'Pour-Your-Own Beer Bar' set to open in Chicago

- Imagine being in a busy bar and not having to elbow your way through the crowd to get the bartender to pour you a cold one.

Well now, coming to Chicago is the "Pour-Your-Own Beer Bar," where you serve yourself whenever you would like. The system is currently being tested to rave reviews at 'Deuces and Diamonds’ in Wrigleyville.

"Rather than having to taste a full beer, for every one you want to try you can try it by the ounce, so you can really try one ounce of this one, one ounce of that one and the card system lets you do that,” said Roman Maliszewski, owner of 'Tapster’ Pour Your Own Bar.

The self-service system is not another instance of automation eliminating jobs. Before pouring your own beer, a bartender is going to check your ID and staff members are needed to replace the kegs.

Here’s how the system works: you purchase a pre-paid "Tap Card,” you walk up to the "Tap Wall” and place your card against the reader. You can then see how much money is available for purchase, and once the card is recognized you are free to pour.

But if you're pouring your own beer, who's to stop you from pouring, and pouring, and pouring, until you're hammered?

"After every two drinks, even you put twenty dollars on the card, after two drinks it pauses, so then you have to see somebody and make sure that you're not overconsuming and make sure you're okay to keep drinking,” Maliszewski said.
So, what do Chicagoans think about the idea of pouring their own beer?

"I think that would be great, you get to walk around, try a variety, and you don't have to wait for the bartender or the server to bring you a beer so I think it would be great,” said beer enthusiast Steve Sansonetti.

"This is a big craft beer town, and everybody will get on board with that, everybody will love it,” said beer enthusiast Mike Minow.

Chicago’s first 'Pour Your Own Beer Bar' will open up as 'Tapster.’ It is slated to open in January 2017 in Wicker Park on West North Avenue. There are plans for 60 taps with not only beer, but several varieties of wine on tap as well.

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