Business

64 taps on the wall, 64 taps of beer (and wine and cider, too)

The Pour Taproom in Durham has a wall of 64 self-pour taps of beer, wine and cider. Guests open a tab, receive a wristband and wave it over the tap of choice. They can pour as much or as little of the beverage as they’d like and are charged by the ounce.
The Pour Taproom in Durham has a wall of 64 self-pour taps of beer, wine and cider. Guests open a tab, receive a wristband and wave it over the tap of choice. They can pour as much or as little of the beverage as they’d like and are charged by the ounce. jbanov@newsobserver.com

Now that the new Unscripted boutique hotel is open to guests and the public, the Pour Taproom is ready for those curious about its wall of self-pour taps.

The 2,250-square-foot bar and restaurant opened in late June, the fourth one in the company. It features 64 taps on the wall that can be poured by customers. Of those 64, 20 are North Carolina beers, five are ciders and eight are wines. Guests open a tab, receive a wristband and wave it over the tap of choice. They can pour as much or as little of the beverage as they’d like and are charged by the ounce.

“They’re not locked into a full pint,” said Dan Enarson, who owns the Pour Taproom with friends Andrew Shaver, Coy Isaacs and Scott Aronson. “They can like it and pour more, or move on to the next pint.”

It’s not a concept found at many Triangle bars. Only a few others use the technology for beer, according to iPourItInc, which provides the system: Clouds Brewing in Raleigh and Durham, ZPizza in Raleigh and Cellar 55 in Fuquay-Varina.

The Pour Taproom started in Asheville – Enarson is friends with the owner – and has locations in Greenville, S.C., and Santa Cruz, Calif. Each is independently owned. Enarson said he and his friends explored opening up a taproom in Durham about a year and a half ago to showcase the ever-growing craft brewery scene.

“We really just want to highlight all the Triangle has to offer,” he said.

The wall is organized by type of beer with “local” signs designating those Triangle brews.

He said they’re excited to be in the first floor of the Unscripted Hotel, which occupies the former Jack Tar Lodge. Next door, the Jack Tar Diner is expected to open later this summer. On the other side of the building, Neomonde Deli will open its first Durham location this fall.

“This historic building has been boarded up and vacant for many many years,” Enarson said. “We’re the first business to open in many years. That’s an honor.”

Pour Taproom already has a partnership with the Jack Tar Diner, from the owners of Pizzeria Toro and Littler, to bring in small plates. On site, the Taproom sells sandwiches, po’boys and paninis along with customized tasting boards of cheese, nuts and charcuterie.

Pour Taproom 9
The Pour Taproom in Durham is on the first floor of the new Unscripted Hotel. Next door, the Jack Tar Diner is expected to open later this summer. On the other side of the building, Neomonde Deli will open its first Durham location this fall. Jessica Banov jbanov@newsobserver.com

The hotel is off CCB Plaza across from the city’s signature “Major” bull statue and within walking distance from other boutique hotels – the 21C Museum Hotel and The Durham – as well as other businesses and restaurants that continue to pop up.

The owners met in east Africa doing humanitarian aid work. Enarson is joined by Isaacs on site while Shaver and Aronson continue to work in Nairobi, Kenya, and Myanmar. Enarson said he helped food-insecure communities access food, either through their local markets or by helping increase agriculture productivity.

“So, a little different than a taproom,” he said with a laugh. “But we’re feeding people here, too.”

While he acknowledges owning a taproom is “an interesting switch,” he said their backgrounds in humanitarian work influence their new line of work. A recent grand opening had a silent auction to benefit Durham’s Habitat for Humanity and World Relief, which helps to resettle refugees. Enarson said they want the Taproom to support local nonprofits “that are adding value to Durham.”

“It means a lot to be right here in the center of the city, where every protest happens and every parade starts or ends,” Enarson said. “We want to give back to the city that’s been so welcoming to us.”

Info: 202 N. Corcoran St., Durham, on the ground floor of the Unscripted hotel. It opens at noon seven days a week. durham.pourtaproom.com/

Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831, @JessicaBanov

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