Self-serve craft beer bar to open in downtown Valpo next week

The self serve craft beer bar Pour House plans to open next week in Valparaiso.

Pour House will bring the trendy self-serve craft beer bar concept to downtown Valparaiso when it opens at 4 p.m. Oct. 5.

Visitors to the new bar in the old Good to Go by Lucrezia space, 54 W. Lincolnway, will be able to pour their own beer from 24 different self-serve taps and pay by the ounce, similar to Brewfest in Highland, owner Kevin Eckley said. Pour House will offer an array of local, regional, nationally and international craft beers, as well as ciders, canned wines and domestic beers.

Initially, it will have brews by Three Floyds, 18th Street, Greenbush, St. John Malt Brothers, Evil Czech, Bell's and Rhinegeist from Cincinnati. Beers will be tapped in smaller barrels to ensure they rotate out frequently so it's always fresh and there's a lot of variety, Kevin Eckley said.

"We're trying to do local, and support local businesses and breweries," he said. "But we'll also have Coors, Miller Lite and Yuengling to appeal to everyone."

Pour House will employ about a half dozen workers and will seat around 40, with five to seven outdoor patio tables to be added on the Lincolnway sidewalk next year. It will have TVs, music, board games and a shuffleboard table in a vintage rustic space with Edison lights, corrugated walls, exposed bricks and "old school vibes."

"It's going to be laid-back," Eckley said. "We see it as a place for people to go before or after dinner, on their way to the Opera House or for a meeting downtown after work. It's a place to sit down with friends and try things that are different."

Since customers pay for beer by the ounce, they could just get small samples to see if they like beers they're unfamiliar with. It will rotate all types of beers and feature a lot of India Pale Ales, as well as stouts, amber ales and porters.

"We plans to do seasonal stuff like Oktoberfest-type beers and gingerbread and spiced beers around Christmas type," he said. "In the spring it will be more fruity. We hope to keep it weird but not too weird." 

Pour House also will offer frozen pizza, but is generally BYOF, or Bring Your Own Food. It will let customers bring in pizza or other food from nearby restaurants.

"Downtown Valpo has a lot of foot traffic and it's growing," he said. "It's set up to be a destination with the pavilion and the festivals. We're near Elements (wine bar) and Aftermath (cidery and winery), and that area is hot right now."

Eckley wanted to bring the self-serve concept to Valpo first because it's been spreading so fast around the country.

"It's definitely something that's taking off," he said. "It's easier. You don't have to wait on somebody to serve you. You have the freedom to choose what you want, and how much you want without waiting to be served."

Eckley is focused on making the downtown bar successful, but said he might eventually expand the concept to other locations in Indiana.

Pour House will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed Mondays.

For more information, call 267-1123 or visit facebook.com/valpopourhouse/.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.