Stay in the Loop

Pouring Your Own Without Touching The Tap

When your entire business model is built on letting one customer after another pour their own drinks and handle the tap themselves, what happens when there’s a push to go touchless?

Some of the 54 taps

First Draft had to close its North Loop taproom and kitchen in mid-March because of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, but when they reopen on Thursday, June 11th, they’ll have a new way of doing business that won’t require anyone to touch the taps with their hands.

As owner Andrew Valen demonstrates in the video above, customers will get their own individual tap key which they can use to pull the tap open and then push it closed. And the tap key will also hold the sensor that customers press against the message board above each tap to get the drinks flowing and add the charges to their credit card.

Using the tap key

“What we’re trying to create is a completely touchless experience,” Valen said, “from the time that you walk in the door, to you getting your beer and getting your food as well.”

Although the CDC says the virus doesn’t spread easily on surfaces, Valen understands the public concerns and wanted to make the changes to ease any fears.

First Draft’s 54 pour-your-own taps include three for wine, two for kombucha and the rest for local and craft beers. For those who prefer cans, First Draft is also offering cans of beer and seltzer this year. Both the taproom and patio will open Thursday by reservation to limited numbers of guests, following the state’s guidelines and safety protocols.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association