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RFID Users Help Themselves With Beer Server

PourMyBeer integrates readers and tags with its self-serve taps, tables and wall-mounted fixtures, enabling customers to help themselves at bars and restaurants, such as Florida's Brewers' Tasting Room.
By Claire Swedberg
Tags: Retail
Jul 24, 2013

Two self-serve beer technology companies have partnered to broaden their range of radio frequency identification-based solutions allowing bar and restaurant patrons to serve themselves beer from taps. The new solutions also enable businesses to track how much each customer consumes, and thus how much to charge, as well as when he or she has reached a pre-set maximum limit.

Innovative Tap Solutions, commonly known as PourMyBeer, began selling a rudimentary self-service product three years ago. The system consisted of a beer table containing self-serve taps, hoses attached to kegs in coolers, and switches to turn those taps on and off. The use cases were limited, the company reports, since the product offered no means of monitoring who was pouring the beer and, therefore, who would pay for it.

The mobile version of the PourMyBeer tap table

Last year, says Declan Duggan, Innovative Tap Solutions' owner and cofounder, PourMyBeer learned how RFID could be employed to identify who is pouring beer at any given time, and the amount dispensed, based on RFID tags in wristbands, and to then calculate the cost accordingly. So the firm teamed up with an existing self-serve beer company called iPourIt, he says. The iPourIt system consists of a management workstation, RFID wristbands and readers, a valve that controls beer flowing through the tap, and a meter that measures the amount of beer a customer pours to within 1/100th of an ounce. The company utilizes StrongLink SL018 Mifare RFID readers (see IPourIt Serves Up 'Enhanced Customer Service' for Beer Drinkers).

The PourMyBeer solution provides tables or wall-mounted fixtures that include taps integrated with iPourIt-supplied RFID readers, wristbands, valves, meters and software. In the meantime, iPourIt continues to sell its own product to businesses, while working with additional partners that supply tables or wall-mounted fixtures that include taps. Brett Jones, iPourIt's CTO, considers the partnership with Innovative Tap Solutions a benefit for both companies, since they offer complementary services. "We are currently in the process of interviewing and qualifying third-party sales agents, distributors and value-added resellers," Jones states. "PourMyBeer is the most experienced and best group we have encountered to date, so we are lucky to be working with them."

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