The voyage from brewery or vineyard to a customer’s frosty mug or wine glass is never a straight line. Stakeholders in this circumventuous path range from upstart home brewers and emerging vineyards, to distributors to tavern owners, and finally, to those at home sipping or gulping their favorite adult beverages. And since Hall of Fame bar guru Jon Taffer can’t be everywhere, there’s technology to make a disconnected process more streamlined.

Take, for example, Nectar Labs’ Getnectar. With U.S. offices based in Palo Alto, Getnectar hopes to make radical changes to bar management to ensure proprietors are more efficient and profitable in their businesses. Using an IoT-based inventory management systems, the company uses sensor and infrared technology that is baked into a pourer/bottle stopper to track volumes left in each bottle. The system produces a dashboard of data that shows amount poured versus estimates and connects to an app to alert the manager when a given bottle is finished. The technology even takes the next step and connects to ordering system.

While its founders, Aayush Phumbhra and Prabhanjan Gurumohan, Ph.D., are not steeped in hospitality experience, they are successful entrepreneurs having cofounded textbook giant Chegg and content-enablement platform Genwi respectively.

Nectar is doing for alcohol consumption data what Google did for click through data. By bringing disciplined metrics to a previously unmeasured space, Nectar is closing the massive information gap to make the bar industry more intelligent and efficient,” Phumbhra told Digital Trends. “With sell-through data available in real-time, and self-replenishment a reality, Nectar will improve the unit economics of the industry.”

Adding the customer to the mix, another newcomer, IntelliCup is part of an end-to-end system that includes a smart keg and smart dispenser that offers patron a precise self-pour experience. Built to combat the frustration felt by those waiting in long lines to be served, the smart IntelliCup (which has a payment chip embedded) is placed on the IntelliHead which dispenses beer from self-serve station, from the bottom of the cup upward. Each smart cup connects to an app from which a customer can buy credits. Accounts can be shared as multiple wallet payments can be created in one account and multiple cups can be linked to each wallet.

The company says each cup can be used up to 10 times, and for those worried about contamination from multiple uses of one cup on the smart pourer, IntelliHead dock has an integrated rinsing system that will clean the cup docking area each time, ensuring a high level of cleanliness and hygiene for each cup that is docked.

Beyond happier customers, the IntelliCup system collects customer usage data when customers register for the app and eliminates fraud and shrinkage using a cashless system.

According to Mike Ward of parent company Invisionary Holdings, based in Mauritius, the system’s “route to market” is being handled by industry leaders Heineken, Meantime Brewing and Peppermint Bars. The first major demonstration event took place at The Riviera on the London Southbank in July.

Image credit: Vratislav Darmek

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Allen Weiner is an Austin-based freelance writer focusing on applications of new technology in the areas of food, media and education. In his 17-year career as a vice president and analyst with Gartner, Inc., the world’s largest IT research and advisory firm, Allen was a frequent speaker at company and industry events as well as one of the most-quoted analysts in the area of new media. With an extensive background in publishing and publishing technology, Allen is noted as the founder of The Gate (, the nation’s first daily newspaper on the web. Born in Philadelphia, Allen is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Temple University.

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