While it might not be the kind of thing that keeps you up at night, there is one thing found lurking all over your back bar that has the potential to drain away profits.
Yes, bottle pourers might not seem like the most important item on your bar inventory, but they do hold the key to liquor wastage, accuracy and consistency.
So, is there really such a difference between pour spouts? And if so, how do you choose the right speed pourer?
Here's our guide on what to look for when purchasing your pourers...
When it comes to bottle pourers, one of your biggest concerns is likely to be that bartenders are able to create consistent pours and minimise liquor wastage when using them.
Some believe there is nothing more accurate than controlled pourers. These include ball pourers and digital pourers, both of which aim to bring control to liquor pouring: the first by restricting the pour amount and the second by digitally tracking what has been poured.
Digital pourers are pretty pricey, and like anything digital you’re reliant on technology; sometimes manual can be easier! Ball pourers, on the other hand, have been around for a while, but don't allow you to move outside of the lines easily – like if you need a dash of liquor only. They’re not the cheapest either.
One of the most popular pourers is the good old tapered metal pourer – it offers control and accuracy without restriction, and as it’s metal, it's reasonably durable and looks good behind the bar. But, it’s also a great home for fruit flies.
One of the bar’s biggest hygiene bugbears (if you’ll pardon the pun) is bottle pourers. They’re small, tight spaces, which makes them a brilliant place for germs and tiny bugs to lurk.
Although screened pourers and flat pourers are options, they too have their flaws – sometimes just coming down to being a bit fiddly – the flap can fall down when pouring and they’re harder to keep clean.
Uberbartools dust covers and Snap-On caps work effectively as an add on to our ProFlow pourers – enabling your bottle pourers to stay cleaner when not in use. They just snap on the top of the pourers and keep the nasties out.
When it comes to durability there are two factors to take into account; 1. What the pourer is made from; and 2. How well it is maintained.
Your options tend to be either a metal or plastic pourer; with metal preferred for style, but the single piece construction of a generic, plastic pourer considered to be more durable.
Because we know you don't want to have to keep replacing pourers, we value durability.
Both the BarFlow™ and the ProFlow ranges are designed to prevent rusting, spout clogging, cork separation and breakage. In fact, we value durability so much that each ProFlow comes with a two year warranty and replaceable parts. Take a look at this ProFlow below, which is still in use at the Haymarket Hotel in Sydney, nine years after it was purchased!
Your bog standard plastic pourer is cheap and cheerful but it’s the least pretty. For a slightly improved look you can always opt for chromed plastic pourers – they look the part with a low cost price tag, but don't offer any added functionality.
Metal pourers look cooler and tend to have a thinner taper for precision and a higher flow rate, but this can lead to over pouring and spills for less-experienced staff.
BarFlow and ProFlow both have the tapered style of metal pourers, with ProFlow available in chrome-plated finishes to provide a range of metallic colours. Whilst BarFlow is available in bright blue, purple and orange so you can tailor the range to suit your bar's style.
What's more, both pourers are designed to have Best Bottle Fit™, with a range of corks available for the ProFlow to prevent leaks on any bottle from Johnnie Walker to Don Julio, meaning you don't have to break with style and pouring appearance for those bigger bottles.
As we already mentioned, the tapered metal pourer is often chosen for its speedy pour behind a busy bar. Great for quick service, but ultimately not offering the accuracy you might like to prevent over pouring drinks.
With our BarFlow you can be assured of a speedy three second pour time (per oz or 30ml) for experienced mixologists in a busy bar setting. Alternatively, the ProFlow has a four second pour speed, offering a little more control. Either option offers speed, consistency and accuracy.
This guide to pourers is a good place to start when you’re weighing up your options for better pouring behind the bar. However, it’s our belief that no amount of time spent researching pourers is ever going to replace time spent on hiring great bartenders or investment in training bar staff.
Accurate pouring takes skill and practice and so while it is worth getting the tools right, it is also worth getting the training right too.