Tapster in Wicker Park is Chicago's first pour-your-own beer bar. Roman Maliszewski and Sean Slevin are the native Chicagoans behind this concept that was created for more drinkers to enjoy craft beer in a casual setting. Upon entering the establishment, you trade your credit card in for a "Tap Card" that gives you unlimited access to the 60+ taps around the split-level bar.
There are many different beers on draft to choose from, with one perk being that you can poor as much of each beer as you want. This means that you can get buzzed sampling them all and without breaking the bank. There's no harm in pouring a little and not liking it. The touchscreens give a brief description of the brews so you know what you're drinking at all times. Also, you will always find a friendly bartender standing next to the taps to give you more feedback and understanding if necessary.
For those that aren't the biggest beer fans, they also offer taps of wine, cocktails, and ciders. Roman and Sean did not want non-alcoholic-drinkers to feel left out of this new self-pouring reality, so they have also included 4 taps of kombucha (a fermented tea with probiotics and other healthy attributes), 4 craft sodas made with love from small-batch brewers, and 2 locally owned cold-brew coffee options.
The inventive atmosphere provides guests with a welcoming environment to socialize.
If you get hungry during your visit, Tapster has a brightly-lit back area that acts like a deli. Their kitchen boasts a fantastic array of fondue, sandwiches, charceauterie, craft popcorn, Italian gelato and cannolis. They also offer unlimited popcorn refills for less than $5.
There's something for everyone at this bar that focuses on education, empowerment, and the environment. They don't serve any bottles/cans or food with utensils to cut down on water needed for cleaning, thereby reducing their carbon footprint.
To learn more about Tapster, visit their website here.
See you all there!