Lonely Planet Writer

Pour yourself a cold one - the biggest self-serve bar in the US is coming to Florida

For anyone who’s endured the frustration (and occasional indignity) of wildly trying to flag down an overworked bartender in a crowded bar, St. Petersburg, Florida’s Pour Taproom is a welcome new alternative. With 85 taps, it will be the largest self-serve bar in the country.

A rendering depicts a new self-serve bar coming to Florida. Image by Pour Taproom

Set to open this October, Pour uses electronically-linked bracelets and a smartphone app, each allowing visitors to leisurely fill their own pint glasses by the ounce. With a mix of beer and wine, guests can sample different varieties before landing on a favorite, all without pressure, and without having to shout a drink order over the din of fellow patrons. And with craft beer booming in the U.S. — the number of breweries more than doubled since 2012, topping out at over 5000 last year — there are undoubtedly lots of worthy choices. (All the better to taste a one-ounce pour instead of committing to an entire pint.)

The concept was created by Nate Tomforde, who launched the first Pour Taproom in Asheville, North Carolina. Since then, outposts have opened in Charleston, South Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee, among other cities, but the St. Petersburg taproom will be the largest yet.

A rendering depicts a new self-serve bar coming to Florida. Image by Pour Taproom

Florida is home to over 250 breweries, and Pour will feature lots of local and regional brews. “The food and beverage renaissance that Florida, and particularly downtown St. Pete, has seen in the last decade is nothing short of amazing,” says St. Petersburg Pour Taproom co-owner Tanner Moody. “St. Pete has become known for being a craft beer hub, and we are looking to add to that reputation by showcasing the best local craft beers in Tampa Bay all in one place.”

The spacious bar also has outdoor seating, with a full-sized bocce ball court, Ping-Pong tables, and other games, and has partnered with a neighboring diner to serve food from a custom menu. Plans are in the works for regular live music and beer yoga classes, and in what also may be a first, the taproom will also host a self-serve mimosa bar on weekends.