Relief from Pitchers

Innovation by | Feb 2013 | Issue #73

Pitchers are so passé. These days, there are a number of different ways to serve beer to the masses without having to pass that pesky, overused vessel.

On one end of the spectrum, there’s the Beer Tube—a 100-ounce self-serve device that lets customers pour beer from a “tap” at their table. Like pitchers, Beer Tubes are filled at the bar, then brought over to the table. They are placed in a special base, which allows each customer to serve him- or herself—just like a pitcher, but with a tap, like a jug used for water or tea. Different shapes and customizable labeling can promote a specific bar or sports team, and interchangeable parts and accessories make for easy cleaning and repairs. Icy inserts are available to help keep beer cold. Details at

For those wanting to really go all-out, check out the Tap House HB in Huntington Beach, Calif., where customers are encouraged to pour their own at a self-serve wall of taps. A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) program, iPourIt, activates the taps via a wristband worn by patrons. The program tracks consumption and produces a tab at the end of the night—as well as cutting off customers who reach a maximum quantity. Tap House is the first business to use what iPourIt’s developers hope will become a web-based system that not only serves beer, but also sends patrons—who set up a personal iPourIt ID number—discounts or promotions from participating locations based on their personal drink preferences. More at