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October 21, 2019

Beer Engine That Resembles A Piano


A beer engine is a device for pumping beer, originally manually operated and typically used to dispense beer from a cask or container in a pub’s basement or cellar. It was invented by John Lofting a Dutch inventor, merchant and manufacturer who moved from Amsterdam to London in or about 1688.

He became a citizen and patented a number of inventions including his “Sucking Worm Engine” a fire hose and engine for extinguishing fires, and also a thimble knurling machine which revolutionised thimble making. He also invented a device for pumping beer. The London Gazette of 17 March 1691 stated “the patentee hath also projected a very useful engine for starting of beers and other liquors which will deliver from 20 to 30 barrels an hour which are completely fixed with brass joints and screws at reasonable rates.”

The locksmith and hydraulic engineer Joseph Bramah developed beer pumping further in 1797.


Strictly the term “beer engine” refers to the pump itself, which is normally manually operated, though electrically powered and gas powered[1] pumps are occasionally used; when manually powered, the term hand pump is often used to refer to both the pump and the associated handle.

The beer engine is normally located below the bar, and the visible handle is used to draw the beer through a flexible tube to the spout, below which the glass is placed. Modern hand pumps may clamp onto the edge of the bar or be mounted in a more permanent fashion integrated with the top of the bar.

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