Saltaire Brewery Blog

Can a robot pull the perfect pint?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Sam pulls the perfect pint

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a hand-pulled Saltaire pint so good then you’re not the only one. A group of Leeds University robotics students, with an interest in beer, have stepped up to the mark to quantify exactly what goes into pulling one of our pints.


The students have truly challenged themselves, and are trying to build a robot that can pull a pint better than our own Brewery Tap team. They have the support of some engineering specialists to help them measure up, with Quality Bearings backing the students’ capabilities.


Measuring the perfect pint


The students recently came to the Brewery to gain a better understanding about hand-pulled cask ale. After several hours of studying, measuring, further research, and drinking (after all, someone had to consume the test pints!), the students left with a fair idea of what they needed to do.


James Ash, one of the students, said: “It’s a great opportunity for us – there is an award winning brewery right down the road from us that has opened its gates and let us conduct experiments on site.”


Testing the perfect pint



The final project is due to be finished this June, so we are working alongside the students to help them where we can. We’ve already seen some computer generated designs and a prototype will be brought to the brewery shortly for some vigorous testing.


With the future and robots clearly on our horizons, the Brewery Tap team has been left with some thoughts for further research. Is there some intangibility to the art of pulling a pint? We’re not asking the robot to pass the Turing Test, but can the students build a robot that can pull a pint better than our own beer loving barmen? We’ll have to wait and see.


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