If you’ve always wanted to walk up to a bar and pour your own draft beer, that dream is now a reality. In Michigan, a new bill has passed, allowing Michiganders to pour their own beers, wines and pre-mixed cocktails.
The bill that made the change is Senate Bill 656, which passed earlier this week and amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 to let tabletop and wall-mounted taps to be installed.
“Michigan has one of the largest craft beer industries in the country and this bill will improve safety for Michigan consumers and our hospitality industry,” Senator Jim Runestad, who put together the legislation, said in a statement. “Michigan can now join 45 other states that currently allow self-dispensing technology as an option for busy establishments. The technology adds additional safety measures to limit and track the amount each individual consumes and reduces the touches on each individual glass.”
As for how other states handle this, self-serve alcohol is usually handled via a card system. Customers give the waitstaff, bartender or host a credit card when they get there, and they get a self-serve card. This card keeps a record of how many ounces you have poured. Then, when you leave the bar, you give back your self-serve card, and they charge your credit card on file. As someone who worked at a bar in college, I can’t imagine having the customers do this on their own. It certainly would have cut into my tips. I’m not sure how I feel about this, since many waitstaff depend on alcohol sales to make good tips, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t. Hopefully it doesn’t take away from the earnings for hard-working waitstaff.