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Stella Artois NOVA Small Draught Refrigerator

A sleek appliance for tiny spaces, designed by Marc Thorpe

by David Graver
on 10 September 2015

Over the last few years, Stella Artois has grown to be one of the world's most consumed (and recognized) Belgian beers. With this success comes an even greater desire to innovate in other areas of the food and drink world—such as their year-long partnership with designer Marc Thorpe. NOVA—their debut product—launches today, 10 September, and aims to bring draught beer to places that don't have the space or money for a full-scale tap system. The NOVA is an all-in-one unit that holds fully recyclable 12-liter kegs (the internal fluid bottle also happens to be fully recyclable) in a sleek, compact design. For small bars and restaurants it's an ideal entry point to stocking Stella on tap and is ready to use right from the box.

Thorpe explains its origins to CH, "There was an internal review of international industrial designers at Stella Artois to locate the right designer fit for the brand. The internal technology that drives Stella Artois NOVA had been in development for many years and Stella Artois wanted to introduce the technology in tandem with a new and innovative draught experience and a flagship appliance was the best way to do it." Regarding what his design conveys he notes, "We wanted to convey the future of beer—from the internal technology to the formal articulation of the appliance, we needed to create a language that spoke to the evolution of beer."

Thorpe spent over a year studying every aspect of beer production and finding inspiration with Stella Artois in St Louis, New York City and Leuven, Belgium. He says the brand is centered on values of timeless beauty, innovation, artistry, craftsmanship and quality. "We wanted to design an intuitive and elegant product that reflected these pillars and brought them to life," he tells CH. "Formally, Stella Artois NOVA takes cues from the Stella Artois chalice, from the graceful curvature to the refined gold details. It was my intention as a designer to approach the appliance as a watchmaker would a timepiece: every detail, connection and finish are considered." Thorpe's design is compelling and future-forward.

NOVA employs cutting-edge bottle-in-bottle technology keeping carbonation active while maintaining the icy temperature. The cooler, compressor and bottles function seamlessly, all the while taking substantially less space than a standard tap system. Alas, the NOVA is not available for consumers, but interested bar, lounge and restaurant owners in the USA can find more info on availability from their Stella Artois (Anheuser-Busch) wholesaler.

Product images courtesy of Stella Artois, renderings courtesy of Marc Thorpe Design

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