As is happening across society, things are becoming more automated and individualized. Imagine rolling into The Copper Hog, the bar is gone and along the wall are all taps with a few lines of your friends talking and pouring their own pints.
Logan, the current bartender at The Copper Hog, wouldn’t be there. His smug* and dry humor wouldn’t be there either (*we love Logan. This is a joke), directing you towards his awesome beers on tap. Instead, just a tap. A lonely tap, but accessible whenever you needed it.
Automated taps are installed in places like Bellingham’s Vinostrology, but, currently, the license doesn’t allow for customers to pour their own glasses of wine. I’ve been to self service tap houses in North Carolina though. It didn’t work all that well and seemed more of a pain in the butt than a help. No doubt, in time that will change, the technology will improve and self service taps will be more efficient than bartenders, but that can’t be for a long time. While that means less overhead (labor) for tap house owners, would the customers enjoy it?
Does the craft beer industry benefit if our tap houses were automated? From the article:
It requires bars and restaurants to be vigilant about underage drinking. There are also safeguards in place to make sure people aren’t overserved. (To access the beer wall, for instance, customers have to use an RFID-enabled wristband or card.)
“It’s controlled access. The units give 32 ounces, or two glasses of beer per person at a time,” said Goodman. When the limit is reached, customers can reactivate for more pints.
PourMyBeer has expanded to over 200 restaurants and bars in 28 states and Canada. The concept will roll out in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport this week and in Italy and Brazil later this year.