FastRack is a beer and wine bottle drainer system targeted at the homebrew, bar and party markets. The FastRack website explains how their products appeal to each of these sectors as follows:
- Homebrew – FastRack offers a new way for homebrewers to collect & dry their empties. FastRack offers a faster & cleaner alternative to the beer bottle tree.
- Bar – FastRack is the lastest bar tool for bartending & serving. 100s of bars, restaurants & hotels have already become FastRack certified.
- Party – Hate cleaning up empties after a party? FastRack is the lastest bar gadget solving the problem of scattered, smelly beer bottles.
The Bar and Party sectors can use this product to collect used bottles where the tray at the bottom will catch the drips and dregs from the bottles that are placed in each rack upside down. In bars this system would be used by servers and bartenders but at parties attendees can use the system themselves.
The Homebrewing sector can use this product to drain and dry bottles that have been cleaned and sanitized. To date the Bottle Tree has been the main product on the market for this purpose but the launch of the FastRack system introduced a new competitor for this task.
Beer & Wine combos
We recently received two different versions of the FastRack system to review:
- A combo of the FastRack Beer (2 racks and 1 tray; ideal for 12oz bottles).
- A combo of the FastRack Wine (3 racks and 1 tray; ideal for 750mL wine bottles and/or 22oz bomber bottles).
The Beer version can hold 24 x 12oz bottles per tray which means the combo equates to a 5 gallon batch of homebrewed beer (i.e. 48 x 12oz bottles) or alternatively 2 cases of commercial beer.
The Wine version can hold 12 x 750ml bottles per tray which means the combo equates to 3 boxes of wine or approximately 7 gallons of homebrewed wine. The Wine version can also hold the same quantity of 22oz bombers which is more than a 5 gallon batch of beer.
One point we did note is that when stacking the racks the corner bottles that the legs are being placed on need to be the same length and in the case of wine bottles need to have the same sized indentations (punt) in the bottom of the bottles otherwise the rack being stacked will not be level.
Another point we observed is that with wine bottles the wider champagne style bottles do not fit in the rack next to each other as well as the more common still wine bottles.
The FastRack system is made of sturdy HDPE plastic and manufactured in Detroit (Michigan, USA). Both systems comprise of a tray for catching any drips of beer, wine or water and a series of stackable racks that are all dishwasher safe.
The racks have moulded holes that are tapered to support the bottle necks and at each corner have elongated holes that act as legs so that the racks can be stacked on top of the upturned bottles in the rack below.
Comparison with competition
The FastRack systems can be purchased from their approved worldwide retailers. Below are the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs):
- Beer rack = $13.99
- Beer tray = $8.99
- 2 x beer racks = $26.99
- Beer combo (2 x beer racks + 1 x beer tray) = $31.49
- Wine rack = $8.99
- Wine tray = $6.49
- Bomber combo (2 x wine racks + 1 x wine tray) = $22.99
- Wine combo (3 x wine racks + 1 x wine tray) = $29.99
As mentioned earlier, the main product on the market up until recently for homebrewers cleaning bottles has been the Bottle Tree. These usually retail for about $26.99 and can hold 45 bottles (12oz or 22oz bombers) which is similar to the Beer combo.
The main difference between the two is that the FastRack offering can hold two full cases of bottles at once whilst the Bottle Tree is 3 bottles short though extension sections can be purchased.
The FastRack system has three key advantages over the Bottle Tree:
- The FastTrack system does not need sanitizing as there is no contact between the item and the inside of the bottle whilst with the Bottle Tree there is a prong for each bottle that goes inside the bottle and sanitizing this either involves the tedious wiping down of each prong or dipping the whole ‘trunk’ into a bucket of sanitizer solution.
- The FastRack system allows the bottles to be easily loaded into a case by placing the empty box over one rack of bottles then turning them over and lifting off the tray and rack.
- Bottles can be placed in the FastRack in any order whilst bottles should be placed on the Bottle Tree top-down if speed is of the essence otherwise ones placed higher up will drip on those below and hence add to the amount of time the earlier ones will take to dry.
One disadvantage of the FastRack system compared to the Bottle Tree is that the latter can hold the same number of 12oz or 22oz bottles whilst FastRack has a system for each. We did manage to place 22oz bombers into the Beer Rack but found that each rack could hold 10 bottles rather than 12 in the Wine Rack and still be stackable and packable so this reduces the disadvantage somewhat.
As an avid homebrewer who bottles his beer I welcome any innovative products that make this process quicker and/or easier and I do feel that the FastRack system makes this process somewhat quicker and easier. It also has the added bonus that when having a party there is a convenient and cleaner way to collect beer bottles without having to empty out the beer dregs from the night before.
This product is clearly well thought out and as an added bonus it is good to see that it is manufactured in North America.