Be your own bartender with new self-serve beer system

Think of it like a gas pump, but for beer.

The future of pouring beer has officially reached the Heartland.

A self-serve beer tap system essentially allows you to be your own bartender.

Heartland Weekend took a trip to 21 Taps, the first completely self-service pub experience in the state of Missouri.

Co-owner Tim Menz compared the system to a gas pump.

“You put your credit card in the gas pump and then you can start pouring gas, it’s the same type of technology except now it’s being used in beer systems.”

The system works using a special RFID card.

When you walk in, a server will verify you are of legal drinking age and give you the card.

At that point, you can either pre-pay for a dollar amount or open a tab to pay when you are done.

Now, for the fun part.

Decide which beer will fit your fancy. At 21 Taps, you obviously have a number of options.

Insert your card like you would at a gas pump.

Open the tap and pour yourself a beer.

Say you just want to sample a beer or two. Good news you can pour as little or as much as you want.

The self-serve system allows you to pay by the ounce.

“You can try your favorite or you can try a new one that’s the neat thing about walking up and pouring your own, you don’t have to wait on a waitress or bartender to get you one,” Menz said. “You know they can be their own bartender now.”

So you might be wondering how all of this is legal.

We asked.

Menz said the RFID card will cut you off after 40 ounces. If you’d like to drink more, you will have to ask a server to reauthorize your card.

Sip on your favorite cold brew when 21 Taps or use the same system to order food.

You can also serve yourself a beer at Dogwood Social House.

Rosati’s Pizza will have similar technology when they open this year.