Heineken smartdispense midi


Hi all,

Has anyone heard anything good or bad about heineken’s midi smartdispense cellar equipment. It is meant to remove the need for cellar cooling fans and reduce line cleaning. You have to pay £175 every 4 weeks for the use of the equipment though.

IS this a good idea or not. Any help or advice welcome please

Many Thanks









  1. £44 a week, they don’t give much away on the site do they? I can see how you could make big energy saving in a low volume account. Bit like a mini concorde, that only does 4 taps, but only 120 pints an hour. I get more than that with two under counter coolers on my outside bars with no cellar cooling. How come no line cleaning is required? Be interesting to see one working somewhere.

  2. I would like to see one working too, just waiting for the rep to organise a visit.

    Apparently line clean by heineken every 4 weeks. Due to it being super chilled, having fob detectors and a uv?? light to break up yeast build up lines only need cleaning every 4 weeks. The publican cant do it because if the new chemical used is left in the line too long it will freeze very quickly.

    I am a small pub with only 4 products on tap with max capacity of around 40 so 120 pints per hour should suffice.

  3. Sounds like Heineken are trialling different systems for the really small accounts. In other words tie them in to using their products, but having pubs paying for that privilege (rings a bell). We have known for years that Brewers want pubs to own their own equipment but they are still not sure of the best way of implementing it, only by stealth.

    The soft drink companies rarely now put equipment into low volume accounts; no one is thinking long term in this industry any more, it is all about making a quick buck.

    Cellar cooling uses a lot of electric so I can see the attraction in going for a system like this. While glycol systems are quite efficient, I’m not sure it would be worth paying £175 a month for one.

    If you have a reasonably cool cellar, why not go back in time and go for a couple of under counter coolers; or maybe a mini Concorde. If you have problems with lager fobbing using co2, convert to 60/40 mixed gas (Heineken already do this anyway). As you are a small account you could slow down the dispense speed a bit to compensate.

    While this is in no way the best set up, a lot of pubs switch off their cellar cooling these days where cost is a problem to balance a bit of waste against the electric bill. At the end of the day it is you who pays the bills. If as you say you are not selling that much £175 a month is going to take a nasty chunk out of your profits. Why don’t you get a local technician to give you some options perhaps with a service contract. Also personally I wouldn’t like the lines to go 4 weeks let’s face it there are only four lines so there won’t be that much waste. I have done loads of tests over the last seven years, while the lines may look spotless, torch behind the cellarbouy and all that, I find there are taste issues especially at the beginning of a session.
    Let us know how you get on

  4. Hi Maverick,

    Thank you for your advice/input. I take on board what you are saying.

    The rep did not try to sell me the system, i saw the leaflet in his car and asked to have a look.

    I already own all my own equipment but it is about 20 years old so assume it is reaching the end of its life. I had new lines and t-bars installed 3 and a half years ago but the rest of the equipment is past its best now.

    I am waiting for the rep to get back to me at the moment.

    I currently use bag in the box cider through my hand pull. Do you have any suggestions as to how to keep this cool if i have no cellar cooling?

    Thank you again,



  5. I must admit my soft drink firm took there equipment out 2 years ago as i was low volume, i now use cans and bottles.

    I allready have heineken as my main supplier. I tried customers with blind testing and they choose fosters,strongbow and john smith bitter (not smooth). I also have guinness on tap.

  6. Your rep will probably replace all your equipment for you, if it 20 years old. You should use their equipment wherever possible, if it breaks down; then they will fix it for you; you are probably paying for it anyway through the price of beer. If not give Coors and Carlsberg a call and see what they will offer, you may be surprised.

    If you have a python system with a spare line the cider could use that, it doesn’t need to go through a coil in the remote.

    I allready have heineken as my main supplier. I tried customers with blind testing and they choose fosters,strongbow and john smith bitter (not smooth)

    I was watching a programme the other day and in this test alot the men couldn’t tell the difference between the different beers I would like to think I could though, apparently men dont have as many tastebuds as women.
    But then this programme was made in New Zealand so who knows, probably just like their famous advertising.

  7. “SmartDispense” nice name, but smart for who? I think Heineken are the party that will benefit most from this system. I think they are targeting the uninformed, small operator who doesn’t know any better. Using their system means you are tied to them. You could pay a local beer line company to do you lines once every 2 weeks and save more money and ensure your beer quality.
    To me this is the short end of the wedge, what next charging you rental for their equipment so that you can sell their beer? I am sure when the government investigated the brewing industry the brewers stated that as part of the “pricing bundle”, delivery,equipment and service were part of the price of a pint.
    My advice for what it is worth is to take any offers from brewers to make your life easier and save money with a giant pinch of salt.

    • We have had a salesman from heineken around to our pub to try and sell the system to us. He was very pushy and may have stretched the truth a little. We are considering the system but are very doubtful about it.

      Has anyone had this system installed? We would love to hear some more recent views if there is anyone wishing to comment.
      Major issues I see are as follows:

      We are independent and free of tie but this will tie all our larger and cider draught to heineken as we would have to remove other products to see the savings (our customers don’t like heineken cider products so this is big for us)
      A power cut stops you dispensing!

      If it breaks you have to get an engineer out, we could probably fix our system and keep us dispensing at least until an engineer arrived.

      We tried it in a local pub and all the lagers and ciders were super-chilled even if they were the normal product so everything was tasteless. So we wouldn’t bother buying any fancy craft lagers or nice ciders as a lot of the taste would not come through.

      For us a space issue was raised as well. We have a high turnover and only just have space to get the barrels in during busy times. Traditional systems take up little space on the wall. The smart system has a pod on the wall for every 4 lines you have as well as a chiller in the corner (at least on for every 8 although the system I’ve seen installed had one for every 4 lines). Also the lines going to your barrels go from a small tube to a python making it harder to maneuver.
      Please, any thought’s or tales, both good and bad, would be appreciated. Thanks

      • Stay sway from this system had it for two and half years on a three year contract
        Regular problems faults and waste from the system
        Initially all sounds very good but when you have trouble you are at the mercy of Heineken and Inn serve We have approx six months left and can’t wait to bin it
        Already talking with Coors in replacing the system as soon as we can
        Been with Heineken for over ten years and now they have shot themselves in the foot

        If you are a small to medium business I would steer clear

  8. I have the system… and we have had lots of problems with it! On the plus side I now know all the local technicians. On the down side it can take 48 hours for an emergency call out to fix a problem and because it is all electronic sensors there is not much you can do yourself!
    I have it… I am stuck with it… I would not get it again!

  9. Our club is thinking of installing smartdispse and charging roughly 300 pounds a month for 3 yes with upgrade when ever needed

  10. I have it in two pubs and to me its a waste of time and money. The savings are calculated on the saving of man power but as most of us do that ourselves and don’t charge that goes out the window. The first pints every morning are far too lively so I lose one to two pints a day and pay for the privilege. I would avoid….

  11. The best idea is to avoid it, you will be paying for two/three years ,depending on the size of premmesis, pub or club,
    IT all depends on your beer being cold in your cellar to start with, so,if you turn off the cellar cooling because of cost, the system has to work over time, increasing your costs and at this stage ,you have not sold a pint,
    Then leaving the line cleaning for three to four weeks, it MAY keep the product clear but what about tast, if the punter thinks it tastes funny, then tells his mates ‘don’t go into this /that pub the beer is crap, AND they don’t go in,
    You may be saving about three to four weeks of beer,but if it doesn’t tast right you will soon be loosing g more than a few weeks of beer, because no one will be going in.
    I could of course be wrong, but I doubt it, clean your own lines ,if some only clean every two weeks, it better than leaving it four weeks,
    Don’t take my word for it,only you can make the decision, stay as you are, or go for it, but going for it will cost you your hard earned cash, there is only one win error and it ain’t YOU.

  12. theyve told me its 260 quid extra to leave carling on the bar . i was interested in the system but the amount of negative reviews ive seen ime not going to bother

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