Have You Tried a Self-Pour Bar?

It’s a rare occasion that I go to a bar or brewery, but when I do, one of my favorite things is to try a flight of beer. I like to try a lot of different options in small doses.

So when a few friends mentioned that they were going to check out a place in St. Louis called Tapped, a self-pour bar, I invited myself along. Yes. I was that guy.

Tapped has 48 beers on tap (and 10 wines). When you arrive, you get a wristband that’s linked to your credit card. At your leisure, you can wander over to the taps on the wall, hold the wristband over a beer, and dispense as much as you’d like into a glass. There are pint glasses and smaller glasses for flights.

Here’s what it looks like:

I ended up trying about a dozen beers, just about a shot of each, and it cost me $10. My favorite is in the foreground of the above photo, Bent River Brewing Co’s “Uncommon Stout”. It’s a dark, creamy beer with a hint of coffee to it.

Also, while I was there to try beer and hang out with friends, the format makes it really easy to talk to other people at the tap. “Hey, have you tried this? How was that one?” As someone who has infamously been terrible at approaching women at bars, I like a casual excuse to say something.

Overall, I had a great time at Tapped. Have you ever been to place like this? What was your experience?

6 Responses to “Have You Tried a Self-Pour Bar?”

  1. Joseph E. Pilkus III says:


    That’s a cool concept…now, they need to combine it with the Games Library of Origins and you can get a drink and a game…you’re ready to start your night.


  2. This is a great idea! The first time I saw something similar was in Spain, but not nearly as cool. The one I saw only had a single beer available, probably San Miguel. But there was a tap in the middle of each table, with a meter above the tap that showed how much beer has been poured at the table, gas pump style.

    I like the wristband and variety idea much better.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I can see pros and cons to both–I’ll have to try the type you mentioned sometime. Perhaps there’s one in St. Louis I don’t know about.

  3. Jake Bock says:

    We have one of these in Asheville NC, called “Pour.” It’s been rather popular, but I haven’t taken the time to stop in. I guess I’m more likely to go all-in on a beer at this point in my beer-drinking life, so the concept doesn’t really hook me. But I do think it’s a great concept for people looking to learn more about their tastes!

    I assume there’s some kind of cut-off mechanism built in to the wristbands as well – over-serving seems like a real danger of any self-serve tap!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Jake: Indeed, whenever you scan your wristband, it tells you how much you’ve poured that night and how much more you’re allowed to pour.

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