The Sub Compact

The Sub Compact is finally here. A sleek, stylish, smaller version of The Sub. These beer gadgets allow for true draught beer in the home, served beautifully chilled. This additional machine has been added to their core line up – The Sub Compact is also joined by new varieties of beers available to buy! Use this link for a review of the original version and a direct link to purchase a Sub from Beerwulf, please visit here

It’s great to have an increased variety, rather than just primarily generic lagers. These new craft beers are bottled fresh from the brewery, with a bottled date and best before depicted on the label. The label has blank text-boxes that are filled with handwritten beer details – this gives me hope that these breweries will seasonally change the torps that they produce!

First up is one of the new beers; I’ll review The Sub Compact afterwards.

Jopen is based in a historical brewing city: Haarlem. Unfortunately, traditional brewing ceased during the First World War in 1916. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the region tried to revive the original brewing processes, allowing Haarlem to be known once more for producing world class beers.

I really like Jopen’s motto: “Crafting Devine Beer”

Mandatory “Mooie Nel” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.68 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBU:  70
  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Serving: Draught, Pint

Finally, a greater IPA selection has made The Sub’s range. A previously predominantly lager-based selection is finally being levelled out. A deep, rick oak-coloured beer was poured, with a thick, luxurious white foam head on top. Aromas were hoppy, with a touch of pine and tropical hints. On tasting, there was a dominant grapefruit base, with a medley of tropical cousins that created a light and juicy beer. Pine came through as the tropical flavours faded and there was a huge bitterness at the end of the drink. A beautiful silky mouthfeel was created: full-bodied, with a modest carbonation observed. It ended slightly dry, meaning it didn’t take very long before I sampled it again… and again and again. The addition of American hops really made this brew tremendously fruity.


Rating: 4.25/5. “Mooie Nel” is a cracking IPA that I have a strong feeling is going to be featuring regularly at Dr Beer’s!

The original “The Sub” review

The Sub Compact

This is only available in black at present. Incidentally, it is cheaper than its predecessor, but the original design is still available to buy. When it arrived at home, I eagerly unboxed my new beer gadget and was immediately impressed by the aesthetics. The Sub Compact has been streamlined, making it less chunky than the original. The chrome effect handle, which is pressed into the front aspect of the gadget, looks vibrant and is visually superior to the older variety. The Sub Compact now has more of a matte look, which I really like. Another new visual change is the light display, indicating when a torp is ready to be poured: a thin bar of light shines red for “DON’T YOU DARE POUR YET!” and green for “WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WAITING FO?!”. The addition of this light bar has led to the removal of the previous red on/off button, meaning that if not in use, The Sub Compact needs to be unplugged directly at the wall.

Here’s a tutorial on how to get The Sub Compact locked, loaded and ready to drink some beer:

First, take the beer (preferably chilled) and prepare it for loading. If you have a detachable tubing system, insert that into the neck of the torp; if it’s already attached, carry on to the next step.  Instead of removing the front section as seen with the old design, the section on the top surface opens like a door. Once ajar, the two-litre torp can be inserted. Make sure the tubing is pointing towards yourself and lift-off the handle from the front section in order to insert the tube into the tap-head. Reassemble the device: attach the handle, close the lid and let the chilling commence!

Once the light turns green, you’re ready to pour. The handle and front design are the real stand-out features: not only do they look great, they also allow beer to be poured even better than the original. If pouring into a full pint glass, you can depress the handle all the way and let it stay in this position until your glass is full.

When the torp is finished, it can be easily removed by reversing the process above. Just make sure to give it a wipe-down, as some condensation builds up in the appliance, more than I experienced in the original version.

In summary, The Sub Compact:

  • Has an elegant design, with the chrome literally making this shine
  • Is a smaller size
  • Remains cheaper than the original
  • Has a better handle design
  • Is unfortunately only available in black at present
  • Seems to have a greater build-up of condensation, which can ice-over if multiple torps are used in succession without a break
  • Wouldn’t allow a tall glass e.g. Erdinger Weissbier to stand properly underneath

Diagnosis: 4.75/5. ‘The Sub Compact’ still has a few subtle features that could be improved; however, the flaws I’ve listed above are tolerable, very easily managed and the black design actually works best for me! Slowly, with the addition of a greater variety of beers, The Sub brand is beginning to develop… It’s certainly starting to meet my beer desires!

To purchase a machine from Beerwulf, please visit here

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