As many of you know, Austin made it through a historic boil water notice that lasted nearly a week. Due to the immense rainfall and flooding in the central Texas area, residents of the City of Austin were instructed to boil water used for drinking, cooking, and making ice. As it became clear this notice was going to be in effect for more than just a day or two, local Austinites got to work finding solutions to keep the city running.  

To compound issues, no water means no coffee, and that was no exception at the Austin Airport. Travelers were left wandering the concourse in search of caffeine to sustain them. While we’re pretty great at building fancy coffee robots, we can’t operate without fresh drinking water.

Within 72 hours our crafty engineers came up with a brilliant solution. We devised a system that could funnel potable water from four 55-gallon tanks directly into our Coffee Haus. We surrounded the system with a temporary wall made of large whiteboards and affixed a remote monitoring system. We could then weigh the tanks hourly and measure our drink throughput to the minute which enabled precise switching between water tanks.

With the infrastructure and process in place, we were still missing access to fresh, potable water. After a quick call to our good friends and former next-door neighbors Circle Brewing Company, we had a water source! Owner Jud Mulherin and his team offered to donate more than 400 gallons of fresh water to our cause. With pallets full of clean water, we were able to obtain swift approvals from Austin Public Health and the Austin Airport to operate our robotic Coffee Haus under special conditions. Mulherin was proud of his team and his community for their swift response. “It was amazing to see so many different Austin businesses step up and offer clean drinking water to schools, hospitals, charities, and residents of Austin. This city has such an amazing sense of community and we’re thankful we could be help our friends at Briggo!” 

Briggo’s CEO, Kevin Nater says he “couldn’t be more proud of our team of engineers and operators for their creative and unparalleled execution. I’d like to thank our incredible team, all of the Austin Airport and City of Austin officials, and of course our friends at Circle Brewing!”

Next time you’re in the Austin Airport swing by gate 17 to give the coffee robot a try, and if you find yourself near Austin’s Domain District, check in with the folks at Circle Brewing for some great, local craft brews! 

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