Tapping Technology

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

If beer is your beverage, chances are you can relate to the frustration of a slow flow. And if so, you can certainly appreciate the plight of a former University of Wisconsin student who has spent years pouring over the problem.

Today, his solution is certain to leave many a glass half-full. "I got the idea for the product while standing in a beer line at the UW Terrace," says Matt Younkle.

Hmmm, now where have I heard THAT before? The difference here involves Younkle, who not only remembered his idea the next morning, but acted upon his liquid inspiration, creating the TurboTap.

"Turbo Tap is about efficiency and consistency. It's about pouring draft beer faster and better,by putting the proper amount of head on a beer and getting to customer very, very quickly," Younkle explains.

TurboTap features a nozzle which defeats, and de-foams, what Younkle terms the two enemies of pouring beer -- gravity and turbulence.

Younkle continues, "By bringing the nozzle to the bottom of the cup, we kinda get both those elements under control and we fill up very, very consistently, very, very evenly, so we pour at fast speeds while still remaining very, very much under control."

Meanwhile, Younkle, a 1997 UW grad, remains committed to the place which helped him plan the perfect pour, after winning the School of Engineering's annual competition -- Schoof's Prize for Creativity.

"Other students see these students and say, 'I could do that, I could do that,' it's an identity thing, an aspiration thing," says UW Professor Anne Miner, who directs the competition. She says Younkle has given money, time and advice to help subsequent students follow his flow.

Meanwhile, Younkle -- who says TurboTap is already shooting suds at Chicago's Wrigley and U.S. Cellular Fields -- says he hopes to tap into businesses worldwide, and back here at home. "It'd be a personal achievement if I could somehow get the TurboTap placed on the Terrace," Younkle concludes.

TurboTap reportedly pours a perfect pint in as few as two seconds, and can increase a standard keg yield by up to 30 percent.

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