With arguably the most entertaining sporting event starting tomorrow, we at PortaBeer decided to make our own bracket featuring all 68 eligible teams in their appropriate PortaDraft colors using the PortaDraft Builder (try it here at www.portabeer.com/builder).
Want to fill out your own? Download a PDF of the PortaBeer Bracket here.
The highlight of the event was the Harmony at the Hard Rock party – where 4 PortaDraft units were exclusively used to pour all the beer for the 1500 guests during a high-end party at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. The two drink stations, along with awesome portable bars from Smart Bar Products, made for a great one-stop station for beer and mixed drinks at this event.
Over the next two days, the crowds got to share their overwhelmingly positive feedback, and get their hands on PortaDraft units at the trade show floor – learning how each unit could save them money and earn substantial revenue through their portability, sleek professional appearance, and ease of use.
For more images of our time at the show, check out this gallery.
We look forward to following up with everyone who had additional questions, and wish our customers great success with their new PortaDraft units.
If you purchased units at the show, we’d welcome pictures of your systems in action. Send them to: email@example.com.
Learn more about the PortaDraft. Build your own with over 900 color combinations, or chose from a package that saves your money on accessories to make your draft beer experience even better!
Whether you are a caterer, a manager of a hospitality venue, a golf course owner, brewer, avid tailgater, or someone who likes to enjoy a draft beer with friends on your back deck, you’ll find custom solutions that give you more control and flexibility in your quest to pour draft beer anywhere.
We will be a sponsore of the Harmony at the Hard Rock event on Monday March 11th. At this event, all the draftf beer served for the dinner will be poured through PortaDraft units. It’ll be a great chance for to check out the PortaDraft in action.
The next two days, the PortaDraft will be on display at booth #1129 of the trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Ask questions, get hands on demonstrations, and order your own units at the conference special package price, available only during this window.
It’s been a long road to this point, but we are really excited to launch the product at this event, and we can’t wait to start to let people get their hands on the PortaDraft.
Thank you so much for being part of our crowdfunding campaign over the last 30 days. While we did not hit our target (or come close), we were incredibly surprised by the social media interest in the project as well as the media coverage we received. Regardless of the funding goal, we consider this campaign to be a success.
Further, the coverage and exposure we received from this campaign resulted in a private investor stepping in to fund the production of the PortaKeg. This surprise development has further energized the PortaBeer team and assures us — and our potential customers — that we’ll be able to launch the product in mid-November and have units in time to be placed under the tree this holiday season.
We would like to welcome you to sign up for our newsletter to be kept up to date on our progress, the PortaKeg pre-sale (at a discount!), tailgate product launch at the November 18th Steelers/Ravens game in Pittsburgh, and full retail sale. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for news, events, and progress reports.
Feel free to contact us anytime at 855.PortaBeer (767-8223) or any member of the team at [first name]@portabeer.com. We’re always eager to hear your thoughts and willing to take your suggestions.
My dad (Al) and I (Albert) for a party we threw at my house
As only one member of the team, I do my best to keep some of my personal motivations out of the way of what we’re trying to accomplish with the PortaKeg project. While we’re obviously all committed to its success, I’m driven, in part, by an incredibly challenging year and three people I miss terribly.
When me and the guys first broke camp after coming up with the PortaKeg idea, I called my dad to excitedly tell him about what we had “invented”. Being ever-supportive of almost everything I ever did — from the first-grade science fair, to acting as an elementary school “room mother”, to taking me to football practice, to helping to build the home bar shown in our video and this article — he enthusiastically got behind the idea. “I want to be the first investor!”, he said. And he was — he was the very first customer of PortaBeer.com when we launched the retail site in November 2010. His one-man word-of-mouth campaign also accounted for a good bit of our early sales success, especially heading into the holidays.
The project was reaching a critical stage immediately after I returned to Pittsburgh after spending Christmas with my parents in Texas. The PortaBeer team was pulling the money together to hire a patent attorney to help us to submit a provisional patent for our design. The night of January 5th, 2011, I called my parents as I often did when I drove home, and talked to my dad about a meeting I had with one of our partners and the future plans of the project. As usual, he was excited about the fact that we would have a patent-pending product soon. We said our “I love yous” and “goodnights”, and I went to bed. While sitting at work the next day, I got a call at 11:04am at my desk at work from my mom. My dad, unexpectedly, passed away that morning.
Known for her cheerleader style — and boundless support — my mom strongly encouraged me to keep pushing forward with the project despite of the circumstances. “It’s great therapy and you would enJOY it”, she emailed me, capitalizing “JOY” as always. When I could, I threw myself into helping the team finalize the design and write the draft of the patent. It took until the last day we could file (March 21st), but we got it done. Through it all, my mom was encouraging and asked about our progress constantly. When I emailed her a copy of the patent receipt, she sent back, “I am getting more and more excited!!!”
Little did she know at the time that I was coming to visit very soon. With it being her first birthday without my father in nearly 40 years of marriage, I had bought a ticket to fly down to El Paso to visit, arriving on April 8th, the day after her 60th birthday. Some of her friends and I had begun to plan a small surprise pizza party to celebrate. However, about a week before I was coming home, she had a heart attack and heart surgery. She and I talked afterward, and I blew the surprise, letting her know that I’d be home that week to see her. She was incredibly excited, though we both agreed that a surprise party with greasy pizza might not be the best idea given her fragile heart. We made a few plans for what we could do while I was home. Sadly, we never had the chance to celebrate — she passed away in her sleep three days before I flew to Texas and two days before her birthday.
My maternal grandmother, to whom I was incredibly close and who was also an avid supporter of mine, also passed away in 2011. She had always been supportive of me and got a kick out of the idea that her grandson was building “something for beer” (she didn’t understand it, but she liked it anyway).
There have been many times that I’ve thought about quitting and allowing the rest of the team to take over the company. But each time I get close to making that decision, I’m reminded of how supportive these three people were and how legitimately excited they were to see me help to create a new product, even if it was beer-related (in the case of my father, especially BECAUSE it was beer-related).
While our story is certainly a fun one — we’re friends who enjoy spending time together and want to build something from a crazy idea we had while camping — my motivations are a little more personal. Coming from a parents who were known for throwing great parties, I feel like there is no better way to honor their memory than to help other people do the same.
The only way we can launch this product is through the generous support of folks contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign. Even $5 goes a long way to getting us to $50,000. Contribute now to help us make the PortaKeg a reality.
First and foremost, we’re sorry for the confusion regarding our Kickstarter campaign. We genuinely appreciate your patience and support.
In the excitement of finishing three months of work to launch our product on Kickstarter.com, we broadcast far and wide that the PortaKeg campaign would be available on Monday, July 30th. Unfortunately, we were unaware of the shift in Kickstarter’s focus in the last few months, most notably away from hardware-only projects like ours. As such, we’ve chosen to relaunch the campaign on a different platform.
So, we’re pleased to announce that we will be launching the PortaKeg campaign on IndieGoGo.com on Monday, August 6th at http://indiegogo.com/PortaKeg. Another widely-used crowdfunding website, IndieGoGo.com has launched many projects from a variety of areas, including hardware-only products like ours. We’re very excited to raise the $50,000 that we need to bring the PortaKeg to parking lots, campgrounds, beer festivals and celebrations across the country.
Using IndieGoGo.com provides several advantages. In addition to allowing us to use more of the funding for production, it has also enabled us to continue a commitment that we’ve made to our favorite nonprofit, Operation Once in a Lifetime, which supports soldiers and their families (www.operationonceinalifetime.com). Now, not only will you be supporting the launch of the PortaKeg portable draft system, PortaBeer.com will give 5% of the gross proceeds we raise for our project to this excellent cause.
On behalf of the entire PortaBeer team, we apologize for the delay in the launch of our project and ask for your continued support. We are looking forward to our formal launch this coming Monday and hope that you’ll share with your friends, family, and fellow beer drinkers!
“Coming from a company that is both a wholesaler and a retailer, we very much welcome the impending changes in Pennsylvania laws. … The less brands people are trying, the more likely they will keep drinking the same old beers.”
For those who might not know, in Pennsylvania, beer is sold at beer distributors (known as beer retailers in most other parts of the country). These venues are only allowed to sell beer in cases. For individual bottles and six packs, consumers must go to specific outlets or bars.
This presents a challenge for small breweries. While in other areas, someone can purchase one bottle or a six pack of a craft brew to taste, a consumer in Pennsylvania has to invest in an entire case. Not wanting to risk $30-$50 on a beer they might not like, consumers tend to gravitate to safe old standbys.
As we’ve told beer brands in the past, the fastest way to a consumer’s heart is through their taste buds, and that means that the brewery has to be committed to getting people to taste its product. The second-fasted way is to get the folks who are tasting your beer to tell their friends. Keep on the lookout for beer tastings and beer festivals, and use Twitter, Facebook, QR codes and other tools to make it a social experience. Getting beer in people’s hands to taste, enjoy, and tell everyone is the most effective and inexpensive way to get more product out the door.
Have a Facebook cover on your timeline? How about adding a beer Facebook cover to your profile page? Here are a few artful — and funny — covers for your enjoyment. If you like them, leave a comment and a link to your Facebook profile!