You’ll find Draft Taproom, an independently owned taproom and restaurant, right outside the elevators of the East Main Street parking garage on the Downtown Mall. High-res, flat-screen TVs line the ceiling. Also, the menu is full of wings, pretzel bites, chicken tenders, burgers, and BBQ, and plenty of upscale pub-grub to pair with your beer. All of these things make Draft Taproom a great spot for a casual afternoon hangout or a rowdy session of cheering on the big game. Of course, that’s on top of the joint’s main selling-point- its massive selection of self-serve taps. In these blazing hot days of July, with the World Cup in full swing, there has never been a better time to enjoy a cool, refreshing beverage in the sports-lovers paradise that is Draft Taproom.
As Clay constantly oversees drinks pouring out of 64 rotating taps, he’s a bit of a beer, wine, and cider connoisseur and expert. He explains that half the taps feature local, Virginia-based beer. In addition to those options, the taps also showcase the finest currently-trending national and international brews. Right now, they’re serving 11 beers from World-Cup-team countries.
The RFID Card System
When the Charlottesville Guide’s webteam first walked into Draft Taproom, we immediately thought of a certain movie quote:
“This, my friend, is a pint.”
“It comes in pints? I’m getting one.”
Actually, it comes in a lot more than just pints, my friend. In fact, it comes in however many milliliters, ounces, or pints you want.
If you visit Draft Taproom, don’t be alarmed if you can’t find the bartender. Clay explained that you can access up to 32 ounces from any of delicious taps spanning the walls through a RFID card system. First, simply purchase a RFID card at the front counter. Then, grab a glass, pick a tap that piques your fancy, place the card behind the notch on said tap, and pour.
“We’ve got small glasses- little four-ounce tasters- if you want to just taste a bunch of different things that you’ve not had before. Or, if you’ve got a particular favorite, grab a larger glass and go enjoy yourself,” Clay said.
Tim’s Tasting Experience
Clay poured Tim a variety of samples to taste-test.
Tim enjoyed the light, crisp, summer-feel of Draft Taproom’s Watermelon Shandy. He was pleasantly surprised by the Belgian-French wit’s coriander flavor. While his personal favorite beer has always been Boddingtons, Draft Taproom infused this draft with nitro, giving it an extra boost of creaminess. Though Tim doesn’t usually gravitate toward dark beers, he had to have a sip of the Belgian Dubbel in the spirit of the World Cup. Finally, the Bourbon Barrel Stout was like desert, with its heavily-roasted malts giving it a deep coffee flavor.
After those five beers, “that just leaves 59 beers left to sample. So, we better get on with that now,” Tim said.
Planning a visit to Draft Taproom? Head here for location, hours, and contact information.