An Irish pub in Pacific Beach has been turned into a DIY craft beer paradise by David Pike, a beer fan who co-owns the San Diego Sockers.
The new Barrel Republic, which soft opens Saturday on Garnet Ave., was inspired by pour-it-yourself concepts in LA and beyond, but to Pike;s knowledge, it's unique in the sheer number of taps, 44, that are available to patrons.
Here's how it works: a tablet above each tap explains what the beer is and suggests the proper glassware; fetch your own glass - they come in taster, tulip and pint sizes - and get to pouring. How do you pay? You put money down on a beer card or wristband; a sensor keeps tabs on how many ounces you take (the price per ounce varies on each beer, but prices are competitive).
Barrel Republic's adamant that the bar not turn into a free-for-all; the staff will monitor drinkers who go through the maximum number of ounces on their card (36 oz.) before allowing you to restock your beer fund, and the servers have all passed the first level of Cicerone certification to help you make informed beer choices.
The beers are at least 50% local and the first tap list includes special releases from Rip Current, Belching Beaver and Amplified Ale Works.
Barrel Republic doesn't have a kitchen, so they plan to host different food trucks every day; Mastiff Sausage Company is currently scheduled for opening day.
The bar's hours of operation are every day from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.