AB InBev is Testing a New Data-Tracking Automated Pouring Tap System
Most bar and restaurant owners would love the chance at technology that could improve their ability to track real time metrics like which of their beer selections are selling best, when and how much. That technology may not be far away. Anheuser-Busch InBev is testing out a new beer dispensing system from startup company I-TAP Inc. that could change the way the beer retail industry does business.
According to I-TAP Inc’s website, the iTap system aims to “[revolutionize] the process of managing, maintaining, and maximizing both the concessionary systems & profit generation of the beer industry, specifically within sports & entertainment venues.” Built for high-volume systems, beer taps within the iTap system monitor levels and temperature, while drawing automated portion-controlled pints based on pre-programmed settings to eliminate waste through overpours or theft in the form of freebies.
It’s probably not a system that’s going to work well for friendly neighborhood pubs or craft beer bars, but that’s not who it’s being marketed toward anyway. As the I-TAP site itself suggests, it would be perfect for sports stadiums, large concert venues, large chain restaurants and franchises, and other situations where you’re not offering samples or building bonds with well-paying regular customers – you’re serving hundreds or thousands of anonymous consumers daily and you need accuracy, consistency, and as little product wasted as possible.
So it’s no wonder that a massive brewing company like AB InBev would sit up and take notice – the company moves more beer by volume than any other brewing company in the world, and perfect-pour accuracy could be a boon for its profit margins. What’s more, I-TAP Inc also promises to track data on inventory sales and other information that the company can use to push sales for its brand portfolio even further.
“Discussions with Anheuser-Busch InBev have included the possible implementation of I-TAP for data collection to be used as a sales tool to secure additional customers, manage inventory control for their customers and enhance marketing efforts,” said John Osborne, Founder and President of I-TAP Inc, in a statement to the St. Louis Business Journal. “In the beer business, it doesn’t get any bigger than Budweiser and this is a tremendous opportunity for I-TAP; we look forward to the opportunity to further develop our relationship with this industry leader.”