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Pub landlords on notice as 'Internet of Beer' firm not only pulls pints, but can also clean the lines

El Reg hacks selflessly volunteer to taste-test before and after

Pubbino, the San Francisco biz that believes there simply isn't enough tech involved in pulling pints, is talking up another entry in its "Internet of Beer" range: a line-cleaning system powered, it claims, by AI.

Founded in 2015 by Can Algul and Necdet Alpmen, Pubbino combined the pair's primary passions: draft beer and technology. "We aim to provide industry stakeholders – from brewers and pub owners to bartenders and consumers – with the smartest solutions," claimed Algul, chief exec.

The business claims to have inserted AI in some unusual places, and the latest design is aimed at putting its nascent Skynet-alike to work cleaning beer lines.

Dubbed "Smart Clean", the device is the third entry in Pubbino's "Internet of Beer" range after Smart Tap and the Smart Hub. According to the company, its AquaVibra Technology – patented, and despite its name not something you'd find on the shelves of Ann Summers – faffs around with the cleaning solution in such a way as to increase the pressure fourfold and offer a claimed 80 per cent more effective cleaning routine.

Pubbino said the artificially intelligent aspect of the system comes in the form of a "tailor made and fully automatised draft beer line cleaning process" for each of the four lines the system can clean at once – taking into account usage metrics, beer type, cooling system, and length of line.

Put smarts into something, and someone's going to want to track its metrics. Unsurprisingly, Smart Clean ties into Pubbino's Smart Hub platform, offering trackable data on cleaning from a smartphone or web browser. The company also claimed its system uses around three-quarters the water and 10 per cent less detergent than a traditional cleaning routine.

Smart Tap is another compatible "AI-powered" gadget that replaces the art of the pint pull with a roboticised system offering adjustable flow rate and customisable head generation. The company claimed this led to a drop of 20 per cent in beer wasted compared to inefficient meatbag bartenders.

Master brewer and editor of the Brewery History Society newsletter Roger Putman told The Register the program changes Smart Clean makes depend on volume throughput and beer type, "both of which a mere human could work out for himself."

"An automated system does address the cost of having a technician go round, which is common in Ireland, and the risks that trained managers in UK pub chains do not actually follow the rules for manual operations.

"They will always use excess flushing, whereas I think Smart Clean will be checking pH of the effluent. It says that the detergent is pharmaceutically dosed which of course cuts out human error or adding a bit extra just to be sure.

"It says it does four lines at a time," Putman added of the scalability of the system. "A sports bar and restaurant over here in Douglas Isle of Man has 35 taps, and that is typical in the British Isles - but obviously not in Istanbul."

Pubbino isn't the only company looking to bring beer online, mind you. Earlier this year Smarter Technologies announced its connected keg tracking system, using a 10-year device linked to the Orion Data Network, as a response to kegs both full and empty having an irritating tendency to grow legs and wander away from publicans' premises.

Pubbino has not disclosed pricing for any of its boozy gadgetry. ®

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