SAN ANTONIO -

They say necessity is the mother of invention, that's certainly been true for Mark Middleman.

A contractor by trade Middleman needed something else to do when the recession hit and slowed down his construction business.

Tired of dressing beers with salt and lime at parties and cleaning up the mess afterward, he invented a better way to dress a beer. He called his invention the BrewsKey.

"I came up with this idea out of necessity from a stand point of wanting to be convenient," Middleman said. "The BrewsKey is the most fun way to dress your beer without the mess."

A custom built machine separates dehydrated lime crystals and sea salt into two small cups. When the cups are punctured by the BrewsKey they distribute the salt and lime into the beer.

While there are other beer salt products out there, Middleman's BrewsKey doesn't make a big mess and is made with real lime.

"Our products are actual lime particles and when you dress it and put it in the beer you'll see the lime pulp floating in the beer," Middleman said. "It's complete portability for salt and lime without having to carry the fruit, and the salt and the knife."

Right now the BrewsKey only comes in the salt and lime flavor but Middleman said they already have plans to expand the flavors they offer.

"One of our next roll outs is the michalada, which we take the same lime the salt and the seasoning and put them in the cup through the same machine," Middleman said adding they plan to offer a lime only mixture and orange flavors in the future.

While the BrewsKey has only been in production since June it's already in stores all over Texas. Now that it's taking off Middleman has time to focus on running his contracting business again. He credits his wife for pushing him to finally make one of his ideas a reality.

"I had multiple ideas and we finally took one to fruition that we thought would just be fun so this was either going to be a really expensive hobby or it was going to be something that would catch on," Middleman said. "It's been a lot of fun and I'm glad that it's here. Now I can go work on my day job."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.