Quaffers: Is self-serve beer coming to a bar near you in Canberra?

Chris Shanahan


Will self-serve beer taps in pubs prove to be all froth and novelty? Or will they become a permanent feature of the craft-beer boom?

Taps Mooloolaba set the auto spigots flowing at a Sunshine Coast bar in 2014. And now its website, tapaustralia.com.au, seeks franchisees Australia wide, urging entrepreneurs to "join the latest and greatest innovation to hit the Australian hospitality industry".

The existing Mooloolaba outlet provides a regular beer service from its eight-tap bar, and offers the same brews from an adjacent push-button, self-serve bar.

Patrons load credit onto an "iButton" at the main bar, pop it into a magnetic holder on a tap and pour any quantity into a glass provided by the bar staff. The machine charges by the millilitre and deducts the charge from the credit.

The flexibility to pour even small tasting amounts could be its most practical feature.

Pact Beer Co 42.2 Summer Ale
330ml 6-pack $25

Australian reigning amateur brewing champ, Canberra's Kevin Hingston, turned professional this year with the launch of Pact Beer Co. His new summer ale, brewed and bottled in Melbourne, celebrates Canberra's hottest recorded temperature. It offers exceptional character and refreshing bitterness for a beer of just 4.2 per cent alcohol.

Riverside Summer Ale
330ml $4.99

Parramatta's amber-gold coloured summer ale, pours cloudy, with an appealing, thick head. The aroma shows the fruit and citrus character of Australian galaxy hops, a note that follows through on the lively, rich, malty-fruity palate. Hops take over in the finish: refreshing and bitter, but with a (for me) too-resiny aftertaste.