bartender pouring beer from tap bartender pouring beer from tap A "smart beer" concept from Weissbeerger promises to pour more than just beer from your neighborhood bar's tap. (Photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock)

The metrics behind your favorite beer

Find out how a new trend-spotting beer tap turns drinks into data.

When you drop into your favorite bar, sit down at the counter and ask for "the usual," your bartender had better know what you mean.

It's a simple equation: customer frequents bar enough times + said bartender earns copious tip for getting it right + customer feels like bartender "gets" him = a win-win on both sides of the counter.

But what if that kind of personal, thoughtful treatment could be extended far beyond "the usual" and translated into real, usable data that helps bartenders, bar owners and servers actually predict what anyone – newcomers, regulars, party guests – will order even before they walk in the door?

Enter the smart beer tap. Yes, you read that right. Smart. Beer. Two words that are no longer mutually exclusive, thanks to an Israeli startup called Weissbeerger that turns beer taps into data-mining machines.

The idea behind WeissBeerger, according to founder and CEO Omer Agiv, is to help bar and restaurant owners grow their businesses by learning what their customers want. “Breweries were always looking for ways to monitor consumption of their brands,” Agiv told Forbes. “The traditional method was counting the number of kegs sold to a bar by month or quarter.”

With Weissbeerger, he explained, as the beer flows, bars can monitor consumption, brand and preferences using a sensor attached to the tap. The entire data set is then transferred to a cloud-based platform, known as Alcohol Analytics, from which owners can set or adjust pricing, create promotions or discounts, adjust wholesale purchasing and much more. Think of it as the Google Analytics of the beverage industry.

For example, Agiv said, a brewery owner might want to see how a new brew is performing. By looking at Weissbeerger's Alcohol Analytics dashboard, the owner can see exactly how well it's selling not just in his own bar, but at other bars in the area as well. Got a happy hour promotion going? The dashboard knows whether it's successful (read: profitable), so the owner can decide to continue or cancel it.

The company, based in Tel Aviv, currently hosts clients throughout Europe, China, South America and Israel, with plans in the works to expand into the United States.

So what will that mean for you, the consumer? Let's say you live in St. Louis, but you and your entire family aren't fond of Budweiser (blasphemy!). Your neighborhood pub would be well-served to know that kind of information, so that next time you stop in, they won't be sold out of that anonymous Irish stout you've had a hankering for.


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Drinks

The metrics behind your favorite beer
Find out how a new trend-spotting beer tap turns drinks into data.