PerfectDraft ProBeer Budget Rating - ££££
Value for money8.5/10
Ease of use9.0/10
Quality of draught beer9.0/10
Life of beer9.0/10
Professional pour rating9.0/10
- Variable temperature control to suit your beer
- Great range of beers available
- Mobile app with great features
- Easy to use
- Great deal if you can get an offer too
- Price per pint on the high side
- Limited to PD Kegs
- Large fridge needed for pre-chilling required
What is the philips Perfectdraft pro?
For a while now, Beerhawk’s primary offering has been one of the best all-round beer machines on the market, the Phillips PerfectDraft. Then in January 2022, Beerhawk introduced a soft launch of the all-new Perfect Draft Pro!
The new Pro model features a number of improvements, including temperature control, quicker cooling, quieter operation, and even built-in Wi-Fi and a companion app that lets you manage it from your device.
Beerhawk’s new machine is also a little bit larger than its predecessor. At 29.4 x 40.1 x 44.5cm, you will need more headroom and width than before.
Just like the original, the machine takes the standard 6L kegs and works in the same way. Once you are loaded up you can set the temperature using the dials on the front of the machine or by using the app. For pouring, as you are using the same kegs as before, you will get roughly 10-11 pints out of one keg.
Whats better about it than the original?
You might be thinking – is the upgrade to the Pro worth it? Here are some of the key differentiators…
Variable temperature control
Probably the most important upgrade feature of the Pro is the ability to change the beer temperature. This adds another dimension to your pouring experience. Given lagers are recommended at 3-5 degrees and IPA’s and Wheat beers are generally between 5-7 degrees, you have a great choice to improve your drinking experience. The machine gives you the flexibility to select between 0-12 degrees
LESS FOAMY POUR
With the new smart pour technology (although there isn’t any explanation for what it actually is) you will likely get less initial pour foam and then less subsequent pours foam. Having pulled a few pints on the new pro I can safely say less foam is delivered than with the old machine.
The Pro has the ability to cool kegs much faster than the original. Kegs can be chilled from room temperature in as little as 10 hours versus 12-15 on the original PD.
Generally, we always recommend you pre-chill kegs in the fridge overnight so your beers are ready a lot quicker. Inserting a keg after pre-chilling should only need around 45 minutes before it’s ready to pour.
The machine is also a lot more resilient in coping with temperatures up to 38 degrees rather than 31 degrees on the original. This is mainly due to the internal fans and pump system which is also much better at regulating the temperature of the beer.
If you are familiar with the original PerfectDraft, you’d remember the clunky jarring noise every time you made a pour. The machine is a little louder when pouring beer, particularly when the compressor kicks in. However, the sound here is a more refined noise, not the jarring and whirring noise that the original made. The idle operation is also a lot quieter with the internal cooling fan system.
With the app you get ‘hands-free’ access to the same controls on the front of the machine (temperature & beer levels) as well as some other great features:
- Recommendations on serving temperature for your chosen beer
- Suggested food pairings and ideal glass style
- Days of Beer Freshness remaining
- Beer levels in pints, fl oz or 330cl glasses
- Shop tab for easy access to re-order kegs via Beerhawk
- Notifications when beer is chilled to the correct temperature, the keg is nearly empty and maintenance required
The app is available on both iOS and Android and connecting to the device is really simple using the WiFi button on the machine, a few clicks and you are good to go.
Slideable Drip Tray
Easily slideable drip tray to save on worktop space when not in use.
What KEGS ARE AVAILABLE?
At the time of writing there are well over 60 different kegs available. The kegs are exactly the same as the ones used in the original PerfectDraft so no limitation on brands accessible to you.
A diverse choice in kegs is really something and is one of the major selling points over Heineken’s Blade machine. There’s everything from your mainstream staples like Stella Artois and Corona to IPAs from Goose Island to Brewdog. Also available are ciders, craft options as well as European brands like Jupiler and Hertog Jan.
Pricewise, the kegs are a bit on the high side compared to other machines. Stella Artois is one of the cheapest coming in at £32.50 per keg at the time of writing. This means you are looking at around £2.95 per pint which is considerably more than other machines. If you get your kegs from Beerhawk, you can reduce the cost with beer tokens which means a pint of Stella would reduce to £2.40 a pint. More information on this is here.
How does it work?
As you only can use specific Perfect Draft kegs it’s a super easy process. Click connect the tap onto the keg then slide it in against the recess until it’s nicely in position. In the pro, the keg almost sits floating on air where the previous machine was sitting on a cooling plate. The other difference is that there is a vault-style door that opens to the left rather than two cupboard-style doors.
Check out the video below which shows you how easy it is…
Credit: Staying Inn Beer Reviews
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
The Pro comes in at £385 which means it gets a “££££’ rating from us. As we mentioned earlier, Beerhawk back in January announced a soft launch or ‘Beta testing’ of the Pro.
At the time of writing, Beerhawk mentioned the machines are expected to be available for wider release in August 2022. Before that time you have the option of joining a waiting list to be early in the queue which you can do here.
The PerfectDraft Pro really is a fantastic bit of kit, is a level up on build quality on the original and delivers an exceptional pour. Our advice is if you are really serious about a great home draught experience, aren’t put off by the £385 price tag and want a wide selection of beers to choose from then you can’t go wrong with the Pro.
That being said the kegs are not the cheapest available in the beer machine market and the price tag is fairly hefty. If you like more of your mainstream beers and want something that holds more volume, so you aren’t constantly changing kegs then the Blade could be the best option for you.
More of a casual drinker? Not concerned with temperature and just want a draught solution for a few poured pints every now and again then it might be worth considering The Sub.
If you are already an owner of the original PerfectDraft, I think you will struggle to justify the upgrade cost for the new features. Either way though, the Pro has definitely upped the ante a fair bit in the beer machine market.