Carlsberg is going to launch a smart keg that can monitor beer levels on a tablet and alert the brewery for more supplies when stocks are running low. The information will help the bar owner and the brewery to better predict sales and to monitor consumption of certain products over the course of a day or a year.
“This allows us to make sure the right product is available at the right place at the right time,” says Nancy Cruickshank, Senior Vice President Digital Business Transformation at Carlsberg. After a successful test in Berlin, the digital system around the keg will be launched next month in Copenhagen, Malmo and Milan.
The system uses Carlsberg’s collapsible keg system DraughtMaster™, which was already presented in 2016 and which is being rolled out at the moment in Western Europe and some Chinese cities. Draught Master is a smaller plastic keg that is compressed by air rather than tapped with CO2 and is said to keep the beer fresh for up to 30 days.
The smaller size of the keg, which holds 20 liters as opposed to the traditional 30 and 50 liter kegs, becomes increasingly popular for the use of specialty beers and for bars with a lower beer consumption. Carlsberg argues, that its smaller plastic keg allows bars and restaurants to try out some of the lesser known and more expensive beers because they don’t run the risk of the beer going flat.
However, Reuters commented on the product last week that “the switch to plastic goes against an increasing trend among food and beverage makers to turn away from single-use plastic packaging, as consumers become more environment conscious. Carlsberg said although the kegs are single-use, it is working on a plan to collect and recycle them.”
Other brewers have already similar products in use which are supposed to complement and replace in certain areas the bigger, heavier and more expensive returnable stainless steel kegs. AB InBev uses for example PureDraught kegs, while Heineken uses its Blade and BrewLock systems (inside.beer, 5.5.2018). New in the market are light-weight stainless steel kegs which are said to combine the advantages of the stainless steel keg with those of a one-way keg (inside.beer, 29.7.2017).