Have you ever wondered why beer tastes so much better when it’s fresh out of a tap? With this question in mind, New Jersey native Philip Petracca, co-founder and CEO of Fizzics, decided to dig deep – really deep – into the science behind what makes beer taste good.
Being an engineer, Petracca’s curiosity and technical prowess led him and a friend to uncover the many scientific secrets to beer dispensing including flavor, taste, aroma, carbonation, foam and even something called “mouth-feel.”
Ten months of research later and the first Fizzics prototype was born, a portable draft beer dispenser capable of enhancing the taste and drinkability of canned and bottled beer. The prototype was shown off to potential consumers at beer events including the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival.
“We figured we’ll bring it in front of the core audience and the brew masters, and if they endorse it, then maybe we really have something,” Petracca says. “The response was tremendous. We had over 800 people give us their names and e-mail addresses, and give a commitment to buy the final product just from tasting it at the festival.”
With no money to apply towards marketing, much of Fizzics early advertising consisted of self-promotion on social media and going to events and festivals to connect directly with the people who would eventually buy a polished product.
Petracca even recalls dropping in on various media group headquarters in New York with the prototype and a cooler of beer in hand, asking to speak to the tech editor. “I would tell them that I didn’t have an appointment, but I was there with beer … and 100 percent of the time they would let me up,” he laughs.
This eventually fueled an extreme enthusiasm within the crowdfunding community, and led to one of the top raising Kickstarter campaigns of all time.
“We hit our goal the first day … quit our jobs the second day … and we’ve been running ever since,” Petracca says, referring to the first campaign the company ran on Indiegogo.
In addition to crowdfunding, Fizzics’ appearance on the show “Shark Tank” was paramount to the success it’s seeing today. “We did the second highest straight equity deal ever on the show,” Petracca says.
The Wall-based company’s most recent personal tap model, the Fizzics Waytap, is a sleek and portable version of the original and runs on AA batteries. Beer is poured under pressure at a controlled rate to maintain carbonation in the body of the beer, and sound waves are used to perfect the density, stability and texture of the foam – the most vital part of the beer in terms of affecting taste according to Petracca. The Fizzics Waytap has a retail price of $130.
“You don’t have to be a craft beer aficionado to appreciate the product,” he says. “Even folks who are drinking a Bud Light or Miller Lite understand that it tastes better on draft. We’re really solving a problem that everyone has known about their whole beer-drinking lives.”