We’re not entirely sold that things like a “pizza ATM” or a “Big Mac ATM” (both of which really exist) are actually deserving of their ATM designation. But a beer ATM? Maybe we’ll make an exception. Because who can resist the idea of a beer ATM?
The site Insider recently posted a video featuring Williamsburg, Brooklyn bar Randolph Beer and its self-pouring beer wall – a row of taps where you get to be your own bartender – which the site described as “beer ATMs.” Though bars that allow patrons to pour their own beer are nothing new (the most common version we’ve seen is taps that keep a running tab like a gas pump), Randolph’s version of self-service is worthy of its ATM distinction based on how the bar’s system works. Customers trade in their credit card for a card that works with Randolph’s 24 self-serve taps. Simply place that card into a slot above the tap you’re interested in imbibing from, choose how much beer you like – anywhere from one to twelve ounces – and pour.
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According to the Metro, Randolph Beer’s Williamsburg location also has a regular bar and actual working bartenders. But it’s easy to see why employees would be interested in giving drinkers the ability to pour their own craft beers. Doling out things like beer samplers can be a real time suck. Allowing people to pour their own tastes can take away a bit of that agony. “You get to pour yourself, experience, try different beers out, try stuff you’ve never had before,” said Kyle Kensrue, a partner at Randolph Beer. The screens where you place your card apparently post information like ABV and tasting notes, too. Though there’s still something we like about just asking the barkeep “what’s good?”