If you’ve ever squeezed between two people at a bar to order a drink and wished you could just step behind the counter and pour your own, a solution is emerging.
E7 Systems, a Durango company, installed a self-pour beer system with 55 taps at a restaurant called The Wall in Orange, California, last week.
After providing a driver’s license, customers receive wrist bands that connect with a larger system used to track the amount they pour and generate a tab for servers, said Alexii Carey, a founder with E7 Systems.
Customers can pour tasters for themselves and read about each beer on the digital display, eliminating the need for servers to explain drinks.
It’s not meant to eliminate waiters and waitress at The Wall, but free them up to focus on other aspects of customer service, he said.
E7 Systems was founded in Durango 15 years ago as a technology development company and built the system for a client, Carey said. Other startups such as PourMyBeer and iPourIt are installing similar systems in the U.S.
It could be a new niche for E7 Systems, which has designed solutions for many entrepreneurs over the years and has clients around the world.
“People just started referring ideas to change the world to me and Alexii,” Founder Bill Smith said. He recently moved to California, which has increased the company’s access to talent and opportunities.
The company built Functional Nutrition, an app designed to help dietitians track the diets of their clients, a social media network hybridized with a business directory, and software to match potential real estate buyers with the right agent based on personality, Smith said.
“I love the fact that every day I go to work, I work with dreamers,” he said.
The company has also developed video training sites, financial platforms for realtors and e-commerce solutions, among many other projects.
E7 Systems’ clients generally own the new technology, but in a number of cases, E7 Systems has been given a share of ownership in the enterprise that’s been created, he said.
In addition to working with startups, the company also has built hardware, contracted with established companies and developed some internal projects. For example, the company built CrapsTrainer, a dice-game app with a large and fairly serious following, he said.
The company employs four people full time, works with about 12 subcontractors, and it is hiring. Subcontractors are hired based on their ability to meet the needs of clients, Carey said. For example, Ryan Finnigan with CarbonForm Design, another Durango-based company, helped design the self-pour beer system, and he will help with future projects. Finnigan and Carey previously worked together in their spare time on a novelty performance robot that serves cocktails, although the beer system uses different systems.
“It gave us the knowledge to make some good decisions early on,” Carey said.
The company’s next self-pour project will be installed in a water park and will dispense water, soda, wine, cold coffee, kombucha and other refreshments, Carey said.