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Ipourit RFID Technology

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by FosterJM, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (835) California Nov 16, 2009

    YaKnowBrady likes this.
  2. Ok, this could be pretty cool for those times when I want a couple of half glasses
     
    FosterJM likes this.
  3. fredmugs

    fredmugs Champion (870) Indiana Aug 11, 2012

    I saw this (or somethink like it) on an episode of Bar Rescue.
     
  4. dauss

    dauss Advocate (575) Colorado Aug 9, 2003

    I've been to a bars in DC where they have some tables with a tap handle secured to the table. Good for a group of people and if everyone doesn't mind drinking the same beer. Help yourself and charges based on how much you drink.
     
  5. BrettJones

    BrettJones Aspirant (45) Dec 19, 2012

    Good morning, I'm the CTO of iPourIt and thought I could give you some information of how our product is good for you (the beer advocates).

    Unlike the table systems, our system is not limited to how many beers can be on tap at a location or how many people can use it at a time. With iPourIt, we bring the taps out to a common place where everyone can get to them. You wear a wristband that is read once you touch the tap handle - it then instantly checks to make sure the wristband is valid, that you haven't hit any limits the location has set, and several other checks. Once that is done, a valve in the line is opened and you can pour as little or as much as you want. You could, for instance, try an ounce or two of several beers to find one you like before committing to a full pint. The system automatically adds the exact ounces you've poured (to the 1/10th of an ounce) to your tab. At the end of the night your tab will show exactly how much you've poured of what and charge you by the ounce, not glass.

    After you close your tab, the beers you've drank will be uploaded to our website, ipourit.com. From there you can log in and see all the beers you've ever drank at any location with our system and rate them from 1-5 stars and your preferences will create suggestions of other beers to try. You can search for a local beer nearby and see how much inventory they have left. You can even reserve a beer online where you pay for the beer on our website and it guarantees it will be there when you go in within 24-72 hours (location configurable) -- it's like RedBox DVDs for beer :) You can buy your friends a round online and the next time they go to a bar with iPourIt installed it will automatically deduct the amount you sent them from their tab and print your message on the receipt. You can also create wishlists of beers you want and you will be notified when a local bar taps it.

    Here is our website: www.ipourit.com and if you or anyone you know has a bar and wants to know more about our self pouring draft beer system, check out this site: www.ipouritinc.com to see the benefits from the bar's perspective.

    Cheers,
    Brett Jones
     
    leedorham and westcoastbeerlvr like this.
  6. Some cool ideas there. Any idea what the average premium will be? If I pay $5 a pint, what am I going to be paying per ounce (ballpark)?
     
  7. Im a hardware engineer working in beverage appliances amongst other things. I'm curious as to what technology you use to measure volume and if/how it impacts the foam/head/carbonation/body of the beer. Flow meter?
     
  8. I wish this company the best of luck with this product, but it's not for me.

    1.) I don't like wearing wrist bands. I have hairy forearms
    2.) A lot of blue collar bartenders are going to lose jobs.
    3.) This further limits human interaction which, to me at least, is a bad thing. No one talks to anyone anymore. Now you won't be talking to the bartender either. I'm not one to chat the bartender up, but it's still not an interaction I'd like to lose.
    4.) I have to ask for a reset on ounce allotmnet? I have to do this after 32 oz? Two pints? Fuck that. "Excuse me mamm, could you reset my ounces so I could drink more?" Horseshit.
    5.) Making suggestions on what beer I should drink next based on my past beer purchases is a slippery slope to making suggestions on what TV I should buy. Tracking what I buy gets the middle finger from me everytime.

    Again, that's just my take. I am sure many will love this and the company will be just fine. But it's not my cup of tea.
     
    Cascade77, pisano, DanK4 and 7 others like this.
  9. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (470) California Dec 11, 2010

    I don't see how this improves upon those self-serve wine dispensers you see at wine tasting bars. Except of course it's a wrist band, not a card.

    And "limits" are subjective. Not sure how a 250 lb person would have the same drink limit as a 120 lb person.
     
  10. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Savant (450) Oregon Aug 17, 2005

    Given what this system likely costs, I doubt that places employing "blue collar" bartenders are going to install them. Places like the Yard House and other national chains are much more likely to jump on this than the dive bar down the road. Plus, you'll still need bar tenders to answer questions, pour (non-beer) drinks, wash glassware, bus tables, etc.

    Two thoughts on this:

    1. 32oz of 9% (or higher) beer consumed in an hour is enough to elevate the BAC of a 200lb guy to .09, making you legally intoxicated. No bar that wants to keep it's license is going to use this system without a reasonable limit in place.

    2. Any time you walk up to the bar and order a beer, the bartender is (hopefully) judging your level of intoxication before deciding whether or not to serve you. What's the difference between walking up and saying "I'd like a pint of X" vs. "I'd like to try a couple other beers, could you reset the wrist band?"

    Just make sure your tinfoil hat fits properly and you'll be fine.
     
  11. I get the 32 oz. of 9% beer argument, but most beers I like aren't 9%. And it's not the same as asking the bartender for another brew, it's adding a step. I have to go to the person in charge, ask permission, have them reset the ounces, then go get my pour. It's silly in my opinion.

    To your first point, I don't know what you consider a blue collar job to be, but I'd say anyone tending bar isn't someone rolling in dough. Maybe the company that owns the bar is, but that person pouring beers still needs a living wage to make ends meet. Sure, they'll still pour liquor and wine (for now at least, but what's to say those won't be replaced with a similar system), but they'll obviously have a reduction in tips if they aren't pouring any beer whatsoever. That kind of reduction won't be made up for by bussing tables either.
     
  12. This is not going to work for me
    First off: I have been to bar with my buddy who pre-game super hard he is already over the limit when we get there which is why I drive
    2nd : so if you are not driving you are limited to how much you can drink what a joke
    3rd : if I want to buy a couple of friend a beer I will have to have them come up with me because I cant purchase three pints

    this is just not a good system will not work for me anywhere that has it will not be getting my business
     
    pisano likes this.
  13. I dont mean to be a dick but (I agree with your points about tracking purchases, and confusion/inconvenience of drink limits) by this logic would you be against things like: Automatic Toll collectors on Highways/Subways, Movie ticket Kiosks, ect.

    Technology has been taking away blue color jobs for years. The benefits are convenience and white collar jobs (those working for that technology) replacing the blue collar ones.

    If this technology was well executed and well implemented it could also lower the overhead for the bar, (by elimination of employers) which potentially could result in lower prices for consumers. This might be an overly optimistic expectation but its feasible.
     
  14. mcaulifww

    mcaulifww Initiate (0) Virginia Aug 18, 2011

    I'll just say I think the concept is good. I don't think any successful business person would think their product is without flaw. I think big consumer chains Like the Yard house (someone mentioned) would benefit from this.
     
  15. Believe it or not I actually am disapointed to get an automatic toll collector as opposed to a person. The white collar job that built those automatic machines is good for that one white collar person, but it eliminated way more toll collector jobs. Of course, there is a limit to this. I don't wish every single automated convenience was gone, quite the opposite actually. I mean, how would everyone get vegetables if they were all still hand picked? I just wish the conversion from the human interaction to the interaction with a machine didn't have to touch every single industry. Bartending is one that I'd like to see left alone personally.

    Also, you say that you're "overly optimistic" about prices potentially dropping as a result of reduced overhead. I say you're outright delusional, ha ha ha. Just busting balls, but honestly I don't think there are many business owners who are thinking about driving the cost of their product down as they buy machines that replace people.
     
  16. mcaulifww

    mcaulifww Initiate (0) Virginia Aug 18, 2011

    My one question is how much does this cost to implement? I see a handy calculator on the website with reasonable rational. but is the ROI enough to justify a possibly large bar overhaul and large equiptment purchase, New employee training and computer software?
     
  17. mcaulifww

    mcaulifww Initiate (0) Virginia Aug 18, 2011

    Doubt prices would go down. But margins for the establishment might go up, and with that, blue collar jobs could be created.
     
  18. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Why wouldn't they? So they install this magic doodad and cut out their bartenders, incurring a one-time cost in exchange for lower recurring costs. Maybe they keep prices the same for a while to pay off the new doodad, but once it's paid off they have two options:

    1) Keep prices the same, make more money via the increased margins.
    2) Lower prices, attract more customers, make potentially even more money on increased volume with decreased prices.

    It's not obvious why they'd choose 1 when 2 could just as easily work.


    Anyway, this system seems, uh, neat I guess, but it's like those automated checkout systems at big retail stores. They mostly work most of the time, but can be frustrating and need to be watched anyway. It might be a productivity increase, but the only people who will use it are big chains because small bars can't afford it and/or prefer the personal touch anyway.

    Personally I never go to any big chain bars, so it's all a big "whatever" to me.
     
    mcaulifww likes this.
  19. I suppose, but I doubt it would equal out to those that were lost.
     
  20. Wow, I respect your consistency, however you must not have a commute that requires driving through a toll. Nevermind a blue collar job, I might be willing to kill a blue collar worker (Just Kidding!) to not sit in the lines that would exist if it was collected by hand (and required proper change on hand).
     
  21. I hope these are relegated to chain bars/restaurants only. I don't go to any chains either.

    I like how you say that some places prefer the "personal touch." Some customers, like me, prefer that too.

    Maybe you're right on the reduction of cost in the beer. What you say makes sense, I guess I am too cynical when it comes to business owners.
     
  22. It's true, I do not have a commute that requires a toll. If I did, I would probably have a different view point.
     
    BigCheese likes this.
  23. I'm really not seeing the benefit for consumers in all of this, and I'm not a big fan of it for a wide variety of reasons.

    Ultimately though, I'm really getting sick and tired of being tracked with everything I do. Having a digital record of exactly how much I drank is going way over the line IMO.

    I'm also very curious how this accounts for overly heady lines that a bartender would end up wasting half of a beer to get a proper pour to serve. I realize that is loss for the bar, but if this kind of system puts that on consumers, it means we would often end up with either extremely overpriced beers, or, very ugly pours to keep the contents from spilling over.

    I could go on, but I really hope this doesn't ever become a thing at craft bars.
     
  24. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Savant (365) Missouri Jun 10, 2008

    Biggest problem I see is 99% of people don't know how to pour a beer. Put the glass straight under the tap, and boom... glass full of foam. Instant complaint.

    Another problem is people don't know how to pour a beer. I see the faucet ending up touching the beer in some customer's glasses towards the end of their pour. They finish drinking their beer and pour more beer on top of their backwash, tip of the faucet dipped in the backwash infused beer. The next person pours the previous person's diseased backwash into their glass. Sounds lovely. Gross. Might as well be sharing a toothbrush with random homeless people.

    I wouldn't utilize this system for the latter reason. It's the same reason I won't touch a buffet or salad bar. I don't want random strangers breathing all over my food and I don't want them licking the faucet I get my beer from.
     
    billandsuz and FTowne like this.
  25. I dont like the idea of not having tap handles visible. That being said id be willing to give this a shot.
     
  26. BrettJones

    BrettJones Aspirant (45) Dec 19, 2012

    I can clear up a few things.

    First, I wouldn't want anyone tracking how much I've been drinking and we've paid a lot of attention to that is our development. The ounces poured are tracked just to know how much to bill you. As soon as you close your tab, how much is drank is gone. There is only a record of what you drank, not how much.

    Secondly, our system is very customizable by each location. They can choose the number of ounces to be poured before a reload and they can set the number of ounces you can pour for each reload. They can also set the limits based on ABV. They can set the ABV target for the number of ounces and we adjust from there. Suppose they set a 32 ounce limit for 9% ABV. If you pour a 9% double IPA you will be stopped at 32 ounces (it takes any employee less than 3 seconds to reload you as they pass by a tap). If you are pouring a 4.5% Lager, you would get 64 ounces before you hit the limit. They can also choose to do it hourly where the first hour you might get 32 ounces and the next hour you get 16 ounces without having to be reloaded. They can combine hourly, ABV, etc. and come up with anything they want to enable you to drink while still making the system legal by not overserving and requiring human interaction.

    I'm not sure about not having the tap handles visible. They mount the same handles on each faucet. Here are some pictures of a couple installs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ipourit The black generic handles are just what we put on during installation. The bar then puts the correct handles on later.

    As for the cost per ounce of beer, it's up to the bar. So far all our clients have kept the per ounce fee the same as what the bartender pours. So a $6 pint that a bartender pours will be $6/16 = $0.375 / ounce. Same happy hour rules apply and will automatically adjust the per ounce rate during their specials.

    As for the hardware affecting flow, we work with beer line installers to balance each line. We know what restriction our system adds to the line and they then know how much chocker to take out. So the beer pours beautifully. We have cards we leave with clients that show how to properly pour a beer. We also have banners they post and some print the instructions in the menus. Everyone has fun learning to pour a beer. If they pour poorly they will have a lot of head in the pint glass - all the instructions tell them to let it settle because foam is beer - after one or two wild pours, everyone can pour a perfect pint. But a poor pour will release the CO2 in the cup, not the beer line. We are only measuring the liquid in the line so if you pour a 16 ounce cup with 8 ounces beer and 8 ounces foam, when it settles you will have about 10 ounces of beer which is what our system will have measured and added to your bill. Our system is incredibly accurate and we test every install with a measuring cup, let it foam and settle to make sure what we poured is what we measured.

    I appreciate the feedback!

    Thanks,
    Brett Jones
     
  27. thanks for all the answers!
     
  28. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    People would grow and harvest their own veggies... Im with you man.
     
  29. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    This will never come to Texas unless the tap can pass a written TABC licensing test. :)
     
  30. Never realized "not driving=alcohol can be consumed in unlimited quantities."

    Plus, if I'm ever buying rounds for friends, the process is typically reciprocated thereby coming out a wash. If you're constantly doing all the beer buying, then we need to hang out.
     
    sirtomtom likes this.
  31. Brett,

    Is there a site that shows what bars have this? I would be interested in finding and trying this out sometime.
     
  32. Although put very crudely, this is the main issue.
    If they tried to implement this at the Yard House I work at, they would have to redesign nearly the entire building because the taps make up the central core of the restaurant. Plus, people would get real annoyed having to recharge their wristband after every couple half yards or so.
    This is another problem. Germaphobes are gonna hate this.
     
  33. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Savant (360) Vermont Jan 23, 2009

    I would imagine that to follow many (most?) health codes, they would be required to get new glassware for every pour, just like you are required to get new plates at salad bars and buffets.

    also, if you read brett's reply he addressed the issue of volume pretty well (I think).
     
  34. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (415) New York Sep 1, 2004

    buying and drinking beer is something people have been doing for, oh, 1,000 years. i figure people have been trying to "improve" this situation for the past 900 or so years.

    drinking beer at a bar is not broken. it's not something that needs to be fixed.

    i wish you luck and success with your invention. while i hope never to experience this technology, i imagine 26 year old assistant general managers and their patrons who consistently overpay for watery suds and velveeta covered nachos will find this shiny object quite intriquing.
    Cheers.
     
    cubbyswans likes this.

  35. So it bothers you that you won't have to talk to the bartender before/after every beer anymore, but it also bothers you that you WILL have to talk to the bartender to get a reset after every two beers?

    Do you want to have to talk to the bartender or not?
     
  36. It's the nature of the conversation that is dictating my opinion on the matter. In one I am conversing with them about any number of things from the beer to the weather. In another, I am asking permission to keep drinking.
     
  37. MeadGuyfromMD

    MeadGuyfromMD Savant (260) Maryland May 23, 2007

    Interesting. I have been working on something like this as well, but not quite as automated. The wristband + Setup + Check ID's + type up the settings per patron = time. So I am not sure how much work this saves. I would need to try it, before I make a decision on my perception of the product. I definitely don't want to hope, that people us clean glassware. This is one area I am concerned about. If they ID the glasses to know if they were already used, then yes, I would be more comfortable with it from a sanitary standpoint. Then when glasses are cleaned, they are *reset*.

    I do like the idea of being able to go with a 1/2 or 1/4 pour, I think this is where it can be most useful. *Flights* can be a PITA for bartenders, especially during busy times. I order samplers often and I usually see the people around me get their full pours before my flight arrives. I don't like that, serve everyone at once. OR Let me go make my own :)

    Overall, cool concept, but I need to try it.
     
  38. You understand that in the first conversation, the bartender is determining if you are sober enough to have permission to keep drinking, right? Make a conversation when you ask for a rest. It's pretty much the same thing.
     
  39. That's still a record. And you clearly have the ability to log it, whether that gets turned on or not. Even if you start with good intentions, we all know how this goes down the road as some large chain wants to start using the oz/person data and offers to pay you for it.

    That's great in theory, but even the best and most well kept bars have pouring issues with their taps all the time. I don't see how adding additional hardware and having untrained people pouring the beer could do anything but make it worse. Bars frequently dump beer, or keep a pitcher going on the side, just to enable a good pour for everyone. How can that possibly work with an automated system that charges you by the ounce?


    The responses are appreciated, but you did completely ignore the issue of sanitization. Does somebody go through and sanitize the tap between every pour? Or is there just a stack of glassware to take from? (Even then, particularly when alcohol is involved, people are just going to re-use their own glass and stick the faucet directly into it, which is quite gross).
     
    jasonmason likes this.
  40. yojimbo1

    yojimbo1 Initiate (0) Kansas Feb 26, 2012

    Haha
     

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