Venturing west in Delray Beach is like stumbling onto the set of Cocoon. Or maybe the worlds worst Cadillac dealership. If you can get past those roadblocks to your sanity, even further west than you'd probably normally go, lies an enclave of shops on the corner of Lyons and Atlantic Avenue that is attempting to give a little kick in the pants to what could otherwise be a wasteland of McMansions and farmland.
Delray Marketplace, the aforementioned group of shops which houses the Frank Theaters Cinebowl, a Shula Burger, and other shops and eateries like Cabo Flats Cantina and Tequila Bar, now contains a World of Beer-esque beer destination in TAP Global Beer Collection.
With loads of wood chairs, barstools and bar top, mixed with orange tones and slate, the place has an inviting, almost lodge-like feel without the antlers and panelling. Massive pull open doors expand the main bar space into an outdoor patio complete with lounge furniture and a fire pit. Though beer is the centerpiece, it's followed closely with an emphasis on sports.
Consider this a sports bar for the craft beer connoisseur.
Looking at the product side, there are plenty of ways to get your fill of craft beer. General manager Oscar Ramirez showed us around, and let us poke around at his operation.
We were interested at what would set TAP apart from any other mega-beer-bar.
"We were looking to go for less bottles and have more drafts [on hand] to keep from having stale beers," he said. "People tend to gravitate towards what's on tap rather than bottles."
Still, with 378 bottles and 72 taps, there's bound to be something for everyone; and those hundreds of bottles might be a little easier to figure out too, as TAP organizes things stylistically as opposed to by region or alphabetically. "It helps people move through styles and find similar beers to ones they already enjoy."
While we were there, we sampled Alltech's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, New Belgium - Cigar City Lips Of Faith Collaboration, Full Sail "26" Anniversary Cascade Pilsner, and Thomas Creek Up The Creek. We were told that beers like Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai and Unibroue's Cherry Ephemere were soon to be added. Oscar and his team are passionate and knowledgable about what they are serving, and what they want to get in.
TAP has been open since January 6th, opening soft and letting things settle in. While we were there, a consistent stream of curious passerby's poked their head in for a look at the menu (think small bar bites like sliders and pretzels) or to simply grab a pint.
The craft beer seekers, through word of mouth and social media, made their impression on the staff in that first week.
"The first keg that blew on our soft opening week was the Funky Buddha Combat Rock... it just goes to show how popular the local beers are."
February 8th will be their grand opening, giving them a few weeks opportunity to get things running smoothly. Until then, which will feature special kegs from Funky Buddha Brewing and Cigar City Brewing among others, those interested in checking out the place are welcome to stop by.
TAP Global Beer Collection is located at 14813 Lyons Road #100 in Delray Beach. For hours and event information, head to tapgbc.com.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger that focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow me @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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