The Draft Master: Beer-Dispensing Table That Lets You Pour Your Own Beer At Bars | Sharapova's Thigh

The Draft Master (Photo credit: OregonLive.Com)

Ever get annoyed when you're at the bar and it takes what feels like forever to get a beer there? Either the place is packed, your server seemingly forgets you're there, the bartender is more interested in serving that hottie at the end of the bar before you(understandably), etc. Well, it happens to me a lot, so the idea of the bar having beer-dispensing tables that allow you to immediately get your own beer is music to my ears.

Beer-dispensing tables? Yeah, that's right. These tables can be found in bars in some states right now, and apparently will continue to be added to more. Here's much more information on these tables from The Bellingham Herald:

The mobile table, fitted with beer taps designed to let bar patrons draw their own brews, can be found in establishments in Washington, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Las Vegas.
The Draft Master could become a regular fixture in bars, especially as global conglomerate Diageo, the world's largest beer, wine and spirits company, has put its marketing muscle behind it. Diageo, based in London, has bought 900 of the tables, which typically feature Diageo's Guinness beer, for use in more than 250 pubs across Ireland.

Ellickson International, the Waterford, Ireland-based company that makes the Draft Master, is advertising the table as an efficient dispenser of beer that encourages camaraderie in pub and restaurant settings. It's starting to sell them in markets across Europe and is preparing to enter Asia. Its U.S. office is in Annapolis, Md.

The Draft Master makes it easy for a consumer to buy beer on demand. The table features two taps that swivel 360 degrees. A digital meter on the taps keeps track of the amount that's drawn. Up to two different kinds of beers can be poured.

"That's the beautiful thing: There's no waste on this thing," said Delves. "Every ounce of alcohol that comes out of it is accounted for."

Underneath the table, which is wide enough for at least eight people to stand around, is a complex cooling system that can keep two beer kegs chilled at precise temperatures. The table, taps and cooling system costs $7,850, and the separate wireless computer that controls it goes for nearly $2,000.

Over the next month, Goodman, who now runs U.S. operations for Ellickson, will be overseeing the installation of the tables at restaurants in Florida, Chicago, California, Washington and Canada.

Pretty cool stuff. The one downside for customers is that the Draft Master itself will not take your money, but you instead have to pay a server like you would if you ordered a drink from them directly. Additionally, you're only allowed two beers at a time, and the server will judge whether or not you can get another round from the Draft Master:

Beer laws in most places don't allow for people to pay for beer out of a vending machine, and the Draft Master can't be considered one because it doesn't accept payments, company officials say.

Instead, users of the Draft Master have to pay separately for the beer; each drinker is allowed to pour only up to two beers at a time, with a server having to authorize the next round.

That's of course a wise thing for bars though, since it will avoid people treating the joint like an Animal House keg party, and it will allow the servers to still get tips from the customers.

It will be interesting to see how popular the Draft Master becomes, and if it's soon distributed nationally. For bars, especially quite busy ones, it makes a lot of sense as the Draft Master essentially works as another bartender/server to have around, and most importantly, it prevents free drinks from being handed out to friends of the bartenders/servers. Therefore, the bar gets back the money owed for every beer the Draft Master pours, and that's certainly not going to be the case when it's the bartender pouring the beers.

So keep an eye out for the Draft Master at a bar near you, and I'd love to hear your feedback on it if you use one. Cheers.

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