Brewbot, the smart brewing technology created by Cargo IO in Belfast, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative product that is now winning export business in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Taiwan.
The company, which has created a unique craft brewing system that can be monitored and controlled by smartphone, has received R&D support and marketing assistance from Invest NI for the Brewbot micro-brewery and associated internet-linked sensors. Invest NI support for R&D is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Director of Growth and Scalability, said: “Brewbot is successfully tapping into the fast growing craft brewing market, especially in the US and Europe.
“The Brewbot team has applied their software expertise to transform a hobby into a business that is attracting the attention of craft beer and ale enthusiasts and led to a series of orders for the smart brewing kit they’ve developed with R&D assistance.
“Our assistance has also enabled this small company to launch the innovative technology at international trade shows and technology events including the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where it proved to be one of the most popular new product introductions. They’ve brought craft brewing into the mobile age,” he added.
Almost £200,000 worth of business has been secured by the company from customers in export markets.
Jonny Campbell, Brewbot Creative Lead, said: “What our technology and starter kit does is to make it possible to brew consistently high quality beer with an iPhone or an Android mobile phone.
“Our technology takes all the hassle from craft brewing such as water measurements, timing and temperatures and enables brewers to control the process effectively using the mobile internet. Our package includes advice on recipes and ingredients and guidance on the brewing process from start to finish.
“It’s the result of our own interest in and experiences from brewing our own beers at home. What we have done is to use the knowledge and expertise from our day jobs as mobile software developers to create an easy-to-use, controlled brewing process using the latest sensor technology.
“We also focused on designing a compact micro brewery that also looks well and isn’t out of place in the corner of a kitchen or study. It also fits perfectly at sporting, leisure and musical events.
“Invest NI’s support for the development of the product and technology, and in marketing it, has been invaluable. It helped us to convert a smart idea into a smart technology product that is now attracting huge international interest, interest which has led to orders for the system. A measure of the confidence in the technology is the £115,000 backing from enthusiasts using Kickstarter crowdfunding platform,” he added.
Brewbot was launched in 2013 by the Cargo IO team, based at Exchange Place in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, comprising founder Chris McClelland, Jonny Campbell, Niall Kelly, Keenan Graham, Ali Sisk and Aaron Gilmore.