Sitting at the monochromatic Taps Fill Station, we can’t help but think we’ve sidled up to the bar of the future.
Taps is located inside Mt. Vernon Marketplace (520 Park Ave., 484-998-8277), all concrete, exposed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. In true sharing-economy fashion, any dish from the market—oysters, dumplings, or charcuterie—can be brought over from a neighboring stall to nibble on while you drink. And, as the name suggests, all of Taps’s products are available in draft form, including beer, cider, mead, nitro cold-brew coffee, wine, and even olive oil.
Another very au courant aspect of Taps? Owner Will Glass conceived of it as a zero-waste business, so it actually encourages you to stop by to fill up your growler for takeout. But, on a bustling Saturday night, we weren’t budging from our barstools. Taps’s red-and-white bar features bulbous lights spelling out “taste,” “order,” and “relax.” And so we obliged.
We ordered a beer flight, or four 4-ounce pours for $8. (Flights of wine, cider, and mead are available as well in more manageable 2-ounce portions.) On our visit, all of the beer selections available hailed from Pennsylvania, though the region rotates each month. Even so, we managed to find variety in a Victory Prima Pils and a full-bodied Sly Fox red ale—both brewed 40 miles outside of Philly, as well as a Tröegs Java Head stout from Hershey and a Gunpowder Falls Export Hell lager from New Freedom.
We appreciated that the flight was served on a wooden tasting board that clearly labeled each libation with a gold wax pencil. (A few sips might otherwise have us forgetting.) Each sample was noticeably crisp and fresh, but the standout was the Sly Fox red ale made with mulling spices like ginger, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. It was coziness in a glass.
Between the bar’s unique business model, variety of spirits, and helpful yet laid-back service, the future certainly seems bright.