Pour Taproom owners hope Knoxville City Council will forgo self serve ordinance

Jan. 17, 2017: The Knoxville City Council is set to take up a new ordinance that would effectively ban self-serve bars. This comes after Pour Taproom applied for a beer permit in Knoxville.

The Knoxville City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss an ordinance that would effectively ban self-serve bars.

This comes after a self-serve beer bar called Pour Taproom has applied for a beer permit in Knoxville.

Pour Taproom has three locations in Asheville, N.C., Greenville, S.C., and Santa Cruz, Calif. The bars feature dozens of craft beers, ciders and wines, and customers pour their own drinks and pay by the ounce. 

Knoxville Beer Board Chair Brenda Palmer told WBIR 10News Pour Taproom has applied for a beer permit in Knoxville.

According to Palmer, the new ordinance that will be heard on first reading Tuesday would make it so only employees under the beer permit can pour a beer and not the customer. The ordinance would require "either the permit holder, an employee of the permit holder or an agent of the permit holder to pour and serve beer." 

On Monday, Pour Taproom Knoxville CEO Joel McLead explained he wants a chance to show city council members the safety measures that go into running their future location.

"We are not here to open up a free-for-all drunken party. We'll be the first in Tennessee and there's a lot of thought that's gone in to this to make it as safe as possible," said McLead.

McLead explained that anyone drinking would wear a bracelet that would have to be activated by a bartender each time they wanted to pour a drink. Patrons would only pay for the ounces they poured.

"Talk to us, email us," that's what McLead wants people who have questions to do so they can make an informed decision about the future of self serve bars.

Drink. wine bar in West Knoxville sells self-serve wine, but Palmer said that business is governed by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, not the Knoxville Beer Board. 

Only businesses under the purview of the Beer Board would have to follow the new ordinance, if it is approved. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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