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Science Technology

Five-second Pints 88

Posted by michael
from the keeping-priorities-straight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Forget about gigahertz processors, faster pipes, quicker CD burners, etc. The BBC News is reporting on a truly important development: A tap that can pour a pint in just 5 seconds. Bottoms up!!"
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Five-second Pints

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  • Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

    by kernelistic (160323)
    The stronger the beer, the better the code!
  • Guinness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mhesseltine (541806) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @12:55AM (#6715405) Homepage Journal

    Isn't the point of Guinness to pour the beer as slowly as possible? Wouldn't this just cause the beer to foam up more, thus causing you to serve flat beer?

    P.S. I'm not a beer drinker, so if any of these questions seem stupid, I'm sorry.

    • Re:Guinness (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ottawanker (597020)
      I assume that this is the advance here.. To pour the beer faster, but without the foaming. Otherwise someone would have thought of this before- bigger spout == faster beer pouring.
    • Re:Guinness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hungus (585181) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @01:09AM (#6715444) Journal
      Not just Guiness but any decent beer. The sign of a good publican is a slow draw. I dont want a large head on my beer. If the idea was just to increase the speed it would have justtaken a larger nozel however from the article it states "Rob Hayward, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: "It is an innovation which the customers will welcome because they clearly want to be served with good quality in high-volume locations. " So I have to assum eit is a good draw at higher speeds if so then this is very welcome. Now I wonder if the King's head in Sutton Valance will get one?
      • Re:Guinness (Score:4, Informative)

        by JimmyGulp (60100) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @02:25AM (#6715574) Homepage
        The idea is *just* to increase speed. Its for the pubs (or more likely, "trendy bars"), as pointed out here [ananova.com], where queues become a problem. From the ananonva article, its been done by the people who do Carling, which is a beer for people who don't like their insides very much (personal preference, I hate the stuff), and have both a short attention span and no ability to wait it out patiently at a packed bar.

        I want my beer served at 4degC, in 117.5 seconds (or whatever the advert claims), with a little shamrock on the top ;)
      • Decent beer? Hah, in the Netherlands every decent beer drinker likes a big head (2 fingers thick) on his beer. Every country outside ours has a slower tap speed.
      • Re:Guinness (Score:4, Insightful)

        by floydigus (415917) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:13AM (#6716014)
        So I have to assum eit is a good draw at higher speeds

        I, on the other hand, assume that the British Beer and Pub Association think that if they can pour more pints more quickly then their members will turn a greater profit (by employing less bar staff or serving more customers, for instance).
    • Re:Guinness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NexusTw1n (580394) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @04:17AM (#6715819) Journal
      It's the point for some beers, such as Guiness, and bitters which are often still hand drawn.

      I suspect this is for bland lager beers - Stella,Fosters, Carlsberg, Coors, American Budweiser, Carling etc etc.

      These are extremely bland mass produced beers and the speed it is delivered to the glass makes no difference to the taste and is so carefully carbonated it doesn't froth up.

      This is a minor speed improvement, I've seen these kind of beers served with dual head nozzles that deliver twice the volume and take around 10 seconds to pour.

      Even a normal lager pump only takes around 15-20 seconds currently and doesn't fizz up the beer.

      I suspect there could be marketing problems with this though. Even though people are aware of the fact they are drinking cheap mass produced lagers, they still like to see it being poured. Having it appear in a glass as if by magic, makes it seem all the more instant, and disposable. It may makes some people question what on earth they are drinking that can be poured that quickly and easily.
      • I suspect there could be marketing problems with this though. Even though people are aware of the fact they are drinking cheap mass produced lagers, they still like to see it being poured. Having it appear in a glass as if by magic, makes it seem all the more instant, and disposable. It may makes some people question what on earth they are drinking that can be poured that quickly and easily.

        You must not be American! :-)

        There are some people, like me, who do like their beer and like to see it poured, bu

      • In oz you can't pour our beers as fast. They are lagers but they foam up heaps if you pour them wrong. I have worked in bars here in the UK and sometimes u can put the glass down on the drip tray and turn the tap on. result amazingly is no head. Do that in oz and you'd get a glass full of foam.
  • Excellent (Score:5, Funny)

    by leviramsey (248057) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @12:55AM (#6715406) Journal

    Unfortunately, the technology is developed for Carling, which is utter piss.

  • if you need to get hammered that quickly drink everclear. for the rest of us, i think we can wait the extra ten seconds.
    • I've seen people go into FITS from drinking everclear. That shit's only good for two things. Killing brain cells and setting on fire. Only thing I've seen do worse to a person is that MD 20/20 stuff. Had to carry a friend that was foaming at the mouth cause she drank too much of it to the hospital 8 blocks down the road...
  • Come on! (Score:3, Funny)

    by MacEnvy (549188) <jbocinski@bociEU ... m minus math_god> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @01:07AM (#6715439) Journal
    College students have been doing this for years. Ever hear of a keg stand? How about a funnel?
    • Yeah, but even funnelling can't provide a pint in five seconds...
      • by Anonymous Coward
        wanna bet? Try 3 12 oz. cans in 8 sec. thats the standing record at my house at least.
        • Two words: beer bong. I went to the University of Missouri-Rolla, which is a small school but is one of the top ten party schools in the nation. It has calmed down a bit since I was there (early '80s), but there was a whole organization equivalent to student council which was in charge of putting on St. Pat's. We were off school Thursday and Friday that week. Thursday was the Extravaganza, where you would buy a special cup for about $3 and drink all the beer you could from 11:00AM to 5:00PM. They also
          • I was getting worried that nobody was gonna mention that one :-). It might even be faster than 5 sec for the more experienced... ahh fun
    • We had a funnel hooked up to a gas mask in college (JohnS Hopkins). If you didn't drink fast enough, the mask would start to fill up and you'd be up to your eyes in beer.

      I wonder if someone still has it. I don't think I lost too many brain cells.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @01:45AM (#6715502)
    Big deal - the sump pump in my basement can beat _that_.
  • by the darn (624240) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @02:03AM (#6715539) Homepage
    It's a beer bus that runs at a blazing 0.2 hz!
  • All thats left (Score:3, Informative)

    by McAddress (673660) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @02:26AM (#6715575)
    Now we just have to combine it with the wireless beer glass [slashdot.org] reported on Slashdot earlier.
  • i think (Score:5, Funny)

    by McAddress (673660) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @02:33AM (#6715587)
    Its about time that Slashdot got a section for beer. Perhaps use a logo like this [boozhoundlabs.com].
  • a faster tapwould require a faster pipe.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @03:09AM (#6715646) Homepage Journal
    This is slightly more impressive than American Slashdotter will be aware. In Britain a pint is an Imperial pint, which is 25% bigger than the pint we use.

    I'm somewhat bemused to discover that British pubs are still dispensing pints. We all remember (or should) that scene from Orwell's 1984. Winston Smith, trying to dig up forbidden history, goes looking for a guy old enough to remember The Revolution. Doesn't do him any good. He finds his source, but the man isn't very helpful. Does he care about the downfall of capitalism and democracy? Does it bother him that he now lives under a hyper-totalitarian state that makes Communism and Fascism look positively tolerant? No, he just cares that nobody will sell him a pint of beer. All they have is half-liters (not enough) and liters (too much for his aging bladder).

    Didn't turn out that way. I guess Orwell was full of it after all!

    • Re:The Pint Forever! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pentagram (40862) * on Sunday August 17, 2003 @09:18AM (#6716365) Homepage
      I'm somewhat bemused to discover that British pubs are still dispensing pints.

      There's special exemptions in the metric legislation for beer and milk to be sold in pints for cultural reasons.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How in the world could this possibly be a bad thing? SAME_DELICIOUS_AND_WONDERFUL_BEER + Now you can just walk up to the bar and get it rather than waiting 1/2 an hour while 35 people ahead of you are served. You guys are a piece of work! This is a GOOD_THING. BEER + FASTER = GOOD, Okay?

  • Anyone know of any breakthrough surgery which would allow me to down more brewskis to keep up with the tap *hic*
    • "In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia."
    • If you let the beer go flat first, and use a can with a mouth-sized nozzle and vent holes in the bottom, you can get 1.5 US pints down in under 10 seconds with little or no practice.

      The "reason" for this is the Beer-Bike relay race held every year at Rice University. The best chuggers could pretty regularly finish their beer in under 3 seconds; I heard of, but did not see with my own eyes, a 1.6 second chug.
  • The reporter should have been executed for using the term 'tipple'.
  • [Homer, with eyes rolling and dribble flowing]

    Hummmmmmm, beer .... *gasp*
  • The real question can the bartender still keep up with my drinking?
  • Too cold! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yonder Way (603108) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:46AM (#6716907)
    It is telling that the system was developed at the behest of one of the worst brewers on the planet. The system is tuned to deliver beer at 2 degrees celcius (that's 36 degrees to my fellow Americans).

    As any good beer advocate knows, a temperature of 36 degrees will numb the tongue and effectively kill any sense of taste you might experience while drinking your ale. The system needs to be warmed up by a good ten degrees (farenheit) so we can taste out beer.

    Oh, and please leave the frosty mugs behind as well. They are just a gimick and only serve to water my beer down and further numb the taste buds.
    • Re:Too cold! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by protoshoggoth (588994)
      I suspect that the extremely cold temp helps to keep the beer from foaming when blasted into the glass at this ludicrous rate.
    • I suppose it depends on what you want to drink at the time. I personally find a cold lager very crisp and refreshing, but then again sometimes other times I'll fancy a real ale or stout and probably grumble to myself if it is served too cold, or poured incorrectly...
    • Wonderful.

      I had it in Dublin: doesn't seem to have made it's way to America (yet).

      • I like Guiness cold, but the best is Mackesson's Sweet Stout. You pour a pitcher cold, and drink it like a normal person (ie not in 2 mins) and you get a wide varity of taste sensasions. As the stout warms, the flavor changes.

        Makes Miller/Bud/Coors pale (get it? pale) in comparison!

        Vertical
    • Just before frozen is the perfect temp for beer. I am talking lager type beers not ales, stouts etc which i don't drink anyway.
    • by foxtrot (14140) on Tuesday August 19, 2003 @03:30PM (#6736267)
      It is telling that the system was developed at the behest of one of the worst brewers on the planet... The system needs to be warmed up by a good ten degrees (farenheit) so we can taste out beer.

      So what you're saying is that the beer sucks, but you want it poured at a higher temperature so you can taste it sucking?
  • Whew! I'm glad this had to do with bad beer. When I saw it in Science Slashbox, I was scared that it had to do with giving blood at pressure-hose speeds!
  • by tiled_rainbows (686195) on Monday August 18, 2003 @08:01AM (#6721482) Homepage Journal
    In my (extensive) experience, the bottleneck in English beer-delivery systems is generally the staff. Used to be, when I was a lad, publicans were mature, dedicated professionals who spent their entire life pulling pints. It doesn't matter how long a tap takes to pour a pint if the operator has enough parallel-processing capacity to pour more than one drink at the same time, also, if they are even vaguely competent, they can take your money and put it through the till while the beer is pouring.

    Unfortunately, most pub staff (in London, anyway) these days are students or foreign travellers who are just filling in for a feew weeks/months and have no dedication or commitment - they're far more interested in taking cigarette breaks, chatting with their off-duty mates, taking mobile calls whilst working, etc, etc.

    I realise this makes me sound like a red-faced old reactionary bigot, but it is one of my pet peeves. It is impossible to over-stress how much of an improvement to my quality of life a general raise in the standard of London bar staff would represent. Faster taps my arse. Let's get some real professionals behind the bar.

    Thanks for letting me share.
    • Hear hear.

      Pub barmanship is a most neglected trade these days. Especially the part about taking mobile calls. Mobile phones can and SHOULD be switched off. That's what voicemail is for.

      Going offtopic, worst I ever saw was at JFK New York. A girl at the CD counter talked constantly on the phone while I was waiting for a flight, like for 2 hours or something. To different people, and half an hour of that I was standing in front of her hoping to ask a question. Since I didn't have a CD in my hand she just

      • Are you talking about the US? I thought you guys were pretty good on customer service. I thought it was just a London thing. I always thought that it was, at least partly, a product of our class system. Bar work = manual "unskilled" job -> no respect from customer -> minimal job satisfaction & low wages.

        In Europe, staff are generally much better. They are also older, and better paid. And people respect them as contributing something worthwhile and important to society.

        Hell, I'd work behind a
  • I wonder if I can get it fitted to a 5 1/4 front bezel. Now that cooling system has a duel purpose.
  • serve Heineken, Grolsch, Amstel, Ridder, Dommelsch and even Oranjeboom (yuck) at rates well above this.

    This is mainly possible due to the fact that dutch persons, such as myself, are fond of a good thick firm layer of foam on top of our beers. About 2 - 2,5 fingers thick. So we don't mind a bit of foam, whereas the british are notorious (well, over here at least) for complaining about 'too much foam' (they'll even send the beer back sometimes, I've seen em do it: perfectly tapped pilsjes, making true
    • Get it?

      That is why the Brit's (and many Yanks) complain.

      We like to drink - not have beer moustaches.

      • Uh...The foam is included in the price, so to speak. There's three or four standard sizes of glass here:

        - Fluitje ('whistle') : very thin glass, good for pilsener and those who enjoy their beer cold & fresh

        - Kleintje pils ('small pils') : similar, but more bell-shaped (and i personally do not like it at all)
        - Normal : Sort of upside down-Bell shaped
        - Vaasje ('Little Vase') or Amsterdammertje ('Little dude from Amterdam') Slightly bigger, sort of rectangular but a bit wider at the top than at the

    • I agree. I prefer to much head to to little. I do think the dutch go a little over board though. I think 3-4cm is perfect. The brits need to learn that head keeps the beer cold and stops it going flat.
  • Who cares how fast it pours when it's Coors? (Or Carling, whatever.) It's still industrial swill that's not worth drinking at all.

    It's amazing to me that the ability to achieve higher throughput of bad beer is regarded as a positive development...

  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!!!
  • Being an Aussie living in the UK the most important bit of info is that the beer will be served at 2 degrees. Finally cold beer. Its true what the say about the British and warm beer. Bring it on!!!

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