Thirsty crowds know that where there's a beer, there's a wait. That's because the average draft pint takes at least 25 seconds to pull. Any slower, and the beer comes out flat; any faster, and a frothy lager latte results. In the past two years, with profits shrinking, brewers have become keen to serve more customers without sacrificing quality, and they have sought technology to help.
Pouring beer quickly does not mean simply using bigger spouts. Draft beer's ticklish nature requires a fine balance between temperature and pressure. Most dispensing systems rely on carbon dioxide gas pumped down into the keg to push beer up to a tap. Higher CO2 pressure would speed delivery--but produce a river of foam. Every brew needs a slightly different pressure to be served well.
This article was originally published with the title Two-Second Drafts.