dregs is one way to try your hand at mixed fermentation (and you get to drink the beer before doing the work!), but it can be hit or miss. Alcohol, CO2, pressure, and acidity can all impact the survival rate of the precious bugs. To help homebrewers make beers more in tune with the beers from top brewers who inspire them, Bootleg Biology has released the FerMENTORS Series, featuring commercially maintained and propogated original cultures from four of our favorite American wild- and sour-beer producers—Jester King (Austin), Yazoo’s Embrace the Funk (Nashville, Tennessee), Black Project (Denver), and The Rare Barrel (Berkeley, California). The 50 ml packages are designed for direct pitching into homebrew-scaled batches (no starter necessary; underpitching is desirable here!), and Bootleg Biology even has some starter recipes the breweries developed to showcase the cultures.
Fontop Glass Rinser
Fontop makes built-in home glass rinsers something everyone can afford with their line of stainless-steel and silicone rinsers. While others in the home rinser space can run $200-plus for a stainless-steel tray, Fontop keeps the price low with a DIY-friendly unit just about anyone can install. It’s heavy and durable and puts out a strong spray, and the silicon sheath for the glass surface is easy to keep clean. It’s a bit higher profile than some others we’ve used, but the height allows water to run out of the unit without the rinse water pooling. The only drawback is the plastic riser between the deck and the sink—that 3/8" (95 mm) gap creates more space to keep clean. Still, it’s a rinser we’re happy to leave installed in the office for our own glass-cleaning uses.