Congrats to the WLabs Vessi™ team!

If you haven't heard of the Whirlpool W Labs™ team, you definitely need to. They're responsible for some of the coolest startup innovations to come out of a corporation lately. Products like Gladiator® GarageWorks, SWASH®, and now Vessi™ have come out of a facility appropriately named The Garage, located in Southwest Michigan. 

The W Labs™ team set out to market test Vessi™ on IndieGoGo and they blew their goal out of the water to the tune of a 220% funded project. Curious what Vessi™ is? Read on for a bit more. 

With minimal worry, less work, and more control over the fermentation process, Vessi™ Fermentor lets you go from pitching the yeast to pouring your beer in as little as 7 days.* Reduce key risks that make good beer go bad, with a tank that’s sealed, pressurized, and temperature-controlled for the optimal environment to craft great-tasting beer time and time again. 

They like to say that Vessi™ Fermentor started in the garage. Of course, in this case, The Garage was home to what is now W Labs™ - a small, nimble division of Whirlpool Corporation that brings innovative ideas to life. But in fact, Vessi™ Fermentor started even smaller. Before it reached The Garage, the fermentor and dispenser was a bright idea in the minds of a small team of Whirlpool employees, who believed they had something brilliant for the home-brewing market. They saw the difficulty of fermentation, the long wait for good, home-brewed beer, and believed there had to be a better way. The job at W Labs™? Make it happen.

Since then, they’ve been researching, testing, designing, and more, in order to make the best version of the original idea possible. Now, they couldn’t be more excited to send the idea – fully realized – out into the world!

“This product is the result of an employee business case contest,” said Noel Dolan, Senior Marketing and Open Innovation Manager at Whirlpool (and LE Consulting client). “A group of passionate home brewers who work in various roles at Whirlpool got together and discussed what it was like for them to brew at home, and discovered they all had similar issues with the cold side of home brewing.”

“We’ve had the pleasure of working with some Michigan breweries that have provided substantial feedback as well as home brewers. Our Brewmaster works on our Global Consumer Design team, and he has over 29 years of brewing experience. We’ve also identified about 40 home brewers who work at Whirlpool, that have been nicknamed our ‘beer group.’ We have involved them every step of the way, from naming the product to using it to ferment their beer.”

Many news outlets have picked up on Vessi™, including: 

Homebrew Happy Hour Podcast: Episode 33
Fortune, Whirlpool Leans on Crowdfunding to Launch Home Brewing System
TechCrunch, Whirlpool crowdfunds a beer maker
CNET, Whirlpool brews up a beer machine for Indiegogo backers
CraftBeer, Whirlpool’s Vessi Beer Fermentor and Dispenser Is One Step Closer to Your Kitchen

Congratulations to the Whirlpool W Labs™ team on a job well done! 

*Based on a light blonde ale beer at 3.3% ABV and use of clarification agent