Click here to see a picture of the Beer Drinking Apparatus

This is a kinetic device that uses two sources of energy to power it,

  1. Low Voltage Electricity and
  2. Gravity Feed.

The 3 fibreglass barrels fixed to the wall act as storage units to feed beer through plastic tubing to the pint glass. There is a tap at the end of the plastic tube to control the rate of flow. The large glass bell jar is the body and suspended within it is a side arm round bottom flask that is the receptacle for the beer. The beer flows from the pint glass to the round bottom flask by gravity. As it fills up it spills out of the side arm collecting in the sump at the bottom of the bell jar.

Study for Beer Drinking Apparatus 1            

The two mechanisms require fine tuning to establish equal rates of flow between the gravity feed and the electric pump. If this is not accurately established, the system collapses and the beer would flood the gallery space. This was avoided by adjusting the tap on the feed to the pint glass and by adjusting the voltage to the fuel pump using a transformer.

The first time it was exhibited at the Coventry City Museum:

1)       A man was restrained and removed for trying to drink the beer with the aid of a paper straw,

2)      The museum came close to being flooded by beer on a number of occasions. It was not anticipated that changes in the atmospheric pressure would influence the rate of beer flow and upset the equilibrium between the two mechanisms and cause a flood. A gallery attendant was trained to adjust the mechanisms each time the weather changed and had to be on hand at all times. The curator would check the weather forecast every morning,

3)      By the end of the exhibition, the slop tray became more like a culture dish with an interesting array of fungal/bacterial growths on them.

Modifications were made in time for the second exhibition at the Icon Gallery in Birmingham. An early warning system was incorporated into the machine. This consisted of a barometer and an electric hooter with flashing LED lights. Although still vulnerable, at least a trained gallery attendant knew exactly when the device needed attention.