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Edmonton’s O’Byrne’s Irish Pub mixes innovation with the perfect pint

The city’s oldest Irish pub debuts Alberta’s first self-serve beer system

Jim Kerr is Venture Publishing's Associate Director of Digital Initiatives. Get in touch with him at

Jan 31, 2014

by Jim Kerr

Tired of having to muscle your way to the bar at your favourite local (but busy) pub?

Proving once and for all that there’s no problem too small for technology to fix, O’Byrne’s Irish Pub is bringing innovation to your beer mug with an Alberta first: self-serve taps.

The idea of self-serve taps came to Pour My Beer co-owner Josh Goodman one thirsty night in 2007 at a crowded bar. Struggling to track down a server and underwhelmed by the massive lineup to order from the bar, he saw an opportunity. Armed with some rough drawings and a business plan, Goodman started the legwork and built and sold his first prototype a year later.

“It’s to get customers engaging in something that they’ve maybe never done before,” the Philadelphia-based Goodman told Global News. “In today’s day and age with sampling and tasting, this opens up that Pandora’s Box, if you will, to allow customers to come in and taste a little bit of every beer.”

Debuting earlier this week, the Pour My Beer setup at O’Byrne’s is made of two beer tables with four taps each. Using a digital wristband that comes loaded with two pints, customers sit down at a table, scan the wristband and pour away. As they pour, the digital display at the table lets customers know how many ounces are available for them, and servers are able to add extra pints to the wristbands upon request.

So, once you put in an honest day’s work, do your banking at the automatic teller, pump your own gas and rush through the self-checkout at the grocery store, why not pull up a chair and pour yourself a pint?

Because, as the Pour My Beer website says, “It’s okay to be self-serving.”

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