This article was published on 17 April 2013
Launched in Auckland in April 2011, the WilliamsWarn is an all-in-one personal brewing machine capable of creating commercial-quality beer in just seven days.
The machine’s innovative design and patented process ensures minimal oxidation, making its draft beer the freshest produced on the planet.
“We see huge potential for the WilliamsWarn in the home, workplace, bars or cafes, not just in New Zealand but also globally,” says Ian Williams, New Zealand's first qualified Brew Master and co-founder of WilliamsWarn.
“The global beer industry is worth US$330 billion per year and there is a noticeable trend towards craft brewing. WilliamsWarn gives people the opportunity to create their own high-quality beer, while also having the freedom to experiment and create their own twist on classics."
More than 32 per cent of Kiwi men have tried home-brewing but the majority have not carried it through because of the time involved and the low-quality of the beer produced. The WilliamsWarn solves many of these problems – such as the carbonation, temperature control, fermentation and clarification.
The machine was initially dreamt up by Williams in 2004 whilst discussing the difficulties of home-brewing with his uncle. Williams’ uncle remarked that whoever could solve the difficulties associated with home-brewing would become a millionaire. The seed was planted and Mr Williams partnered with Anders Warn – a food technology engineer and close friend – to create a solution.
Government contributed $200,000 in funding towards WilliamsWarn’s research and development (R&D) in mid 2010. This was used to develop and test prototype units and to carry out research into beer ingredients and the brewing industry.
For Ian Williams, getting government funding was a big endorsement, which helped get the product to the next level and into the market.
“More than anything, it’s been important psychologically,” he says. “Bringing this project together has been incredibly stressful. Although we’ve had investment from two outside sources, when MSI came along it was a big endorsement – another level of belief in what we were doing from an outside party.”
The WilliamsWarn personal brewery is initially being sold in New Zealand, but there are plans for global expansion. The company produced an initial 60 machines in April 2011 and these have since sold out. They have now launched the personal brewery in Australia and have been approached by 200 distributors in 50 countries interested in distributing the home brewing device.
“We are currently negotiating a licensing agreement for the USA where they will be manufactured under license and sold throughout the States. A group visited us in January 2012 and trialled the WilliamsWarn and saw huge potential in America through several channels to market,” says Ian.