How many taps does a bar need?

A bar could have 5 taps that all meet your needs but that’s unlikely. Given that most craft bars have 50-80% hopcentric offerings, how many taps does a good bar need for you to be able to find a few things you really want to drink.

If the bar sells Batemans XXXB in cask form and it’s well looked after the answer is ONE!



Fixed that for you.


I’d say say 20. You can cover a lot of ground stylistically with 20 taps, offer different breweries, have multiple examples of a few popular styles.


So long as there’s a dedicated sour line or two, an impy stout line, and if cask is offered then a dedicated stout pump, then there’s likely to be something I want to drink. Generally round here that’s kinda how it works, then the rest of the taps mostly IPAs (but still waiting for proper IPA to make a comeback, I want IBUs dammit)

I think one factor to consider is minimum pour size. If they pour only pints, for me, fewer is fine, but if they do flights (especially if it is a meh brewery), I want to have way more options.


USA used to drive me mad for that - before flights were really a thing outside of brewpubs it really baffled me seeing a line of 70 or 80 taps and beers only available in 16oz or maybe 12 for strong stuff


I’ve been thinking that 12 is definitely not enough and leaning towards 20. Especially, since in the US 10-12 will be hopcentric, I need 5-8 of non-hops to hopefully find 1-3 beers I’m actually interested in drinking.

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How many taps does a bar need for what? Am I looking for many ticks or the best new beers in town or one tick and a good beer or two I’m happy to drink a few of?

So many variables. If you’re on an all day city bender, 40 taps is probably excessive… if you’re on holiday in a rural part of Greece, then 5 new ticks in the sun is more than adequate.

Personally, if I’m visiting a city and walking about to different places, I’m not intending to have more than three thirds or one bottle / can in each place. So that’s fine by me.


Tell me about it, or rather don’t. I was in New England for a couple of weeks in May and places like Treehouse and Trillium were exactly that.

EVERYONE was wasted at the bar.

16 sounds right

20-25 is enough, but also need to consider the circulation of the beer on the taps.
There is no point with many taps if there is long time between new introductions on the taps.

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very true, quantity should never be at the expense of quality. A certain bar in Warszawa used to boast nearly 100 taps… but some beers were on literally months. And here in the UK with cask especially some pubs have/had way more handpumps than they could sustain


How many taps? Only six beers that I never tasted; and they must be available in a flight for $15!



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