Imagine your brewery attempting to release a new beer on tap in your brewpub or taproom. Your bartenders are waiting to pour the delicious new creation, but they can only go as fast as the tap will allow, and they may only be able to securely pour one at a time, while simultaneously spilling/wasting beer out of the keg.
As your bartenders work diligently, the line grows longer and longer. Eventually, you’re dealing with a 45-minute line to taste your new brew. What may seem like a great problem for your taproom is actually a deterrent.
Yes, people will get to taste your beer, but what about those individuals that see the 45-minute line and go elsewhere? What happens when that group outnumbers the amount of people that actually were able to taste your beer?
This is exactly what happened to Josh Springer, the founder of GrinOn Industries and Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispensers. However, when Springer realized the issue, he also saw a solution.
At the time Springer’s father didn’t think his Bottoms Up idea could be accomplished, but not wanting to pass on a challenge, Springer worked on the prototype for four days until he had a complete operating beer dispenser. Springer and his partners realized, because the draft system is 100 percent hands free, that you could actually serve up to 50 beers in a minute.
“We were trying to talk to Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington, about doing a Guiness World Record,” said Springer. “We were going to try and get money from [the world record] to build the first prototype. They called a couple of days later and said, ‘hey we’d love to do the event, but we had a movie night last night and the beer line was 45-minutes long … you need to bring this crazy contraption up to this event.’”
Springer and his team didn’t think it was possible. However, Redhook had sent a photo of a line and far off in the distance you could see a small booth for beer purchases. The line was unacceptable to Springer, so he and his team came together for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and developed out a complete prototype to take up to Redhook.
However, “The event rained out and they said ‘we don’t need you to come up,’” said Springer. “We sent them a video of the very first beer filling from the bottom, and said if we fill one beer we’ll be happy, we’ll consider it a success. They said, ‘we don’t know what we just saw, but you absolutely have to come up.’
“We came up, the event was on a Thursday and that Friday I put in my two weeks notice [to my day job.]”
The system is 100 percent hands free. You can set the pitcher or cup down and it will fill up automatically. The next benefit is that every pour is perfect every time, and the brewery is actually able to leverage the magnet in the bottom of the cup for additional marketing.
“There’s three real benefits,” said Springer. “It’s very high keg yield, so you get every drop of beer out of the keg. Could you imagine if 30 percent less beer was needed? There wouldn’t be as big of a water shortage. A lot of our customers are leveraging that ad space, or souvenir space in the bottom of the cup that is the magnet. Think value above and beyond the beer.
“Everything GrinOn, or Bottoms Up does, is from the perspective of the person in the beer line. The guy waiting, having to wait for the beer, and a guy at the bar wanting a beer. From a quality standpoint, from our customers’ customers standpoint; it has an inhering benefit to our customer because if you’re serving your customer faster, you’re making more money; you’re having to use less beer out of the keg to give someone more beer in their glass. That’s actually the benefit.”
Each year new brewers are striving to discover how to do more with less. If you have beer lines and are striving to make more money, Bottoms Up could be your solution with draft beer sales.