back to article Yank fires up iPhone-controlled beer cannon

A Virginia Tech university graduate and a couple of chums have come up with what one YouTube commenter rates as the "Greatest. Invention. Ever" – an iPhone-controlled beer-dispensing cannon. Ryan Rusnak, 25, first rigged up a bog-standard refrigerated beer vending machine to dispense refreshment at the touch of his Jesus Phone …


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  1. Ian McNee

    Oh no...

    ...this is a bleak day: I now have a compelling reason to own an iPhone! Woe is me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You could

      Always move the fridge closer to your chair.

      1. Monty Burns

        Move the fridge closer?

        Where is the funny cool in that?????? You get out too much! :)

        I want one, you think they will make and ship to the UK? Oh and give us a multiple client options

  2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

    Ah but

    Can it pull a decent pint of Adnams?

    1. Jolyon


      a Broadside?

      1. Annihilator


        A Wells Bombardier would be far more appropriate - and a much finer ale..

        1. Dave 15 Silver badge

          oh no no no

          Broadside is far nicer, though you are right, broadside implies more than one can at a time :)

  3. Matt_payne666


    I wonder if im the only person that wants to aim the canon at the blokes TV/window/computer/girlfrined....

  4. Paul Woodhouse


    Thats 2 of my favourite assumptions wiped out in one go...

    1. The iPhone is mainly useless

    2. All Yanks are dumb...

    Stirling work though, hope they get it released on Android soon.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    It tweets, too?

    Please. if there's any justice in this world, let it go badly wrong and beat them to death with their cans of "lite" pisswater.

  6. Greg J Preece

    All that effort

    To fire small cans of crap American beer. Make it accept 500ml or 568ml cans and I'll buy three. ;-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iWant one.

    Could be adapted for soooo many things.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: iWant one

      Unfortunately, the wives/partners of Stella drinkers will see this as a horrific development.

      /Yeah, it's stereotypical, so what?

  8. Arbuthnot Darjeeling


    I think this is a bleak day for civilization.

    Beer should not be treated in this way.

    1. peyton?

      No it's OK

      These are some of the crappiest of the American beers, worthy of no respect.

      A Bud for me? Nah, just fire mine back into the toilet from which it surely originated.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge


        Ahh, that reminds me of an incident in a pub that happend yonks ago near Temple Bar. I bumped into a lovely Bud promo girl and asked her whether she knew the similarity between Budweiser and having sex in a canoe. Well, she wasn't very amused when I told her it's both fucking close to water.

  9. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Throwing cans of beer

    I think, Maximum Overdrive was that dodgy film with the murderous can vending machine...

    1. The Metal Cod

      \m/ With AC/DC soundtrack \m/

      Indeed it was. And the first thing to cross my mind when I saw the headline. Second was the AC/DC soundtrack to the film.

  10. disgruntled yank

    next for the brewing technology

    I hope the young men will make enough money to purchase better beers. Bud Light is a lighter version of a not very good lager. Pabst Blue Ribbon is mild, rather bland lager that has become trendy among the black jeans & canvas sneaker crowd.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: next for the brewing technology

      Have you had the misfortune to try Bud 66? It's the wateriest pish I have ever tasted, and I generally like wussy watery beer of the kind blokes despise. It was the official beer of a festival I went to last year and you couldn't get much else. It was like water that once dreamed it was beer, and then it woke up. And it came in pathetic little bottles ("It's awful, and such tiny portions" etc) which just added insult to bankruptcy. I stayed sober in protest.

      I can't stomach full-strength Bud anyway. It is an ugly substance.

      1. Number6


        This is why Americans chill their beer - it deadens the tastebuds and so it doesn't taste as bad. Micro-breweries in the US can still produce decent stuff though, it's not all bad.

      2. Uncle Slacky

        Watery beer... of course properly termed "sex in a canoe".

        1. Annihilator

          @ Number6

          The only exception I've found to the "say no to Yank beer" is Sam Adams.

          1. Barry Polley

            To be fair

            Most of the world's best *and* most interesting beer comes from the States - the craft brewing renaissance first took hold in the Pacific Northwest 20+ years ago, and the rest of us are still catching up.

            No relationship to random supermarket swill that holds 95% of the market, of course.

            1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

              Errm, not quite..

              "Most of the world's best *and* most interesting beer comes from the States" - you need to get out more. Look up "Beer in Belgium" in Wikipedia..

              I was amusing myself with going through about 150 different beers in a local pub in Belgium (yes, I once lived there too - bit of a contrast with Singapore and London :-), and that was 30 years ago. The most potent one was/is "Kwak" beer, which is served in a special glass where you don't just drink the beer, you also inhale the fumes, a rather lethal combination (2 for the brave, 3 for those with a death wish). I'm still quite partial to Hoegaarden, which my local super imports at frankly ridiculous prices.. The Belgians offered beer first as medicine (hence the link to monks and monastries), and seldom was medicine taken so enthusiastically..

              You'd almost forgive them for inventing techno when you look at their other great idea: planting a brewery in the middle of a student town (Leuven). In principle they could skip the intermediate step of botlles and cans and just use hoses :-).

              I'm pretty sure the UK and other countries have been at it for some time too, IMHO the US are merely catching up..

              1. greenmantle
                Thumb Up

                I agree!

                I did my Baccalaureate in the North of France (Lille) and did all my revisions drinking Kwak... hehe, I did better than anybody thought I would!

                A brilliant invention, the guy should get a medal!

        2. Dave 15 Silver badge

          micro brewers and decent pubs

          Spent some time in WA state.

          A fine collection of micro breweries up there, much of the beer is wonderful (honest)

          More importantly, although pubs are few and far between (and strangely outnumbered by churches - please Americans you HAVE got that VERY wrong) if you get known in a decent bar they WILL find warm glasses and leave beer to warm to a sensible temperature before serving it! (Try the bar in Sammamish for proof - just say the two Daves sent you.

        3. Mike Flugennock

          You pretty much nailed it...

          ...about how all your major American brands need to be consumed ice cold, so that it kills the taste. Stay with the craft/microbrews and smaller brands -- Dogfish Head and Magic Hat are good ones -- and you're OK in the States.

          I wonder if he could adapt that thing to launch cans of Guinness Draught or Newcastle, at least?

          Pint of ale icon, because it's 16:06 on the US East Coast right now. Almost there.

      3. TaabuTheCat

        Bud 66, MGD 64, Select 55, et al...

        = used beer, rebottled.

        That is all.

        1. Wize

          @"= used beer, rebottled."

          Thats why they only sell one brand at a festival. You don't really buy the beer as hire it for a few hours.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: @"= used beer, rebottled."

            Beer never truly belongs to us.

          2. Mike Flugennock

            either hire it, or...

            ...kind of like the software moguls claim: you don't really own the beer, you've just bought a license.

      4. Greg J Preece

        Couldn't agree more

        There's a certain person in my life who drinks Bud, and every time he offers me one I want to throw it back at his head. Absolute rat's piss.

        1. Annihilator


          Budweiser (the US one) is possibly one of the cheapest beer to make, and massively marked up = Yanks raking it in from idiots. Of course, if they will make it from bloody rice, it's no wonder it tastes like used urinal blocks.

          Still, just when you think they can't make it any worse, you get Bud Light, and the utter abortion that is Bud Ice <shudder>. I sometimes wonder why I didn't like beer in my youth, and then realised why - I grew up in a place that served Tenants, Bud and Rolling Rock.

          Nowadays, I'm in the west country and suddenly every pub has a glorious variety of breweries, including my new favourite, Bath Ales. Pint of Gem, lovely... In fact if a pub only has a row of Stella, 1664, Carling, Strongbow and Peroni, it's an indication to walk out.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Mmmmm Gem

            I still think St Austell's Tribute has the slight edge though.

      5. VinceH

        Letters, Digits.

        "It was like water that once dreamed it was beer, and then it woke up."

        Homeopathic beer?

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Letters, Digits.

          I was kind of trying for something different because I'm sure it has been described in terms of homeopathy before. But that is accurate.

          It's shit.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's 66 variants?

        Foul stuff, all the Anheuser Budweiser available in the UK although the bottles you can get hold of on US airbases are almost palatable.

        To cheat you should try Budweiser Budvar, it's a Czech brew that's rather excellent (because it's nothing to do with Anheuser Busch) and goes well with a curry.

        1. corrodedmonkee


          You know, Bud isn't so bad from America. What we get over here is absolutely horrific, but rarely you can find the proper American Budweiser, and it's good on a hot summers day, similar to Brahma in my opinion.

          You can occasionally find the decent Budweiser lurking around in the UK. They stopped selling the easiest way to get it years ago... Big Bud, which was imported, unlike the crated bottles. For the World Cup, the Budweiser in the Aluminium bottle was imported also...

          It's the old problem of taking a local recipe, and making it in a different location. Beer takes so much of its character from it's ingredients, franchising it, essentially.. barely works.

          I'm a bit particularly about beer, I won't buy a locally made version of a foreign beer, ever.

      7. disgruntled yank

        The mark of the beast, lite?

        I don't think Bud 66 is sold in the US. The best I can say of regular US Budweiser is that there are worse beers sold here--though I know that Brits may strain to comprehend this.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Which ones?

          "The best I can say of regular US Budweiser is that there are worse beers sold here"

          What, Tesco Value Bitter?

  11. John B 1

    Oh dear

    American Beer != Beer.

    Beer in Tins != Beer

    Beer thrown across room != Drinkable Beer.

    1. Eddy Ito

      You're no sailor

      Beer in Tins = Floats!

  12. Mark 127
    Paris Hilton

    Wonder if.....

    .....this device could be loaded with martial aids?

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Sorry - 'marital' aids?

      Oh, no I was wrong, just reading too fast.

      carry on.


      1. Annihilator

        Me too

        Paul - you're not the only one who misread that. I thought of flying d!ldos and was rather fearful!

        Oddly, flying shurikens, I'm ok with... especially if it's aimed at American beer drinkers..

      2. Dave 15 Silver badge

        beer goggles == marital aids

        in many cases, instead of the '10' for bo derek in that film a more realistic idea is the number of pints required to make the girl attractive enough to....

  13. Nick Galloway
    Thumb Up


    Aside from the lolly water 'beer' samples, this has got to be the single most compelling reason to buy an iPhone. Now if they could port the system to Symbian for Nokia owners and we can look at some ales worthy of such a system, we can realise nirvana like conditions while still being alive.

    As an aside, what happens when you open the can after such shaking and jostling. I can only imagine it would be a very heady beer with little else. Nice proof of concept, now to tweak it for the real world!

    As a further aside, is something of this nature likely to appear in a forthcoming BOFH chapter???

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Quote: I can only imagine it would be a very heady beer with little else. /quote

      Err, I refer you back to previous comments re: Bud and it's inbred cousins.

  14. Wind Farmer


    And now they need [to invent] a device to stablise the fizzed-up beer can, which would otherwise spew its contents on opening; and produce one for each of these idiots.

  15. Blane Bramble

    But where is the beer?

    All I see is a machine that flings cans of fizzy flavoured water.

  16. Elmer Phud


    #FRIDGE beer on it's way

    #FRIDGE beer loaded

    #FRIDGE beer aimed

    #FRIDGE duck

    #FRIDGE fire

    #FRIDGE I said duck, you twat!!

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Don't forget..

      #TARGETING genital area identified

      #TARGETING aim corrected, ready

      This is guaranteed the first mod that will show up..

  17. Bogdan Stancescu

    people could log in and throw cans of beer at us

    What could possibly go wrong with that?

  18. MartinBZM

    Hmmm.... No thanks, yanks.

    I'd like my beer delivered in a civilized manner, like this :

    FAIL, because... well... do I *really* need to explain?

  19. Cliff

    It's a viral

    it's a viral it's a viral it's a viral

    and it worked. The Reg has now helped Budwieser sell crappy lager.

  20. ratfox


    The cannon should shake the can a bit more, just to make sure it explodes in your face when you open it.

  21. maclovinz

    No Tramp Juice?

    What, no Tennents?

    Oh right, most of us in the US don't know what it is. In fact, I didn't know until my discovery of the grand BOFH.....and PFY.

  22. F111F

    Bud = Timely Repairs

    In the 80's, whenever we diverted one of our F-111s to RAF Lossiemouth, step one (literally) in the recovery checklist was to purchase a case of Budweiser (we used the maintenance commander's slush fund) for the RAF senior Warrant Officer up there. If you showed up with case in hand, you got to stay in a nice B&B, lights and power on the flightline, and a truck to use. No case of Bud: sleep in the barracks, no help, no transport. So, don't badmouth Bud too much, it help me get a lot of aircraft fixed...

  23. Gordon 10 Silver badge


    Known in our neck of the woods as Tennents lunatic soup.

    Come to think of it just the kind of cans a psychotic beer fridge should throw.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: gordon and the one above you

      You're both thinking of Super Tennents, Tennents is just a low quality lager that seems to be the slightly better Scottish answer to Carling.

  24. sabroni Silver badge

    Why all the bud hate?

    Just googled budweiser and apparently:

    Alcohol by volume 5.0%

    So I don't know what all you beer snobs are moaning on about. 5% is a decent strength for a lager, not so strong you can't have a few but relatively effective.

    I drunk "proper" ales for a while in my youth, some at room temperature. I found out that I preferred the taste of a cold lager to warm bitter. Each to his own, I say. Pass the gin...

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Oh dear

      ABV is not a measure of a beer's quality. I would assume that most people's objection to Bud would be it's lack of flavour.

      The reason most lagers are served chilled is to hide the bitter flavours produced from the fast fermentation of cheap grain in industrialised brewing, and the lack of the complex flavours produced by ale yeast strains.

      'Real' beer is brewed more slowly, with a different yeast species, and using malted barley, which actually gives flavour, rather than a tiny amount of malt extract and rice starch which is the carbohydrate source for the yeast when manufacturing Bud.

      The reason proper beer is served at closer to room temperature is so that you can taste the flavours, rather than to hide them.

      NB I don't think all lager is bad. For instance, many European lagers such as properly brewed Amstel, or Mythos can be very nice. Industrially produced piss, however, is just that.

      1. disgruntled yank

        chilled lager

        In a good deal of North America, the high temperature on a summer day commonly is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are east of about the 100th meridian, this is usually accompanied by high humidity. In those conditions, a cold beer can seem like a very good idea.

  25. Lloyd

    I can't but feel a trick is beuing missed here

    Big Trak, need I say more?

    1. William Towle

      Re: I can't but feel a trick is beuing missed here

      > Big Trak, need I say more?

      I had one of those first time round. Bit disappointing looking back - it wouldn't turn by the specified angles on tiled floors, and it wouldn't turn by the specified by the specified angles on carpet. It's probably still packed straight back up in my parents' loft (unless my nephews have pestered my brother for one, in which case it's probably gone walkies).

      I remember delightedly discovering that the trailer could be made to tip by shorting the connector with a paperclip, so maybe there is at least some mileage in the idea though.

      // is it me or do the new ones look small?

  26. Paul Woodhouse

    bud aint that bad

    not a patch on Qing Dao of course but infinitly better than those gloops known as real ales...

    1. Thecowking

      Tsingtao, really?

      Surely Tsingtao Black if you're going to drink a Chinese beer, or maybe Harbin.

      Anyway, real ale is also very nice, but different. Personally I'm hankering for some fursty ferret right now.

      Bud is that bad though, it's like Fosters or Carling, carbonated battery acid.

  27. Joe User

    Why Budweiser?

    Two reasons:

    1. It's suitable for use as artillery projectiles.

    2. Ryan Rusnak has no taste buds.

  28. Matt Piechota
    Thumb Down


    Just to correct some of the folks above: there's plenty of decent American beer from the smaller breweries; we just keep it for ourselves. I'd put a micro up against any of the English beer we commonly see on this side of the pond (Bass, Newcastle, and sometimes Boddington). But, I know there's better ales in England that don't make it here. See how that works?

    And as for cans, they have their uses for things like camping and boating. The trick is find a micro that cans stuff. A local one here (Sly Fox) cans their Pale Ale, IPA, and Weiss for a contract with the local sports teams. You do NOT want to give Philly fans bottles to throw at people. Caldera IPA from Oregon is also a fantastic canned IPA.

    1. CD001


      There are some good micro-breweries in the US so I've been told (I have a friend who's half American by birth and now lives over there - the "wonders" at British customs kicked his American wife out of the country so he went with her) though I've only experienced Sam Adams which is perfectly drinkable.

      The same can certainly be said in the UK - there are some micro-breweries making some truly great beer. I'll take your Sly Fox and Caldera Brewing and raise you Brew Dog ;)

  29. 4HiMarks

    Bud is not American

    It is now your problem. Anheuser-Busch was bought out by Belgian beverage giant InBev a couple of years ago. True American owned breweries are making some of the best beer in the world right now. We just don't share it with you lot across the pond, because there isn't enough. There are even some decent brews in cans now. Try a Dale's Pale Ale or Little Yellow Pils.

    Dogfish Head is making extraordinary stuff, as are Flying Dog and Clipper City/Heavy Seas. And those are just the breweries that are local to me. Go to a hotbed of craft breweryship like Colorado or Oregon, and you'll find dozens, if not hundreds, of incredibly tasty beers that are only sold on tap within a 50-mile radius of the brewery.

    Unfortunately, we were settled by a bunch of tight-a$$es who got kicked out of Britain because of it, and they wrote all the liquor laws here, which favor the large distributors who have marketing agreements with the giants like A-B and Miller-Coors. It's just like Microsoft and Dell put a stranglehold on the availability of [computers with] decent operating systems.

    1. Eric Hood


      Prohibition killed the American beer culture, before prohibition there were lots of breweries selling all kinds of beer. Remember there was a large german origin migrant intake.

      After prohibition the breweries were shut down and all the malters too with the exception of some that produced baby food and extracts for baking and other cooking. The modern American flavourless beer originated in WW2 as the women working the factories wanted a cold beer and did not want strong flavours.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    beer snobs....

    personaly i dont like lagers or beers.... they ether taste nasty or give me gut ache and have done so since i was 13 lol..

    you can keep these so called real ales that use 200 year old yeast cultures, twigs from a particular tree that grows in the grounds of the brewery, a good scoop of horse shite from the clydesdales that used to pull the drays... not forgetting the forskin of the original brewer.... it all tastes like pish with variying amounts of added shite...

    on a hot humid day, there is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold pint of dry cider.

    1. Charles Manning

      lol... lol... lol...

      Since you were 13. And now you're 13.5?

      Cider gets mangles just as badly as beer - often worse - which is probably why you can tolerate it. Cider is often fermented to higher alcohol levels (it is after all a wine rather than a beer), then diluted, flavoured and carbonated. Basically an RTD wine cooler mix.

      It is indeed a lot harder to find a reasonable commercial cider than a good commercial beer.

  31. John Tserkezis

    Is it that hard..

    to write an applictation that has a web interface.

    That way, you don't need very specific hardware with very specific software to dispense beer.

    Beer deserves more that that.

  32. War Monger

    Why would you go to all the trouble

    of building this, only to fill it with crap beer?

  33. nsld

    The only suitable beer for this gadget

    Is tactical nuclear penguin and thats purely for the weapon like name.

  34. Suburban Inmate

    This is truly progress

    Now the Stella can cut out the middle-man and beat the wife direct!

    The white sleeveless vest, ta.

  35. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Next upgrade..

    .. will be a rail gun mechanism.

    Will only be grudgingly abandoned after too many reports of fatally holed users and the wall behind them..

  36. Sartorius

    @Charles Manning

    May I suggest trying Westons Organic, an Aspalls, or even some of the very excellent Thistly Cross output.

    Personal preference would be for a Dogbolter .....

    Mine's the one with the socks for my sandals in the pocket

  37. Dave 15 Silver badge

    water is not vodka

    You can only drink so much water

  38. Morpho Devilpepper

    For what it's worth...

    The vast majority of the few decent beers born on this side of the Atlantic are brewed here in Colorado. Notable exceptions are Dogfish Head and Sam Adams breweries. Other than that, we've got the few craft breweries who know that ale is not lager with brown food coloring stirred in, and that not all stouts must taste like automotive cleaner.

    Here's to dark beer and the demise of Buttweiser.

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