Pinter 2 Homebrew Beer Review Rating
The Pinter 2 is a big upgrade in quality compared to the original. Just like the original, this produces the best homebrew beer I have had. I think this is a perfect introduction to home brew, and I think it would be an amazing Christmas gift for anyone that enjoys beer.
Overall - 75%
- All-in-one system that is much more user friendly than traditional home brew
- Excellent beer
- Cheaper than Perfect Draft & potentially cheaper than supermarket beer
- Overpriced refills (which have increased in price a lot in the past 2 years)
Two years ago, I reviewed the Pinter, which I found to be an incredibly user-friendly way to get into homebrewing, and it produced some of the best homebrew beer I have brewed.
I found that it was let down by the steep price of the beer refills. However, back then, everyone was going mad for the Perfect Draft, and this is another product that I personally believed overcharges for the beer. So, my opinion is obviously not the same as others. I am still right, though.
I am now back with the Pinter 2, and being the hypocrite I am, I also recently bought the new Perfect Draft Pro. For the sole purpose of reviewing, of course.
In the past, I never even thought to compare the two products. To me, homebrew is not comparable to buying off-the-shelf branded beer that you can drink as soon as it's cold, but I noticed people on HotUKDeals suggesting the Pinter 2 as an alternative to the Perfect Draft, so here we are.
Features: What is the Pinter 2?
The Pinter 2 is basically just a homebrew kit. However, the company has taken a reasonably simple process and made it simpler.
Even though home brewing beer using malt extract kits is very easy, I always found it a bit of a chore. There is loads of sterilisation to do, it's a bit messy, takes ages and takes up a lot of space.
You also end up with about 40 pints, and I found that I quite frequently wasn't that fond of the beer I made.
The Pinter 2 simplifies the process. You brew everything in the keg that you end up drinking from. Sterilising everything takes a few minutes. The keg doesn't take up too much space. You are not messing around with carbonation and the potential of exploding bottles. And all the beer I have had so far tastes amazing.
If you are tight-fisted like me, it is still overpriced compared to normal home brewing, but I still think it is an excellent introduction to homebrew.
Beer Price Comparison vs Traditional Home Brewing Beer
Just to make my point, let's look at the prices.
The Pinter 2 costs £129 RRP, but you can normally buy it for £99. The beer then costs between £18 and £20, and it produces 10 pints. So, you have £120 for your first brew, then up to £2 per pint for subsequent home brews.
The cost of beer has gone up significantly. Two years ago, when I reviewed the Pinter, the packs were £10-£14 each, or you could pay £12 per month for regular delivery.
That's a 43% increase in beer prices in two years! I know inflation is bad, but that's a piss-take.
For traditional homebrew, you can pick up an American pale ale microbrewery starter kit for just £75. This includes a barrel which will be less time-consuming to sterilise and bottle, but you have to neck 40 pints before it goes off. The alternative is PET bottles, which are cheap, but I hate plastic bottles or more expensive glass bottles. Sterilising 40 bottles is a pain in the arse.
The Youngs Premium Ale Kit IPA which I referenced in my original review, was £31 on Amazon back then. It is currently £29.99. This will produce 36+ pints. So, under £1 per pint. Another popular premium kit is the Bulldog Evil Dog Double IPA for around £36.
Beer Price Comparison: Pinter 2 vs Perfect Draft
I find the comparison between Perfect Draft a bit odd. With Perfect Draft, you have branded beer that is already brewed for you. I can literally go down to a shop near me, pull out a Perfect Draft keg from the fridge and be drinking my beer within an hour or so. If I have multiple kegs at home, when one is done, I swap it out. With the Pinter, I have to wait 8 days or so before my next keg is ready.
It is worth noting that Pinter sells a co-Pinter, which is basically just the Pinter without the brew dock. This is £79 and allows you to have a second brew going while you drink your first.
The Perfect Draft machine is £315 for the Pro or £350, including a keg, but it goes on sale semi-regularly, and I bought it for £211.45, including a keg of Goose Island and two glasses.
The original PD machine is £260.
Perfect Draft Kegs are typically £35 but go up to £44 depending on the ABV. You get £5 back when you return a keg.
So, call it £30 for 6L; that's £5 per litre. That's quite a bit more than the £3.5 per litre of Pinter 2, but I am not sure if spending £1.50 extra per litre of pre-brewed branded beer that you can drink within a few hours of purchase is unreasonably more expensive.
I have criticised Pinter for jacking up the prices, but this is also the case for Perfect Draft. They have ditched the 15% off deals they used to do, and the prices have been going up at regular intervals. People have correctly pointed out that it is often cheaper to have a pint in Wetherspoons than from your Perfect Draft (though some may still view that as a good reason to stick with the PD machine). Many people are so furious they are ditching Perfect Draft altogether.
Beer Price Comparison vs Supermarket
The original argument for Pinter was that it was cheap. They literally stated:
“No Duty means savings passed directly to you. Secondly, with the Pinter you're consolidating the traditional brewing process – your Fresh Beer is fermenting at home, so a streamlined overall process. You buy direct from us, so no retail margins, which means 10 pints at 30% of the cost of craft beer, whilst maintaining the quality.”
They have now pivoted on those claims and now focus on how sustainable home brewing is vs buying normal beer, and there is a big focus on the quality of the beer (which, to be fair, is good).
So, with Pinter 2, you are looking at close to £20 for 10x568ml (assuming the claims are correct and they have factored in wastage). That's about £3.5 per litre.
Prices for craft beer from supermarkets vary widely and can be driven down by all the offers they do.
Asda has beers priced from £3.28/lt (Brewdog Punk IPA) going up to around £6.82/lt for singles of big cans such as Vocation Life & Death Classic IPA. They have 4 for 3 on the big cans saving you 25%, which reduces the price to £5.8 per litre.
So, technically, you can save money vs supermarket prices, but it is a close call, and you need to factor in the time it takes to brew.
Pinter 2 vs Pinter 1 Differences
The Pinter 2 has been redesigned and is significantly better than the older model. The keg is now a metal design (I think) vs the lightweight plastic of the original.
In my original review, one commenter stated that it was a great product, but unfortunately, it doesn't work for long before breaking and becoming unusable. Hopefully, that wasn't a common problem with the original Pinter, but if it was, I think it shouldn't be too much of a problem now.
You now have a new port on the back of the Pinter. They have a new range of beers which allows you to add additional hops later into the brewing process. These come in a small hopper bottle which screws into the hopper port without exposing your beer to any nasty contamination.
Brewing Beer in the Pinter 2
Moving on to the actual review bit. Brewing in the Pinter 2 is largely the same as the Pinter 1. It is very simple.
One negative is that, for some idiotic reason, everything is done via an app now, which requires you to sign up. I am not opposed to them having an app, but previously, you could just go to a web page and view the guide without all the faff.
However, the app works OK, and you can set up brewing times within the app to notify you to do each step.
Each stage is broken down into individual steps with video tutorials, so the whole process is more or less idiot-proof.
The clever thing about Pinter is that it is all done in one keg. You are only sterilising one thing rather than a massive bucket and dozens of bottles. You then drink out of the keg you brewed it in.
They have a brewing dock that attaches to the end of the keg. When you brew, all the sediments drop into this. When the brew is done, you remove this, and you should have a mostly sediment-free beer.
The keg also includes a little dial to control the carbonation. With normal homebrew, you allow the CO2 to be released, then have to do a secondary fermentation to add in the carbonation. There is none of that here, and it seems to have a more pleasant carbonation because of it.
While brewing just 10 pints may seem like a bit of a waste of time, it is convenient because the keg you brew it in is nicely sized and can easily fit in a fridge. Those 40L homebrew kegs are not fitting in anything.
As previously mentioned, the new Pinter 2 has an additional port on the rear, which then allows you to add hops for more flavour further down the brewing process. This is quite clever because they have done it in a self-contained and presumably sterile way. The hopper has a seal on it, and you screw it directly into the rear of the Pinter 2, breaking the seal and allowing the hops to go into the Pinter without any exposure to the air and bacteria.
I may have been quite critical of the Pinter during parts of this review, but I have to give it to them. They have excellent beer.
My homebrew beer in the past would often be hit or miss. My carbonation would also be all over the place, and you'd get the inevitable sediment in your beer.
This comes out perfectly; carbonation is superb, it tastes great, and there is little to no sediment.
The keg is perfectly sized for a fridge, plus it is a flask design, so when you do take it out of the fridge, the beer remains cold inside the keg.
Every credit to them; the overall design and quality, both beer and keg, is excellent.
The Pinter 2 is a big upgrade in quality compared to the original. The original feels cheap and nasty compared to this. The new hopping process is also an excellent addition.
Just like the original Pinter, this produces the best homebrew beer I have had. Though my old home brew beer wasn't great.
My opinion hasn't really changed in two years. I think this is a perfect introduction to home brew, and I think it would be an amazing Christmas gift for anyone that enjoys beer.
Long term, I am just too tight-fisted to think this is a sensible option for me, personally. At £2 a pint, I think the beer is too expensive if you have to brew it yourself. It is more annoying knowing the cost of beer has risen over 40% in two years.
If you are not a scrooge and you are looking at this as an alternative to premium products such as the Perfect Draft, then yes, I can see the appeal, and I would recommend it. The beer is excellent, and it is something you can't find on supermarket shelves or in Perfect Draft kegs.