Indiana company helping bars track beer with iKeg
INDIANAPOLIS — When kegs of specialty or craft beers run out unexpectedly, beer lovers aren’t happy. Now a Central Indiana company is using technology to try to make that a thing of the past.
Scotty’s Brewhouse is known for a big selection of draught beers, but they don’t have a very scientific way of keeping track of all their kegs.
“Pick it up and feel it,” said Ryan Kellerman, Director of Beverage and Hospitality for Scotty’s Brewhouse.
Kellerman says they spend an hour and a half to two hours a week taking inventory, in order to place their orders.
“A majority of that (time) is in the keg cooler,” Kellerman said. “Counting kegs and lifting kegs up.”
But for the past two weeks they’ve been lifting a little less, thanks to some new technology that proves, yes, there’s even an app for taps.
“One is ten percent, two are 40 percent and one is 60 percent currently,” Kellerman said, reading the numbers from his iPhone.
Scotty’s is testing new technology called iKeg. It’s made by SteadyServ Technologies, a company based in Carmel, that has been test piloting it’s system in a handful of bars in Indianapolis and Carmel.
“We have 40 percent left in this keg that’s hooked up to this line,” Kellerman said. “Which equates to 49 pints left.”
The iKeg software works thanks to a couple of pieces of hardware. Each keg gets an RFID tag at the distributor, which is similar to the security tags department stores use on clothing. The tag communicates with an iKeg sensor, which is a disc that fits beneath each keg.
Steve Hershberger is the Chairman and CEO of SteadyServ, he says the sensor measures weight and velocity inside the keg, to determine how much beer is being consumed.
“It uses a series of wireless technologies and cellular technologies to get that information from the cooler up to the cloud, or the internet, and back down to the handset,” Hershberger said. “Which is where people can do things with it.”
Hershberger says the beta testing will soon expand across Indiana and into Ohio, and he says they will eventually move it to distributors and bars across the country.
“It’s really cool,” Kellerman said.
Cool, because it saves Scotty’s time and money.
“We’ll be able to order correctly and we won’t run out of beer,” Kellerman said. “That’s the ultimate goal of the whole thing.”
The goal for SteadyServ is to integrate the App into ordering and social media, and that means customers will also get to tap into the technology.
“You’re going to be able to look at your phone and the app is going to tell you to go a block down the street and to the right and they’ve got three of your favorite beers,” Hershberger said.
For more information on iKeg and SteadyServ, go to www.steadyserv.com