"Cold" and "beverage" are linked together. There's just no way around it. But to understand how these two ideas are so closely tied together, you have to look back through history to see the ties between refrigeration and beverages, and much of it is centered on breweries.
Food preservation has always been an important aspect of human development. How long can we keep this piece of meat fresh? Is there a way to preserve this fish so we can eat it later? Can we store this tomato so we can eat it in the winter when we don't have tomatoes?
In the beginning, and into the 1700s, there were a handful of common ways to preserve food. Candying with sugar, storing items in vinegar, smoking meats, and probably the most common method, salting, could all extend the shelf lives of foods. This is where jerky comes from, as well as smoked fish. Finally, when you think about "corned beef," what it originally referred to was wrapping brisket in kernels, which in this case were kernels of salt.
Later in the 1700s, a French confectioner realized he could apply his process of boiling down syrups and placing them in glass jars to other food items. Jarring as a preservation method was born from this process.
Then, about 100 years later, we see the invention of refrigeration, which leads us to beverages.
In reality, the evolution of refrigeration took place over the course of the entire 19th century, with small, incremental advances. The first place it had large commercial impact, though, was in breweries, as refrigeration became common in commercial breweries by the 1880s. Breweries were the first, real adopters of commercial refrigeration technology.
Today's Relationship Between Beverages and Refrigeration
Today, the relation between these two concepts is as strong as ever. With more and more breweries popping up across the country at record rates, the need to store and distribute cold product is critical.
Likewise, brew pubs, bars and restaurants are providing more and more selection and variety to keep pace with consumer preferences. It's not uncommon to see a tap wall with 20 beers or more, and even beyond beer, there are more types of beverage choices than ever before, from "mocktails" to potions.
With the need to store and dispense so many different types of beverages comes a whole set of challenges.
Space. Where do operators store all of their product? Can they easily get beverages from storage areas to the customer? Does using this space to refrigerate and dispense beverages like beer come at the expense of other money-making foodservice equipment?
Energy. Costs are going up, so what can operators do to lower them? When lowering costs, does that result in decreased refrigeration capabilities? Is it possible to reduce refrigeration costs while gaining additional redundancies?
If saving energy is a challenge in your operation check out this free tips sheet from RDT on how to save.