In November 2016, I shared a story about a new place I visited in Hawaii that allowed you to try many different local beers in one location through a fun, serve yourself concept. Recently, Albuquerque got its own version of an electronic pour tap room located at 6910 Montgomery NE, Suite F. At Tap That Local Craft Beer Wall/Kitchen you cannot serve yourself (a bartender does the actual pouring), but many other aspects are very similar to the taproom in Hawaii. In fact, the bracelets used to access and track the beer purchase here look and work the very same way; they just have a different logo on them.
Here’s a quick run-through of how this concept works: First, park behind the strip mall to get into the main entrance. You can park in front and enter if they have the gate open, but entering behind the building gets you directly to the starting point. At the entrance, provide your ID and a credit card at the register to open the tab. You can put more than one person on the same credit card tab. You will receive a glass and an electronic bracelet issued to your name and the credit card used.
Put on your bracelet and make your way to the right of the register. The long wall of beer taps awaits you. There are 36 beer taps (all local) to choose from, although a few were labeled “out,” leaving about 31 or 32 available on Saturday (it may be up to 36 by the time you read this). Multiple bartenders were working the taps on Saturday. The beers were arranged from left to right in ascending order of darkness, i.e. ciders and lagers on the left and stouts on the farthest right.
Choose your first beer. Decide if you want a full pint or tell the bartender the approximate amount of ounces you want to try. The bartender even suggested you can combine beers if you are that adventurous. Hand the bartender your glass, hold the bracelet up to the “Tap That” logo on the bottom of the wooden frame in front of you. This frame also has an electronic label and description of the beer on it. When the light at the top of the frame turns green, the bartender will pour the beer. The screen will change to show your name, how many ounces were just poured for you, and the remaining ounces you have available of your three-beer limit. That’s it! When you are finished, return the bracelet and sign for your tab. We kept our charges on the credit card, but I think I heard someone say you could pay in cash as well.
The kitchen also opened Saturday. As it was 4:15 and we were not looking for food, we did not try anything. However, the food seemed to be moving well, especially for the first day of food service, and it looked very good. I saw multiple orders of fish and chips, fried shrimp po’ boys, and fries generously covered in Korean bulgogi. The menu is limited, but this should work very well for them.
By the time we left around 5:30 p.m., almost all the tables were occupied. The patio will provide great additional seating when the weather is nice. There are already a few games set up out there, such as Jenga and Connect Four. The hours are now set, with Tap That opening every day at noon, closing at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and at midnight on Friday and Saturday.
If anyone has tried the food or would like to otherwise remark on this new-to-Albuquerque concept, please add a comment or send us a message.
Cheers to beer technology!