Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Chicago restaurant and bar could break record with 360 beer taps

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

  1. guajolote

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Posts:
    686
    Likes Received:
    886
    Location:
    Oregon
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/arti...t-howells-hood-in-tribune-tower#ixzz2JPtArTt5

     
  2. blivingston1985

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Posts:
    500
    Likes Received:
    445
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Posts:
    686
    Likes Received:
    886
    Location:
    Oregon
    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 I'd be surprised if anything was ever cheap at that place, no matter how outdated.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

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Posts:
    557
    Likes Received:
    922
    Location:
    Illinois
    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. Providence

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Posts:
    5,812
    Likes Received:
    11,536
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Posts:
    191
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Michigan
    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. bigfnjoe

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Posts:
    228
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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. UCLABrewN84

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Posts:
    7,936
    Likes Received:
    7,933
    Location:
    California
    A ticker's hopes and dreams...
     
  9. CraftBeerTastic

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Posts:
    77
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Posts:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    22,226
    Location:
    Arizona
    You might even call it a wet dream, given that it is a beer bar.
     
  11. hopfenunmaltz

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Posts:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    6,964
    Location:
    Michigan
    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. WhiteJordan

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Posts:
    142
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Washington
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Posts:
    2,542
    Likes Received:
    4,335
    Location:
    Washington
    No kidding. One 6 sampler tray a day and you could have that knocked out in a couple months.
     
  14. coreyfmcdonald

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Posts:
    632
    Likes Received:
    494
    Location:
    Georgia
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Posts:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    5,172
    Location:
    Texas
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Posts:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Vermont
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Posts:
    232
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Texas
    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. dennis3951

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Posts:
    4,270
    Likes Received:
    9,586
    Location:
    New Jersey
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Posts:
    3,862
    Likes Received:
    14,787
    Location:
    Indiana
    Sounds expensive
     
  20. funhog

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Posts:
    522
    Likes Received:
    3,720
    Location:
    Illinois
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Posts:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Location:
    Michigan
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Posts:
    232
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Texas
    Good point.

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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Posts:
    785
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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. BuckeyeinBoston

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Stick with 30 or so good taps and I am happy. With 300+ way to much crap I bet
     
  25. CreamandCrimson

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Illinois
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Posts:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    22,226
    Location:
    Arizona
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Posts:
    57
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Most Chicago tourists aren't here to drink good beer.
     
  28. yemenmocha

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Posts:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    22,226
    Location:
    Arizona
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Posts:
    259
    Likes Received:
    281
    Location:
    Colorado
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Posts:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    22,226
    Location:
    Arizona
    Exactly. Will be a madhouse once it's a known place.
     
  31. gpcollen1

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Posts:
    242
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Posts:
    5,321
    Likes Received:
    5,425
    Location:
    Texas
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    San Diego = 50 taps is good. Good luck thinking more is better.
     
  34. kexp

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Posts:
    125
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    North Carolina
    FALSE.
     
    SwillBilly likes this.
  35. jdhende

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Posts:
    220
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Illinois
    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.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe