Iâ€™m a firm believer that salt makes everything taste better â€¦ but beer? Apparently, salting the rim of an ice-cold beer is no longer just for your grandfather. Along the Texas-Mexico border, dressing up your beer is quite the thing to do among locals and itâ€™s gaining in popularity, too, according to Texas bar owner Tim Wilkins, who said his staff will garnish the rim of more than 500 beer bottles with salt on a typical weekend evening. However, itâ€™s not without its challenges.
|Image courtesy Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net.|
Pouring salt on to the rim of a beer can be an awkward chore that very often results in spills, extra cleanup work and over salting. The salt shaker requires you to hold the bottle upright with one hand while trying to shake the substance with the other hand; it becomes time-intensive and a clumsy manuever.
In interview with The Moniter, Wilkins said it takes work satisfying drinkers that prefer a taste of salt on the rim of their beer. "Usually you take salt and hold the beer over a trash can or a counter and pour it overâ€”it takes you about 10 to 15 seconds but you spill salt and it takes you extra time.â€
Recently, one of his patrons Cliff Mahathey, Director of Operations at EMU Plastics, a local injection molding manufacturer, caught on to Wilkins dilemma and wanted to help.
Together the pair collaborated and built a customized plastic injection molded prototype called The Dressit, a salt applicator that is designed to dress the beer quickly.
Salt is applied to a beer bottle in seconds after one dip of the bottle stem and a flip of the hand and is U.S. patent pending. The product will be manufactured locally at EMU Plastics and is expected to be available to retail sale soon.
But Mahathey didnâ€™t just stop there. He went on to partner up with South Texas College to start an education program for future manufacturing students after noticing a lack of student experience with advanced manufacturing techniques like plastic injection molding. The program is designed to get students ready for the factory floor upon graduation.
The McAllen Economic Development Corp. provided a stipend to students enrolled in the continuing education program for toolmakers who worked on the project to give them a taste of the industry.