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Pour Bros. Craft Tap Room opening in Downtown Champaign Summer 2018

Pour Bros. Tap Room is coming to Champaign, a pour-your-own-brew taproom originally based in Peoria. Their Champaign location will go in the building across from Seven Saints, located at University and Market — 40 E. University Avenue to be exact. From the press release, the owners are hoping to get open by this summer.

The photo above is from their website, situated next to the building they are taking over.

Here’s the press release:

Pour Bros. Craft Taproom to open 2nd location in Downtown Champaign

Pour Bros. Craft Taproom was Illinois’ first self-serve bar, opened in Peoria Heights, IL. At Pour Bros., the customer pours the beverage by the ounce and pays by the tenth of the ounce for whatever they pour. Using pour-your-own technology developed by the California based Ipourit inc., the nation’s leader in self-serve technology.

The craft beer market continues to grow year after year, and pour-your-own technology has become a great tool for consumers to sample by the ounce before pouring a full pint. Upon arrival, a customer will check in with a Pourtender (a member of the staff), and the staff member will ask for an ID and a credit card to open a tab. An RFID radio frequency technology pouring card will be created for the customer. The customer will head to the pour wall where they will be greeted by another staff member.

The pour wall consists of a series of tablets that allows the customer to touch and read about the different beers, ciders, and wines. The customer then will scan the pour card, grab the tap handle, and begin to pour — shutting off the tap whenever they would like. You are in control of the entire process from start to finish.

The flow meters inside the cooler measure the volume that passes through the lines, then charges the credit card on file for the price per ounce of the beverage poured.  Each beverage holds a different price per ounce.

Pour Bros. curates a list of local, regional, and national beers, ciders, meads, and wine. Since everything is poured by the ounce, rare options are more readily available at Pour Bros. Customers are more willing to try something because there’s only a small investment to do so.

One of the early criticisms attached to pour-your-own bars is the lack of human interaction with staff. We find that since the customer does the pouring the staff is free to engage in the experience. They can discuss beer, educate more, and get to know the people they are talking to. On a typical Friday or Saturday night, you will find a staff of 8-10 or more to help guide you through the process.

Pour Bros. is more than just a beer bar. We offer an assortment of hand crafted cocktails from our full service bar — a bar that feature fresh squeezed juices. The cocktail menu has a focus on simple Prohibition-era drinks that feature a twist by using an assortment of house-made bitters and other exclusive ingredients. The bar area is also where you will find your favorite domestic offerings. Although we are focused on craft beer, we can’t turn our backs on domestic beer drinkers. Our hope is to offer the domestic drinkers a sample of a similar style that opens their minds to the options available. Also, we can’t forget thousands of Americans work for the macro-breweries, so this is why we buy them.

Pour Bros. Craft Taproom will be occupying the vacant building at 40 E. University in Downtown Champaign. A complete restoration is needed, between the ownership’s investment and Pour Bros. investment — over one million dollars will be spent to revitalize this beautiful building. The exterior of the building will enjoy new storefront glass and with artistic and eye-catching architectural additions. The interior of the taproom will features a rustic industrial motif that pays tribute to the hard working folks of year’s past. Stained concrete floors, metal, wood, tile, and art will be blended together to create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Large communal tables will be crafted creating a beer hall effect.

We want to see customers engaging with one another. We find in our current location the communal seating lends itself to conversations about the beer and life in general. We feel this adds to the overall experience. The backroom will feature it’s own pour wall specializing in beers from Illinois Breweries with an Uber focus on Champaign breweries.

The rear of the property will feature a large landscaped outdoor courtyard that doubles as a beer garden and entertainment venue. Entertainment is a very big part of the Pour Bros. culture. We will bring in talented local and regional acts on a weekly basis outdoors in the courtyard. We will promote an array of musical genres along the way. Our goal is to change music and beer styles so often you will have a different experience every time you visit.  

We plan to offer a local small bites menu at some point, but food is not our specialty. With so many great restaurants within walking distance, we hope to partner with a couple of local restaurants to provide great food to our guests. We are local community-minded guys that believe in working with our neighbors. We see Champaign and Urbana being very like mined — and this is why we chose to expand here. 

Our goal is to open the doors sometime during the summer of 2018. You will be able to track our progress by visiting our website and social media pages.  

We cannot wait to “POUR THE EXPERIENCE” with Champaign-Urbana this summer.

Executive Editor

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