Good Beer Hunting

no. 362

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At Brooklyn's Randolph Beer, customers serve themselves an array of much-loved selections from local favorites like Other Half and more established national heavyweights like Firestone Walker. Recently, the bar even added a few house-made beers to the mix.

Abiding by the self-serve model that's becoming increasing popular throughout the country, patrons fill their glasses in any quantity—larger pours for favorites, smaller samples of new stuff, etc.—and are charged by the ounce.

On one recent night of people watching, a predictable routine emerges as group after group approaches the handles: Pour a few ounces. Taste. Discuss with a friend. Move to the next tap. Repeat. There are worse ways to spend an evening.

"Do you want to try something different?” one woman asks.

“Sure, you pick," her friend replies.