For those of you who really like Heineken
At first, I thought I was just witnessing the next stage in the "beer as gourmet" evolution that's been exhibiting itself through the retail catalogs lately, one you could follow from the monogrammed pilsner glasses to the stainless steel kegerators to this: A countertop draft beer system, offered by the discriminating home kitchen retailers Williams & Sonoma, complete with level indicator, temperature gauge, and full-on LCD hoo-ha fanciness. An item which, for all intensive purposes, should have rocketed to the top of my overly-optimistic wish list and force me to consider which of our current kitchen appliances would have to make way for it (toaster?), this little contraption is sure to win over a certain cervisiascenti with its charming good looks and clean lines. But the catalog image (which isn't reprinted online) betrays its sinful limitations: A Heineken logo on the tap handle. Maybe, you're thinking, this thing is so cool that it comes with a whole pile of beer Pogs (remember Pogs?) that you could sort through and insert in the display on the handle whenever you change kegs? No. You do not change kegs. You do, however, pay $299 to essentially buy a nice fancy case for something you can buy at 7-11 for $20. So before you go and order this for your sweetie (Mother's Day, anyone?), be aware that a) it cannot be gift wrapped, and b) it's kind of a crock unless you really, really like Heineken.