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Chicago restaurant and bar could break record with 360 beer taps

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by guajolote, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. guajolote

    guajolote Savant (400) Oregon Sep 12, 2008

  2. Sounds like a lot of stale kegs to me.

    On the +side, besides a lot of beers to choose from, that might equal a lot of fire sale type stuff.
  3. guajolote

    guajolote Savant (400) Oregon Sep 12, 2008

    That's kind of what I was thinking too.

    Not so sure about that though. This place is in the Tribune Tower in the heart of downtown. I'd be surprised if anything was ever cheap at that place, no matter how outdated.
    powz87 likes this.
  4. dvelcich

    dvelcich Savant (330) Illinois Feb 6, 2008

    I imagine each one of the three bars will be serving the same 120 beers (assuming there're no repeats). When I was in Houston, TX, I stopped in several bars that had around 80 taps, and they seemed to take pretty good care of them.

    I'm not saying they won't have stuff sit around for too long, but if they treat the lines right and do their best to move the product, it's possible to make it work without letting a bunch of beer turn to shit. It's going to depend on the beer manager's commitment.
  5. Every time I have been to bar that boasts the number of taps they have, it's a let down. I'll take a bar with four good taps that rotate regularly and are always fresh over a place with dozens, let alone hundreds, of variations of BMC.
  6. ROBSTARR

    ROBSTARR Savant (350) Michigan Aug 31, 2009

    I wonder if they will use a line system kinda like the wine bar here in Grand Rapids called Reserve. Its the only bar of its kind were they can keep wine preserved in the lines so it doesn't go bad. Not sure how it works but it does. I'm sure this type of thing is starting to spread and be used more in more upscale places.
  7. One of my friends works at the Trib Tower, and he's unbelievably excited for this. I think people are underestimating the sheer amount of people that work in the tower...I don't think keg turnover will be an issue.
    ROBSTARR likes this.
  8. A ticker's hopes and dreams...
  9. Note to all craft beer bars - please clean taps regularly! But yeah, this sounds awesome. Will check out next time I'm in Chicago.
  10. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    You might even call it a wet dream, given that it is a beer bar.
  11. I was at a 100 tap beer bar in Austin on Saturday. The wife had a Trumer pils, which was well on its way to going stale. With 360 beers there will be a lot of stale beer.
  12. Will they be breaking the record for kegs that stay on tap longest? Can't see how you would rotate through inventory with 360 taps.
  13. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    No kidding. One 6 sampler tray a day and you could have that knocked out in a couple months.
  14. BMC drinkers will be too overwhelmed and confused to order something new. Servers will have a hard time making a recommendation out of so many options. Craft drinkers will try something interesting and the beer will be old/stale or the lines will be dirty.

    Besides all this...
    Even if the volume of people is enough to keep the lines rotating, there is no way it will be able to keep all 360 of them rotating. The least popular beer out of 360 is far less popular than the least popular beer out of 50. The increase in volume would have to be exponential to keep the least popular beers rotating, not linear.
    bismarksays, devlishdamsel and Beezee like this.
  15. champ103

    champ103 Champion (860) Texas Sep 3, 2007

    On top of not being able to rotate beers often enough, the article said one cooler in the middle for the beers. Depending on how far apart the bars are, those tap lines might be incredibly long. That won't be easy to clean.
  16. Borkinator

    Borkinator Zealot (80) Vermont Mar 2, 2011

    sounds like a cool idea, it will be interesting to see if they are able to figure out how to make it work
  17. omnigrits

    omnigrits Savant (345) Texas Jun 1, 2006

    It looks like it'll be 120 beers each served in three separate bars, so the subject title is misleading at first glance but the quote from the article explains the setup. Even so, 120 beers is about 60 or 70 too many in my opinion. A seriously busy bar can get away with 50 or 60, I reckon, if they're going to keep their beer in the best condition and if the manager/beer buyer is good at what they do. I've seen the walk-ins of a few local 80-tap bars and they're as I'd expect - one tapped and one backup half barrel/13.2 of local beers and popular beers such as Sierra Pale and Stone IPA, one tapped keg of slower sellers and slims of the expensive/really slow selling stuff.

    If your bar or restaurant is anything other than a popular craft bar I think 20 - 30 taps has to be the maximum, and often less than that to have a good turnaround on the kegs. The buying skills of a good manager and a decent POS system that can give you a PMix are two invaluable assets.
  18. The number of taps is one thing. The number of different beers is another. At the M Resort in Las Vegas there is a bar with 96 taps but only about 65 beers. 3/4 for Bud 2 for SNPA , ect.
  19. aasher

    aasher Champion (900) Indiana Jan 27, 2010

    Sounds expensive
  20. funhog

    funhog Savant (425) Illinois Mar 8, 2011

    120 Tap Handle X 3 doesn't equal 360 different beers or even 120 different beers.
    Could be 60 tap handle on each side of each bar with repeats.............or could be
    a beer theme at different bars, Local,Midwest, East, West, Micro, Macro,Nano,
    Belgian,Britain.............I'm gonna go and find out!
  21. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Good post. I'd tend to agree. I feel like 35 is a sweet spot of taps, after that I question how quickly they turn over.
  22. omnigrits

    omnigrits Savant (345) Texas Jun 1, 2006

    Good point.

    Hurry back... or not, depending on the selection ;)
  23. xanok

    xanok Savant (405) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

    My local beer bar has 36 taps and nothing lasts for more than a week generally.
    Currently, there's a keg of Anchor Merry Christmas and Happy New Year that was tapped on 1/15/13. Only two other beers there are more than ten days old. Everything else has been tapped in the past seven days. They could certainly put in several more taps and not have a turnover issue.
  24. Stick with 30 or so good taps and I am happy. With 300+ way to much crap I bet
  25. What is with all this gd negativity, since when is a better beer selection a bad thing? Cool your jets on all the stale beer comments, it's Chicago, not some small little town outside of Denver
  26. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    My local yardhouse has 100+ taps and they do a lot of kegs that kill in under a week. In a real beer city like Chicago plus a touristy location, i can see it working fine.
  27. RunningIPA

    RunningIPA Zealot (95) Illinois Dec 5, 2010

    Most Chicago tourists aren't here to drink good beer.
  28. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    The ones on Michigan Ave. will stop at that location even if they don't drink beer. It's prime, IMO.

    Plus the novelty aspect will draw a crowd too.
  29. Cotchept

    Cotchept Aficionado (150) Colorado Jan 14, 2013

    This is by the guys behind places like Old Town Pour House which has 90 taps and is one of the best beer bars in the city. What's 30 more taps? In a prime location like the Trib Tower they will have no problems with kegs sitting around long enough to go stale.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  30. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Exactly. Will be a madhouse once it's a known place.
  31. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Savant (415) Connecticut Jul 16, 2005

    Some of us still think it is BS when you can have a great beer menu with under 50 draft lines. All depends what you want to be known for I guess. Why 120? I guess b/c you can...
    cavedave likes this.
  32. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    In Austin... we have a bar with 103 taps (Banger's) and picking a beer is... difficult. It doesn't help that it's 103 unique taps. The beer list is 2 pages front & back!

    That said, it's cool to see 5-6 beers from each of our local breweries on at the same time including one-off variants.
  33. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    San Diego = 50 taps is good. Good luck thinking more is better.
  34. kexp

    kexp Savant (265) North Carolina May 10, 2007

    FALSE.
    SwillBilly likes this.
  35. jdhende

    jdhende Savant (345) Illinois Sep 27, 2010

    Being a consumer I think this is very cool. If it is a cool spot I can go if I don't like I don't have too. Never hurts having more beer centric bars in Chicago.

    Also echoing another posters sentiments if this is in connection with old town pour house I think this bar will be just fine. That place is always packed.

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