Innovation That Matters

Tap your own beer at bars

Food & Drink

More than a century ago, citizens of the Czech city of Pilsen pioneered new methods of brewing and storing beer. Now a new franchising concept called the Pilsner Unique Bar is mixing the town’s venerable brewing tradition with leading-edge technology. The establishment’s main innovation? Patrons no longer have to line up at the bar or wait for a server. Instead, they serve themselves from taps installed at the bar’s tables. A display keeps track of how many beers have been poured. Technology has also been integrated in other ways: the Pilsner Unique Bar is connected to sister franchises elsewhere in the country, so that patrons can challenge barflies in other towns to contests. And wireless internet is available for customers who want to surf while they sip. Like many successful franchises, the Unique Bar makes optimal use of its floor space. During the day a coffee shop and restaurant attract most of the patrons until the early evening, which is when the pub transforms into a nightspot. However, Unique Bar’s self-service tap could be the feature that most endears the concept to customers and prospective owners. Not only does it cut down on staffing needs, it also lets customers get their brews as soon as they want them, and attracts parties and groups. We’ve spotted this system in Dublin, too, where patrons of The Baggot Inn swipe a credit card to pull their own beers. Staff is on hand to offer tips on how to pull the perfect pint. Next up: DIY cocktail bars for wannabe mixologists? Spotted by: Viktor Vojtko and Severine Brichard



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