Tapping into the draft cocktail trend

23 May, 2019

Because the company is based in Norway, with much of its business taking place abroad, there is an emphasis on developing the expiry dates of its cocktails. “We’ve worked hard on extending the shelf life of our products by limiting the oxygen exposure. We started out using Cornelius kegs to hold our liquid because they were easy to use, but discovered that the contents can change slightly over time.”

There are also some tricky ingredients in cocktails, particularly with more complex drinks which use egg white or lime juice.

Millin says: “We want to make our cocktails as honestly as possible without using artificial stuff or pasteurised egg whites for example. We want to retain our premium focus.”

World of Zing in London is another company making premium pre-batched cocktails without getting involved with the installation of taps. Founder Pritesh Mody says: “We don’t do a lot of tech, we just work with the premium end of pre-batched liquid. We provide bottles or pouches up to three litres to more than 150 venues, and everything we do is bespoke for the individual.”

Rather than installing the taps, World of Zing is working with venues that already have the facilities, such as Hippo Inn pub chain in London – but the venues have to meet the same standard of the liquids

“Some clients choose not to have taps,” says Mody. “I think in the eyes of consumers it can cheapen the experience of a cocktail. But if you look at a place such as Soho House, it can do a Negroni on tap with no issues, because it’s a premium brand and its clientele would think it’s really hip. But not every venue has this luxury, which can make a tapped cocktail a difficult sell.”

MIDDLE MEN

Taptails’ Millin adds: “Tapped cocktails are potentially the Holy Grail for brands because, at the moment, brands provide a bar with their products, and then rely on the bartender to not only sell, but serve their drinks to a high standard. If this can be replaced with a simple on-off switch then their product can be represented more consistently.

“Also, even fast bartenders in high-volume cocktail bars would struggle to keep up with the speed at which cocktails can be served on tap.” This will also open up cocktails more people, especially consumers who don’t want to wait long for a drink.

Of course, the premium level of bars will, for the most part, retain traditional bartenders and therefore shakers, but as major chains such as Slug & Lettuce in the UK or TGI Fridays get wind of tapped cocktails there could be less demand for qualified ’tenders.

BIG BOYS

Spirits brands are likely to lead the significant growth of tapped cocktails as they begin to come in with their own bulk liquids and tap technology, and offer to install it for free. This, in theory, could cause the prices of cocktails in major on-trade outlets to drop because of the cheaper production and transport costs, and also because venues will be able to turn over higher volumes with lesser qualified staff. However, Millin insists it will be difficult for premium brands such as Taptails to follow suit as they wish to remain a more exclusive supplier.





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Joe Bates

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