In the great world of commerce, new technologies are constantly being created to make life easier for us all. The enterprise of draft beer is no different. In the last few years, companies have made several advances that improve not only the quantity of draft beer but the quality as well. Self-cleaning beer taps systems have been developed as well as self-contained systems that are making life easier for the bartender as well as the consumer. This leads to increased profits for restaurant owners and a lower turnover rate for kegs of beer.
Probably the most important improvement has been the “quick-fill” systems that not only get colder brew into beer glasses but also cut down on waste, therefore reducing costs and improving profit margins. These improved beer taps fill the beer glasses from the bottom to the top, therefore getting more beer and less foam into the glass. These “quick-fill” systems can get up to and beyond a 98% yield out of a keg, where the industry standard is somewhere between 75-80%. This is especially relevant when it comes to a novice bartender. A beginning bartender can produce as much as 25-30% waste on a keg of beer in a busy night. Their lack of experience in pouring draft beer literally makes them pour all of the owner’s profit down the drain. There have also been small modifications to beer tap handles that have increased the success rate of the draft beer pour.
As consumer demands for draft beers goes up, so does the manufacturers urgency in creating a system that will deliver the product in the same quality as when it leaves the brewery. This is another one of the main problems with draft beer; it must remain at a constant temperature of between 38-42 degrees Fahrenheit. If the keg gets too warm, it will produce too much foam and make a lot more waste. If it is too cold, there will be no foam and there will be too much beer poured in the glass. Either way, it means lost profits to the restaurant or bar owner. Modern techniques in transporting product have increased as breweries strive to maintain a constant temperature to better preserve the taste of their beer right from the brewery. Recent inventions are not so much whole new systems as they are modifications to bar’s and restaurant’s already existing systems. With so many ways to pour a draft beer and so many different aspects of how the beer hits the beer glasses, companies are trying to take a lot of the guess-work out of the bartender’s job. New systems fill beer glasses from the bottom up, thus eliminating much of the usual 15% waste factor.
Representatives for these new beer taps say that while they still have a ways to go, things seem to be getting better for the most part. There has not been a perfect method developed yet, despite the efforts of the manufacturers. Improvements continue to be made and passed on to the consumer, giving the beer-drinking consumer something to smile about.