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Monk's Toolbox: A Local Start-Up Helps Craft Brewers Handle Their Biz

Photo: Isis Madrid, License: N/A

Isis Madrid

Zac Harris, Chief Monk and co-founder of Monk's Toolbox


In addition, there are special calculators, timers, and a nifty What’s on Tap app for bars, originally created for the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. What’s on Tap appears on a giant screen by the bar, informing the public about what beers are currently available, what style they are, where they are from, what the alcohol percentage is, when they were tapped, etc. When a keg is tapped, all the bartender has to do to change the sign is double tap his or her smartphone screen and replace it with the next brew. The app, currently on display at The Friendly Spot, would ultimately serve up “big data” on the back-end for breweries to analyze who drinks their beer, when they are drinking it, and what this means in terms of production and marketing.

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Monastic brewing really exploded around the 13th century, with thousands of European monasteries containing brewhouses and selling their ales. To this day, beer aficionados worldwide still welcome the learned approach and careful attentions that monks give their beer. Westvleteren 12, a beer brewed by Belgian monks, is widely regarded as the best beer in the world.

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“The industry is growing so fast right now,” notes Pryor. “A lot of people are doing homebrewing, and homebrewers are hopping into craft beer production.”

The Monk’s Toolbox guys explain that they aren’t really interested in brewing themselves, they’re more about drinking the beer. Pryor says he’s really into obscure Belgian lambic and sour ales right now. Harris says he’s currently going through a West Coast-style, in-your-face hoppy IPA phase.

Harris admits, “In all honesty, we just want to help them [craft brewers] to brew more beer so we can drink the delicious beer that they make.”

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