The company developed a sensor-based software to monitor temperature, line flow, inventory and more.
For BarTrack founder Brett Danielson, the beginning of his Sterling, Virginia beer tech company came from a few “aha” moments with cofounders Grant Hobar and Hunter Markle. One of the most crucial was in a bar in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where two ordered the same IPA from the same bartender, and one came with and one without head — the frothy foam that comes on the top of a beer.
“What ended up happening was we had a totally different drinking experience because the aroma from the head wasn’t present in the one without the head,” Danielson told Technical.ly. “We thought, ‘Wow, that doesn’t make sense, I’m having a different drinking experience at the same bar from the same bartender and the same beer.'”
At the center of that experience was a quality control issue, and Danielson and his cofounders realized tech could be an ideal solution. Together, they founded BarTrack in 2018, a startup that created a sensor for drafts to help bars and restaurants with consistency.
Now, the 45-person company has landed a partnership with Micro Matic, a global equipment provider.
The partnership, Danielson said, will not only level up BarTrack’s SmartDraft system but also connect the company with a certified installer network for customers. This will be yet another step in quality control for beverage dispensing and, in Danielson’s opinion, the “beginning of a revolution in the craft beer industry.” Similar to how heating and air conditioning were previously limited to mercury thermostats and can now be controlled with a smartphone, he hopes that this can bring all the benefits of tech to the beer ecosystem.
“We feel like this partnership with Micro Matic allows us to accelerate our vision and our dream of creating an integrated ecosystem that allows for or enables the beer to be poured perfectly, [which] creates a great drinking experience, happy customers and profitable businesses,” Danielson said.
BarTrack’s SmartDraft System is a non-intrusive beverage sensor that’s placed right in a draft line. It works on any single-draft system like a big cooler, long draw or kegerator. The sensor monitors line temperature, pressure, flow and keg level, line cleanliness and more, and submits the “flow data” to BarTrack’s software (Danielson declined to share details on the company’s tech stack). This, Danielson said, saves bars money and makes sure issues don’t get out of hand.
“If there’s an issue, our sensors are able to detect that issue, tell the customer what they need to do to solve the issues and that they can prevent that beer from going down the drain,” Danielson said.