For nearly a decade el Bait Shop, 200 S.W. Second St., has been one of the country's premiere craft beer bars, with more than 100 taps featuring local and national craft beers. This week it's gone even bigger, adding 60 new tap handles, bringing the total up to 180.
"We're awash in great beer, it's like being a kid in a candy store," owner Jeff Bruning said. "This truly puts us at the top; there's nowhere that has this much American craft beer in the world."
The bar made space for the new tap handles by cutting back on bottles. The bar used to have as many as 250 different bottles in stock, but it's now down to around 60. Bruning and his partners in Full Court Press have cut bottled beer entirely at The Library Cafe, serving only tap beer there.
"Bottled beer is really for your Hy-Vees," Bruning said. "As long as you keep your lines clean you have have really nice beer. Bottled beer, no matter how good a seal you have, doesn't last as well as kegs."
The new taps mean el Bait Shop has been able to add new beers by breweries like Schlafly (St. Louis), Nebraska Brewing Company (Papillion), Free State (Lawrence), Great Divide (Denver) and others in time for American Craft Beer Week (May 11-17).