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Self-serve taproom coming to North Loop

Updated: December 11, 2017 - 10:27 am

First Draft patrons will choose from 54 taps to pour their own pint

Patrons will pour their own beer, wine or hard cider at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen, a taproom slated to open next year in the North Loop’s new Variant apartment building.

Co-owners Andrew Valen, Joe Maselter and Mark Slattery plan to offer 54 taps with rotating selections focused on Minnesota and hard-to-find brews. The concept will have patrons use a card to record how much they pour, whether it’s just an ounce or a whole pint.

“It’s a great way for people to sample some of the many different beers, wines or ciders we have without committing to a whole glass,” Valen said in a statement.


The pour-your-own-pint concept isn’t new to Minneapolis, but First Draft promises to be one of the biggest of its kind when it opens next year. The team is partnering with iPourIt, a developer of self-service beverage dispense technology. Darren Nicholson with iPourIt said they are providing the state’s largest pour-your-own-beer system to First Draft.

“With more than 30 breweries in the Twin Cities alone, First Draft will be the craft beer hub for enthusiasts to sample local fare as well as rare brews ‘By the Ounce,’” he said.

FIRST DRAFT 2The team touts the taproom as a place to find sought-after beers, as well as local brews.

“Whether it’s being able to pour beer from some of the great small breweries in Minnesota, or bringing in a highly sought-after keg from across the country, we promise that our tap list will be as exciting as our draft system,” Slattery said.

A similar concept dubbed Community Keg House opened in the Grain Belt complex’s Keg House Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis in 2015, but has since closed.

First Draft will open on the main level of Variant, a new apartment complex developed by Opus Group and Greco Properties on 4th Street between 6th and 7th avenues. The 144-unit building opened in November.