Draft Top: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Draft Top is a bar tool that easily removes lids from canned beverages, leaving no sharp edges and transforming the can into a portable and reusable cup. Its unique design cleanly cuts the top off a can with a few simple twists of the wrist. It works with standard aluminum soda and beer cans — everything from regular cans of Coke to fancy seltzers and sodas, beer cans from Guinness to Bud Light, most IPA craft beers, and even slim cans and tallboys.

Armand Ferranti is an inventor at heart. Inspired by a skill-slash-party trick he picked up when he was in flight school — removing the "lids" on beer cans using only his teeth — he set out to make a device that could perform the same function in a safer and hygienic fashion. In 2015, Ferranti and co-founder Sean Kelly started their company by crowdfunding on Kickstarter to raise over $200,000 to produce the invention. Acting on feedback from early adopters, another fundraising campaign in 2020 generated nearly $835,000, resulting in an improved version of the original Draft Top.

The brand's motto encourages you to "Drink Topless!" — and it claims that there's real science behind why its product elevates the drinking experience. The theory is that since your taste and smell senses are linked — if you can't smell something, its taste will be diminished. By removing the container's top, you get the full aroma and flavor of whatever's inside. Beer lovers and soda enthusiasts agreed, as by 2021, the company was having trouble meeting demand.

What happened to Draft Top on Shark Tank?

When approached to appear on "Shark Tank" in February 2021, it was perfect timing. Armand Ferranti and partner-director of sales Pat Parizo took Draft Top on the show in Season 12, Episode 13. They demonstrated the product and pitched its usefulness, then asked for $300,000 for a 10% stake in the company. Without paying attention to instructions, the Sharks tried opening cans with the device, only to spill liquid everywhere. Despite their laughter, it did not bode well that the Sharks couldn't get the cans opened after repeated tries.

The duo revealed that in eight months, Draft Top made $1.6 million in sales, with over 70,000 units sold. Such high figures snapped the Sharks back to attention. Mark Cuban, however, was not willing to spill more beers to get past the learning curve, and he was the first Shark to tap out. Kevin O'Leary thought the valuation was too high and couldn't grasp the tool's purpose. Failing four times, Robert Herjavec also wasn't interested. Lori Greiner felt it was an innovative idea, but it needed work.

The only remaining Shark was Daymond John. Pat Parizo told him the Draft Top is American-made and costs $4.13 per unit, priced at $24.99 retail. They expected close to $4 million in sales that year and $6 million the following. The problem was inventory ... they could not make the product fast enough. Daymond John offered $300K with a 20% claim. After a brief discussion, Ferranti and Parizo accepted the deal.

Draft Top after Shark Tank

At present, it is unclear if the deal with Daymond John made it past the handshake phase. There are no mentions in the press or on social media of a finalized partnership. In a 2021 SidsTips podcast interview with Pat Parizo that was filmed after the "Shark Tank" appearance, he was vague about if any deal had been signed with Daymond John. While saying that the company had been in touch with John's team, he implied that no money had changed hands.

The company continued to forge ahead regardless, and by November 2021, it launched its third iteration of the Draft Top. Further development based on customer feedback brought yet another version in October 2022 — this time with a major improvement. Known as the DT Lift, the all-new device now lifts and removes the lid from the can. Previously, the cut lid would drop into the can, and you would have to remove it by hand or let it sink to the bottom.

Alternate design options have also been added to the product line, including a limited edition camouflage pattern called Maverick, and a Ghost edition, which comes in white with pale gray. The devices are also offered in two- or four-pack bundles. A limited run of bespoke can clips was available for a short time, which made it possible to balance mini-liquor bottles, aka nips, on open-top cans, slowly releasing the spirits into a drink as it was sipped. These have since sold out.

Is Draft Top still in business?

Regularly releasing new items and limited editions, the company is still operating at full speed ahead. Actively engaging its customers across its more than 39,000 social media followers, the brand recently announced and has been heavily promoting its latest product, the Draft Top Pro. The Pro is a larger, stand-alone bar top version of the Lift topless can opener. Geared towards people with home entertainment wet bars, bartenders, restaurant owners, as well as stadiums, the Pro's marketing promises novelty and sustainability, with no tap lines or glasses to clean, no broken glass, and no plastic waste. Envisioning bars, cafes, and sporting events adding ice and garnishes directly to soda and beer cans, as well as canned cocktails, iced coffee, and tea – while eliminating the need for disposable cups and kegs — has proven popular with the company's backers.

Returning to what worked in the past, the company utilized crowdsourcing again, this time to fund the development and manufacturing of the Draft Top Pro. With two separate campaigns running simultaneously on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the current amount raised is over $106,000. An update for contributors posted on August 2, 2023, states that the device is in pre-production and being tested, but that tooling had already begun, and a video of the sample in action was provided.

The brand publicly debuted the Draft Top Pro at the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, one of the largest conventions of its kind for the restaurant and food service industry.

What's next for Draft Top?

With an average five-out-of-five-star rating on its customer review portal, a recent feature on the outdoor product review site Tailgating Challenge, and a shout-out in New York Magazine's The Strategist, the company shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Savvy retail management has landed Draft Top Lift displays in Snap-On tool stores, as well as in Spec's Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods liquor stores throughout the state of Texas.

In October 2022, Draft Top entered into a partnership with Cork Pops, a specialty corkscrew, barware, and beverage accessories company, to distribute its products. The deal means that the DT Lift can lid remover is now available to wholesalers in the United States and in 14 more countries, with over 12,000 retail accounts among them.

Draft Top's website mentions even greater availability, stating that their tools can now be found in more than 50 countries. While no specific details have been provided by the brand, the company has indicated there is more on the horizon and hints at new things coming soon. The brand's trajectory continues pointing upward, notwithstanding the possibility of a stalled or canceled "Shark Tank" deal.