Carlsberg this week claimed its lager would be crossing the bar faster than any other beer on the market, thanks to a new tap developed by researchers at Birmingham University.
The brand’s new drinks dispense system delivers a pint of lager in 14 seconds – around 30 per cent faster than conventional taps – and claims to offer added freshness and presentational benefits.
Dr Andrew Barker of Birmingham’s School of Engineering was commissioned by brewing giant Carlsberg-Tetley to develop the system after it decided standard taps were unable to deliver its lager more quickly while maintaining quality.
‘Existing systems had not taken into account the fact that lager is quite a complex substance,’ said Barker. ‘You are designing a piece of equipment that is continually on a knife-edge between getting too much gas break-out and not enough.’
Lager enters the new tap from an inlet and flows around a spigot, creating a vortex in the liquid. Gas is released into the vortex as the drink passes through the tap and recombined with the lager in the nozzle, creating a pint with a good head.
Carlsberg came to Birmingham with a specific commercial objective – a tap that would give it an edge on its competitors – and offered the financial and commercial backing to see the project through.
Barker said: ‘All too often it is universities which come up with good ideas, but people in industry who work out a commercial application. They then walk away and make a lot of money from them.’