Hospitality managers know the value of the draught beer ritual. Sports fans like to pour and drink a draught beer. Bartenders can perform the ritual, like baristas like to jazz up coffee. They ease forward the tap, the Heineken swirls into the glass; they swipe off the top of the frothy head and hand over the shining glass. And yet many corporate boxes only have a fridge and bottles of beer and the host ends up acting as a glorified waiter for his or her guests.
No longer. Go to www.blade.shop, order a starter pack of Blade, two 8-litre kegs, and a set of glasses – and plug it into a wall socket in the VIP box, lounge, premium or party space.
Heineken has launched Blade as a new e-commerce business. Ross Mair, HEINEKEN Commercial Director, BLADE UK, told a press launch at Rossopomodoro in Camden Town, London, that Heineken has used its connections with football clubs to trial the Blade in a corporate box environment and that it has received very positive feedback. Mair said:
BLADE will give the ‘wow’ factor to any corporate hospitality event. Think about your guests in stadium boxes being able to enjoy cold, freshly poured draught beer from the comfort of their event space. BLADE will add value to your business by delivering a brand new and exciting premium experience.
Heineken draught beer direct from brewery to Blade
The brewery in the Netherlands is pouring Heineken directly into ‘kegs’ on a line dedicated to this system. The ‘keg’ is a bag which is squeezed by compressed air to pour the beer. There’s no CO2 involved and nothing to get in the way of a great-tasting fresh beer from brewery to glass. The glass is also designed specifically for Heineken beer, reinforcing the brand (well-known in sport) but also ensuring the beer is served at its best.
There’s UK-based support and no maintenance required. If a unit goes wrong, Blade will replace it.
At the moment trials have centred around bartenders pouring beers for customers as usual but there is also an obvious scenario of pre-selling the keg to a group and letting them self-serve. This could be for non-match-day conferences (depending on profile) and parties.
We call it ‘Plug and Pour. It takes less than a minute to set up, and changing the keg is really simple – anyone can do it. Plus there is no need to clean lines – it’s simply fresh beer cooled to 2°C, and the beer stays fresh for thirty days. BLADE really is set to change the rules of draught beer – turning any counter top into a bar.
Currently, Heineken® and Birra Moretti are available in 8L kegs, and HEINEKEN has plans to extend the portfolio in 2018.
BLADE machines, which retail at £499 + VAT, and kegs which start from £23.33 (ex VAT) can be ordered from www.blade.shop. For a limited time, and for the same price as a single BLADE system, new BLADE customers will receive two free kegs and branded glassware upon subscription. BLADE is delivered direct to your door within two working days. Customers can also download a smartphone app to help place orders and manage their account.