New Philly food and drink

A beer and wine ‘filling station’ is coming to the Bourse on Independence Mall

Baltimore-born TAPS will add draft booze to the food hall lineup.

TAPS Fill Station

It’s about to get a lot easier for tourists visiting the Liberty Bell to get a taste of local beer — and take it with them when they go.

When the new food hall opens at the revamped Bourse, one of the central stands will be home to TAPS Fill Station, the second outpost of a Baltimore-based concept specializing in draft booze.

Customers who stop by the small space will be able to choose from a total of 36 options, including beer, wine, cider, mead and cocktails. You can try any of them for free — do that by sidling up to the counter beneath a globe marked “TASTE” — and then decide how to drink the ones you like.

Opt for a sampler flight or a full pour in a proper glass, and you can enjoy the sips at the 15-seat bar (beneath the sign reading “RELAX”) or the hall’s communal seating area. If you’re headed back out, step over to the area helpfully marked “PAY” and have it packaged for takeaway, either in a flip-top green wine bottle or a sealed metal crowler (aka giant refillable can).

According to proprietor Will Glass, who launched his Baltimore store in 2015, the concept was inspired by an actual gas station in Bend, Oregon.

“You pull in with your car to get gas, and there’s like 45 beers on draft,” said Glass, recalling the mini epiphany that turned him into a publican. “Food halls were just starting to become a thing, and I realized there was an opportunity to pair them with a filling station.”

Glass, 42, calls himself a serial entrepreneur. His first hit was a business called Drink Deck, a card game-slash-discount program that took off when it was introduced in 2009 as “one of the first apps in the app store.”

But he’s always had a passion for environmentalism and social justice, and he saw the TAPS concept as place where he could put those ideals into action.

Expanding that concept was always in the plans, although Glass wasn’t originally sure which city would be home to his sophomore outlet. After doing some research, Philly emerged as a clear winner.

“We were looking at D.C. versus Philly,” he said, “and Philly won hands-down.”

Both Glass and biz partner Ryan Kromer, who will lead the Philadelphia shop, will commute back and forth, staying at an apartment in Old City when they’re here.

Like in Baltimore, nearly everything at the Bourse Fill Station will be sourced from within a 250-mile radius. The 21 lines of beer will all hail from a specific area within the region that changes every couple of months, allowing TAPS to offer a deep dive into breweries’ portfolios instead of just cherry-picking the most popular or most trendy labels.

Another five lines will hold cider, two will be stocked with kegged cocktails, six more will be split between red and white wines, and the remainder will pour mead.

There’ll be some rarities or one-offs that might cost, but in general, prices will be wallet-friendly, Glass said. A $4 beer and $6 wine will always be available, plus the “hot sale” item of the day. With to-go purchases, bring back your bottle for a refill (or just to return it) and you’ll get $2 back. Turn in the reusable bag and you’ll score a $1 credit.

TAPS joins a lineup that more than 25 other food and drink vendors, including a noodle bar, a dumpling shop, a breakfast spot, a chocolatier and tons more. Fill Station hours will be noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.

No opening date for the Bourse food hall has yet been announced.

Want some more? Explore other New Philly food and drink stories.

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Bourse, Booze, Old City