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Breweries are one group who stand to benefit from the new tax code as the excise tax is cut in half, from $7 per barrel to $3.50. Keg Creek had plans underway to expand but are excited to have the extra funds if needed. Brian Powers/The Register

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Craft beer fans have reason to raise a glass today — one of Des Moines’ busiest beer bars is growing.

El Bait Shop, the downtown bar boasting one of the world’s largest selections of American craft beer, plans to add 40 taps to its selection, growing the bar’s offering to 262 draft beers. 

Owners hope to have the new taps up and running by mid-March, El Bait Shop co-founder Jeff Bruning said, in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

There’s no need to lose sleep, craft connoisseurs: Bruning said those taps will be going to American, and some European, offerings — including celebrated Delaware brewery Dogfish Head, which debuts in Iowa later this month. Bud Light will remain the sole commercial domestic on tap. 

More: Who's raising a glass to the Republican tax law? Iowa's craft breweries.

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Additional changes to El Bait Shop include replacing the garage door — located on the bar’s west wall — with a window and adding a to-go station for patrons to purchase bottles and 32-ounce crowlers.

The bar, which holds a capacity of roughly 100 people, rotates about 50-70 new beers on tap weekly. Roughly 40 percent of the taps feature Iowa-brewed product. El Bait Shop opened in 2006 and for the last decade has been voted one of the nation’s best craft beer bars by Draft Magazine.

More: Love vinyl records? How about craft beer? There’s a new Des Moines event just for you

Local dining reporter Wini Moranville first broke the news Tuesday on Facebook

See what’s on tap at El Bait Shop by visiting elbaitshop.com.

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