Best Up-to-the-Minute Craft Beer Menu | Best of Chicago 2014 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Up-to-the-Minute Craft Beer Menu

Links Taproom

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Along with the recent wave of new craft breweries in Chicago has come a spate of new beer bars, some of them boasting dozens of tap handles and a beer selection that changes daily, if not hourly. Which is great—more beer is always better—but most places haven't figured out a good way to update their menus. Paper menus become obsolete every time a keg kicks and is replaced by something else; chalkboards are usually hard to read. Links Taproom, which opened in Wicker Park in January, has implemented the first digital tap system in Chicago: monitors throughout the bar show not only what's pouring through the 36 tap lines (plus the five wines on tap), but also each beer's ABV, IBU, the size and shape of the glasses it's served in (many are available in two sizes), the approximate color of the beer, and how much is left in each keg. Owner Michael Quinlan learned about the software, called DigitalPour, while visiting Bailey's Taproom in Portland, Oregon, the first place the system was installed. "It's a draw," he says. "People think it's really cool."

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