We’ve all been there, either a party where the keg is tapped dry way before it’s time, or trapsing through the bar district to find that bars are out of your favorite brew on tap. That’s how the story of SteadyServ actually started.
SteadyServ is an Indianapolis based startup founded by Steve Hershberger after a buddy came into town to visit him, only to find out their favorite kegs at their favorite spots were tapped dry. That got Hershberger’s entrepreneurial wheels turning. What he found out from bar owners and bartenders was that it’s very hard to monitor how much is left in a keg.
“He flies into town, and we go to Mass Ave,” Hershberger told the Indianapolis Business Journal. “We went to four bars, and they were all out. So we finally went back to the hotel and ordered one of the beers the bar had. It was just a beer he wasn’t really looking forward to having. His parting shot was, ‘Gee, Steve, you really let me down on this.’”
Sure if you’ve got one guy sitting by your keg all night and keeping track of the filled Red Solo Cups you may get a rough estimate but other than that it’s a shot in the dark. So what’s an entrepreneur to do? Put sensors and an app in the keg of course.
The heart of SteadyServ is a sensor laden device that monitors how much is left of the keg. When the keg is getting low it can alert customers, bartenders and bar management that the keg is running low. Sure we can all tell when last call is upon us, but imagine hanging out with buddies, drinking your favorite brew on tap and then getting a notification that the well is drying up. This will insure that you can get that one last glass before you have to switch brews.
So is this for real? Absolutely. Not only that but Hershberger reports that he’s already secured $1.5 million from investors to develop what’s being called the iKeg prototype.
In addition to the convenience the iKeg will provide to bars and their patrons, Hershberger has developed a data protocol within the iKeg that will provide valuable information on real time beer inventory control for bar owners on how customers are consuming beer. With the current keg inventory process so flawed, bar owners will quickly learn how fast their kegs are running out and they’ll be able to stop selling the beer that doesn’t sell and order more of the beer that does.
The data will also be valuable to distributors that SteadyServ will sell it too. As new bars and restaurants open up they ask the distributors what’s hot and what’s not. Now rather than base this information on what bars are really ordering they can base it on what customers are really drinking.
Hershberger already has some heavy hitters on his board of advisers including David Coors of Coors Brewing Company, the namesake family. Jeff Ready; CEO of Indianapolis-based Scale Computing Inc.; and Pat Canavan, former senior vice president of global governance for Motorola are also board members.
Most of their $1.5 million dollars came from angel investors however Indiana’s Elevate Ventures has committed $125, 000 to SteadyServ.
“The iKeg solution is breaking into a $21 billion draft beer industry where there’s incredible potential,” Elevate CEO Steve Hourigan said in a prepared statement. “It’s exciting and gratifying to see a company like SteadyServ make its home in Indiana, and we’re proud to say that we support their team and the business they’re building.”
You can find out more about SteadyServ at SteadyServ.com