Heineken has unveiled a countertop draught beer dispenser as it targets the 20,000 licensed food outlets in the UK which can only offer bottled beer and cider.
Called Blade, the compact machines are operated by fitting a pre-chilled keg and are targeted at establishments which are unable to install a draught system due to a lack of space.
Heineken claimed that there are no maintenance or installation costs and that the Blade can easily be set up to ‘pour the perfect pint served at 2°C’.
Currently, Heineken and Birra Moretti beers are available in 8 litre kegs, with further launches planned for 2018.
Heineken claimed that in the on-trade, the rate of sale for draught beer is ‘three times higher’ than for bottled beer, yet penetration of draught in the casual dining sector is ‘currently only 56%’.
Ross Mair, Heineken commercial director for Blade UK, said: “Blade means that the ritual of pouring and presenting a consumer with a great tasting, freshly poured draught beer is now possible everywhere.
“From street food vendors at a busy food festival adding value to their food proposition, to cosy, stylish cafes which are limited on space, Blade will add value to their business by delivering a brand new and exciting premium experience.
“From boutique hotels, high street restaurants, theatre bars, cafés, coffee shops, cinemas, barber’s shops, hairdressers, street food traders, event caterers, corporate hospitality providers, staff canteens for after-work drinks, the list is endless. Blade really is set to change the rules for draught beer – turning any countertop into a bar.”
The product is the latest bar-top beer dispenser to hit the market, following on from Carlsberg’s and Asahi’s offerings.
The Blade machines are on sale in the UK at £499 with kegs starting at £23.33 (not including tax).
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018