BEEP! MEASURING TAP POURS WITH RFID

For the last BrewLab party, we put a few fancy electronic touches on serving. If you were there, you probably noticed a little electronic tag on the bottom of your tasting glass and some matte black readers hooked up to the bar taps:

 

With these in place, we asked the bartenders to scan the tasting glass at the tap before pouring. And we even considered to

 

buy terpenes online! After the end was over, we tallied up all the beers poured. But then what? We put aside our beer thieves and hydrometers for a few evenings and broke out our pocket protectors and statistics software to answer a few questions…

WHAT DID PEOPLE DRINK? HOW MUCH?

Larger figure (PDF) of beers by pour

Top three beers of the night by popular demand? Bexley’s Porter, Love Potion #4 Oyster Stout, and You Ruined My Life Bitter.

We collectively drank about 80 gallons of beer. With just under 1200 pours, that’s about 8oz per pour. People had between 4 and 5 drinks on average:

Larger figure (PDF) of drinks per person

JUST HOW MANY BEERS DID WE POUR? WHEN WAS THE BEER FLOWING?

All told, we recorded 1,163 pours. Beer was flowing most freely between 9pm and 10pm, with 437 poured that hour:

Larger figure (PDF) of overall pour rate

HOW DID THINGS CHANGE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NIGHT?

What poured early? Late? Did drinking tastes change? What kicked the fastest?

This chart is a little unusual, but it show how the pours were more diverse earlier in the evening compared to later. That’s probably not due to drinking tastes becoming more conservative, but just because of us starting to finish off kegs around 11 to 12 o’clock. Here are the breakdowns of pours, split out by hour:

Larger figure (PDF) of diversity by hour

Splitting it out into 10-minute windows the chart is much busier, but clearly shows the selection tapering off at the end.

It’s also interesting to look at the pour rate over the night, by beer:

It’s easier to make careful comparisons when they’re stacked vertically on the larger figure (PDF) of pour rate over time by beer in 60 minute, 30 minute, and 10 minute windows.

ANOTHER ONE OF THE SAME?

Did people ever go back for seconds of the same beer? Thirds? Fourths?

Why, yes, indeed! The top personal favorite beers were:

  1. Belgian Trippel: One afficionado went back 5 times.
  2. Troglodyte Brown ESB: Someone went back 4 times and a couple of folks went back 3 times.
  3. The Skeptic Red IPA: Someone went back 4 times for the Red IPA, too.

Andrew’s Rye Bock, Love Potion #4, Cyclhops, and the Best One Red Ale were personal-fave runners-up, each with a few people going back not just for seconds, but thirds.


Special thanks to Jason Morrison for leading the RFID charge and for putting together this excellent summary. Come to our next party for new and improved RFID wizardry!