Ordering a beer at the bar should be a simple, straightforward task. But that’s not always true. On crowded nights, you may have to fight your way through three rows of people just to get a glimpse of the wooden bar and a shot at ordering. Or maybe you were intrigued by an unusual draft item (“Hmm, a blueberry shandy, how delightful”) but after ordering a pint, discovered it tasted like cough syrup. Or perhaps your bartender does one of those “set the pint glass under the tap and let it fill/overflow before handing it to you with beer and foam dripping down the side without wiping it off” maneuvers. (We hate those maneuvers.)
With so many potential hurdles to such a seemingly simple task, it begs the question: why can’t someone come up with a better system?
Enter stage left: the Beer ATM
Food & Wine reports that Randolph Beer, a Williamsburg-based bar, has developed what it’s calling a “beer ATM,” a new setup that allows patrons to "withdraw" beer from a wide range of drafts by placing a card to the screen above their selection. The beer wall at Randolph Beer features 24 different taps with a wide selection of NYC-based brews to choose from, according to Insider. Patrons hand over their credit card in exchange for a beer card, which can then be used to activate any of the tap handles, allowing you to pour yourself a cold one. Customers can pour anywhere from 1 ounce to 12 ounces, which means you can try as many beers as you want before committing to a full glass.
The one immediate concern is that it sounds like a really easy way to spend a lot of money in a hurry without realizing it, though specials like Randolph’s “Bottomless Fridays” make it considerably easier to manage, which means there really aren’t any hurdles left when it comes to ordering beer.
Now you just have to master pouring without too much foam.
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