Bar managers, if not so hygiene-conscious, will need to clean up their act with the arrival of a system to remotely monitor their beer dispensers.
Kirin Co. developed the system with NTT Data Corp. to ensure that customers are served with fresh draft beer at every restaurant it services.
The system, based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, can remotely check whether dispensers are cleaned regularly so that the flavor of beer will not be spoiled.
According to Kirin officials, beer dispensers should ideally be cleaned daily, but small eateries are not always that vigilant.
In instances where dispensers are found to be lacking, the beer brewer will contact the restaurants and offer them advice.
With a sensor installed in the hose beer passes through, the new system can determine whether beer or cleaning water is flowing through it, as well as the volume of liquid, so that the frequency of cleaning can be estimated.
Kirin began test operations at several "izakaya" Japanese-style pubs and other restaurants in Tokyo earlier this month.
The company will decide whether to commercialize the system after confirming its effectiveness through the test, which will continue through the end of May.
The system can also accurately measure how much beer is poured.
A barrel of beer should ideally be consumed within three days after it is opened.
Based on data sent from the system, Kirin will deliver barrels of the right size to restaurants to ensure that fresh draft beer will not be served.