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The Tap Brewery

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Type: Brewery, Bar

101 N College Ave
Bloomington, Indiana, 47404-3947
United States

(812) 287-8579 | map

Formerly The Tap Beer Company

Added by WoodburyMN on 11-02-2012

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 30
Photo of jwjon1
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Rating the brewery part. The restaraunt/tap room is a different beast.

Came to Bloomington for Upland Wood Shop. Enjoyed it. Was told by the Upland keep to visit Function. Enjoyed Function as well (their low ABV ales were especially exceptional). Was told by Function to visit the Tap. See a local thread here?

Thought the beers coming out of the Tap were the best of the day, and some of the best Indiana beers I had during my trip across the state. Their hoppy beers are especially on point. Seriously. I'd put them ahead of the hops I had at 18th St and Black Acre (and Burn Em, since we are on the topic) which are worth checking out in their own right. Very impressed with the Tap beers.

Don't think I'd want to hang out in the main bar though. I'm not young or cool enough. Seems like your typical crowded, loud, annoying college bar with a nice tap list.

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Photo of leantom
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Good place to grab a brew, as long as it's the downstairs part of the bar. Here goes:

V: Usually has a live musician playing at night. Ambiance is good; nice-looking girls frequent the place.

Q: Food is alright. I usually just get an artisan pizza. The fried pickles are also good.

S: Mediocre. Not too friendly or nasty; somewhere in-between. Nice-looking girls work here, though.

S: This part is great. Over 50 beers on tap. They also brew their own beer. Surprisingly, the beer that they brew is quite decent.

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Photo of roger617
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

The Tap has been my go to craft beer bar in Bloomington since they opened in the Fall of 2012. When you first walk in you can see big screen TVs all around, bar stools at all tables that aren't against the wall (bench style seating against the wall), and most importantly, 50 tap handles serving exclusively craft beer - ie no BMC served here. Any time there is a major sports event, or a local sports event, it will be shown on TV here, and most likely will have the overhead speakers broadcasting the game. There is an underlying laid back atmosphere, with a feeling of being modern and professional (at least as professional as you would consider craft beer) as well. The quality of service depends on the server. All the bartenders know their stuff, love talking beer, and will only give you honest answers if you ask questions about preferences. I've seen quite a few waiters/waitresses come and go, and to the credit of management, the staff members who don't seem to care about craft beer, or know much about craft beer, don't seem to stick around for long. The beer selection is amazing - granted Indiana distribution isn't. They have something for any type of beer drinker, both on tap and bottled. The food, which they only recently started serving, is high quality bar food. I haven't eaten anything that I wouldn't recommend. You also have the option of ordering in from any local restaurant that delivers. The pricing is definitely on the higher side for most of their beer offerings. If you're looking for the best selection and don't mind paying a bit more, this is the place to go. If you're on a budget, I wouldn't consider The Tap the best place to go for multiple drinks; however, it is a must go to for all craft beer lovers venturing through Bloomington.

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Photo of Beric
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Atmosphere: Bar stools predominate the entire place, with some booths around the walls. Behind the bar is a semi-private area that can be rented out for parties and whatnot. Large TVs behind the bars, so you don't always have to see them if you don't want. There's also a stage behind the bar too, where local musicians roll in on occasion.

Quality: Fresh beers served in the proper glassware every time. Pours range from 12oz to 16oz.

Service: Friendly wait staff, though not always the most educated on the beer they're serving. Bar tenders can generally shoot the shit about anything on tap or in the large coolers behind the bar containing hundreds of bottles of different beers organized by country and style.

Selection: Huge wall of taps of a variety of styles, all craft (even to the point that they rarely serve Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, New Belgium, or other "macro" craft options). Plenty of taps form local Indiana breweries, including FFF whenever they can get it. Some beers seem to fly (especially Zombie Dust when they have it), while others seem to take much longer to disappear. Everyone will like at least one beer on tap. If not, there are hundreds of bottles also available for purchase.

Food: They have a food menu now, but I never tried anything from it.

Value: Expensive bar for Bloomington, IN. Most pours are well over $5, with an average price likely over $6. Come here for a beer or two in celebration, but don't plan to spend the night unless you're loaded.

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Photo of Rhanson11
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

In Bloomington, we don't have many options of pure beer bars, and The Tap opening up has helped with this problem. The quality of beer that The Tap gets is tremendous. I have been 21 for about 2 months, so I have only been about 4 times so far. From the few times I have been there, I have had some spectacular beers. I saw they had Three Floyd's Gumballhead, and I had to try it. Then I had Three Floyd's Zombie Dust, which is the #4 beer on this website. The atmosphere is really chill with tvs on the walls and live music on weekend nights. I highly recommend visiting if you are in Bloomington, IN.

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Photo of stuckeyj64
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1

I have been to The Tap numerous times. Overall, I really like the place. The ambiance is nice - especially when they have live music. The band sets up behind and above the back of the bar and is not intrusive. The draft list is constantly changing and I have been impressed with the offerings. The wait staff has always been very attentive and mostly knowledgable. I do have two complaints: 1) there is no food on site. They do allow food to be brought in, but a handful of apps or tapas would be nice. 2) The beer prices are a bit high. Not so much that it keeps me from showing up once or twice a week, but everything always seems to be $1-2 too high (or higher than other places). Overall, a great place to relax and enjoy terrific beers!

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2.25 | selection: 4.75

The Tap is located right on the square and features a large main room as well as a smaller backroom. I tend to go during happy hour or Sundays because it is a complete zoo in the evenings and the layout of the place accentuates the loudness. They have an unnecessary amount of music there often times at the same time as IU games. They definitely cater to the ADD crowd.

They have a pretty good rotating selection of 50 beers which usually contain a good mix of styles and draft only selections. They also have two big coolers of beer I'd avoid like the plague unless it is a style that ages well. Last time I was there, there were still bottles of Broo Doo nearly 6 months after it's been released. I wish they would have some sours outside of the sugar sweet Lindeman's style crap.

I know some of the servers there are knowledgeable, but it seems many I've had have not known much about the beer or been very attentive unless sitting at the bar. Once my girlfriend ordered a New Day mead and received approximately 7 oz in their 11.5 oz glass. When the bill came, the bartender had charged us for a lesser beer. In the end, we go the proper $/oz ratio, but it was weird that he didn't say anything at all about it since I suspect the keg kicked negating a full pour.

No kitchen on premises, but they do have a partnership with 4 local restaurants to order in which I have never done.

The final point and probably the biggest thing I dislike, is the prices are just outright ridiculous. Most pours of standard stuff are $6-7 a pint and anything imperial will run you that much or more in an 11.5 oz glass. It's not worth ordering anything you can get elsewhere at these prices.

I was really excited about The Tap and hoping it would be somewhat like a 20 Tap for Bloomington. While I'm disappointed overall, there are some redeeming qualities and I hope they build on these in the future. I've had several beers here recently I've never had the opporitunity to try outside of the brewery or a beer fest. I'll continue going on Sundays and random off hours for this, but with the atmosphere and prices, it's not something I frequently visit.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

Had a large list of bottled beer, that being said, why on earthy would you buy a bottle of beer at a bar. The tap list was decent, good selection of Three Floyds and Founders. Out of all theirs taps only 3-5 seemed to be draft only selections that are difficult to come by. However on draft you have no control over the size of your pour, what is listed on the menu is what is available. Their flights are of only four specific beers they choose, which haven't seemed all that great (International Stout Day, one of them was Guinness). Also a random pet peeve of mine at a bar, the price does not include tax. Which makes for a pain if you are paying in cash. (Plus the waitress "ate" the change as well, another pet peeve.)

The atmosphere was good but it seemed like the bar didn't know what it wanted to be. A lot of tvs showing sports, indie paintings on the walls, live music with great decor, yet trying to appeal to college student. It didn't seem to mesh perfectly.

The service though was poor, it seemed like they hired based on looks rather than quality. Waitress was not overly knowledgeable, had a hard time remembering who ordered what. When we ordered drinks, she didn't bring over the entire order at once, so some of us were left sitting around for a few minutes without drinks. Then she messed up the receipts and had to go back and fix that. Lastly with only two people paying with credit card she couldn't keep track of whose card was whos. Just all around poor service, which everyone in the group realized.

I'll go back if I find out they are tapping a draft only beer I can't get elsewhere, but because of the piss poor service, I wouldn't recommend this place or make an effort to stop by again.

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Photo of WoodburyMN
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Atmosphere: Enormous bar, warm and inviting environment. During the day, it definitely caters to professionals and beer enthusiasts, rather than the normal college/Kilroy's 21-25 crowd. Tons of TVs showing sports of all types. During the night hours however (7PM-2AM), it seems to get overrun by partying bros and general "drinking to get drunk" individuals.

Quality: Perfect pours and proper glassware.

Service: Drinks were received in a timely fashion. Server was very attentive. I do knock points off here however because the server was not very knowledgeable about the beers (styles, etc.) that the bar had on their menu. I was told for example that hefeweizen was the best beer style because they are made in Belgium... so there's that. Kind of a bummer for beer geeks.

Selection: Awesome selection. SOOO many beers. They keep 50 taps at all times I believe and have an absolutely enormous bottle selection. The walls of the bar are lined with them. Beer geek heaven. They even have beer blends (black and tan, etc.) on their menu, as well as what they call "beer shots."

Value: Fairly priced, on par with other bars in the area serving quality brews.

Overall: Amazing place. If you are ever in the Bloomington area, be sure to check this establishment out.

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The Tap Brewery in Bloomington, IN
3.65 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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