The Social Tap

Ab InBev partnered with Mesh Systems to leverage Bud Light’s “Official Beer of the NFL” sponsorship and innovative technology to create an interactive sports experience for beer drinkers at bars and restaurants.

Consumer Engagement Reimagined

AB InBev had three business goals: 

  1. Increase brand affinity and consumer engagement of their flagship brands.
  2. Measure the effectiveness of commercials and other promotions running in bars and restaurants.
  3. Access real-time consumption metrics (number of beers served, time and duration of out-of-stock events, etc.). 

A forward-thinking team within AB InBev’s marketing department had come up with an idea for an “Interactive Tap Handle” that would light up in celebration when the home team scored. The focus, simply, was to develop technology that would make AB InBev an integral part of watching televised sports at bars and restaurants. Working closely with Sprint, AB InBev teamed up with Mesh Systems to bring that idea into reality. 


Interactive Sports Experience for All


The engineers at Mesh Systems got right to work, designing a battery-operated light engine and flexible messaging display that could be inserted into the top of a tap handle. Working closely with Hankscraft AJS, one of the world’s leading beer tap handle manufacturers, the Mesh team ensured that the device would be able to withstand the harsh environment that is the American bar and restaurant. 

Cloud Solution

In the cloud, Mesh built an application that consumed live sports data from Bars and restaurants all over the country could then subscribe to their favorite NFL teams. When a touchdown happened, a statistician manually keyed the scoring information into their platform. Mesh’s cloud solution then consumed the scoring information and sent a celebration message to the site gateways that were subscribed to that particular team. When the system received the celebration message, the tap handles went wild, lighting up and displaying the score. And all of that happened within the 6-second tape-delay of live TV! 



Mesh Systems delivered a turnkey solution to AB InBev that included the beer tap handles and cloud backend just in time for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Timeline Met

The first systems were installed in 100 bars and restaurants in Denver, Colorado.

Innovation Built for Scale

Over the next three years, Mesh worked closely with AB InBev’s innovation team to add features and functionality. The solution scaled to 25,000+ beer tap handles in over 12,000 bars and restaurants nationwide.

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