Thirsty? You Can Fix That Yourself At A New Self-Serve Beer Hall In Delray Beach
Palm Beach County has a bustling craft beer scene – more than a dozen breweries span the area between Tequesta and Boca Raton.
Now it’s adding a new self-serve taproom featuring beers from across the county, state and country.
John Macatangay, the founder of Delray Beach-based Hopportunities, envisioned it as a German-style beer hall – part community gathering place, part watering hole, part event area and part art gallery.
The hall’s murals are done by Nicole Galluccio, a Lake Worth-based artist who shows around Palm Beach County and is also selling art out of Hopportunities.
There’s a little golf-putting course, board games, and “really great wi-fi” to encourage people to stay awhile.
“We probably have enough wi-fi for the whole block,” Macatangay says.
Then, there’s the beer and other beverages. Hopportunities’ 55 taps are positioned toward the back of the space, lining three walls that beverage curator David Lipman describes as the “macro wall,” Florida wall and a third housing eight wines and a kombucha.
Lipman wrangles the kegs piped into the 55 spigots from the cooler. He tags all the business’s kegs with colored wristbands based on the type of beer or cider, so when, for example, one brewery’s wheat runs out, he can swap in a wheat from another and update the little touchscreen over each spigot that describes the beer and its origins.
“The floor is where I like to spend most of my time, considering the cooler is 38 degrees,” he said.
Customers trade their IDs and credit cards for a wristband with an RFID chip that, when held against the tap of their choice, will allow them to start pouring. The drinks are priced per ounce, so visitors can draw down just a taste or a full pint. Underneath the taps, shelves hold assorted glass styles suitable for different kinds of beer and wine. There are also two free spigots that don’t require a scan – water and orange juice, for those who want to craft their own mimosas or beer-mosas.
For beer-pouring novices, the screens describing each beer also have a little box that, when clicked, will show you how to properly pour a pint.
The wristband logs how much customers are drinking so they can pay at the end, when they go to reclaim their IDs and credit cards.
Macatangay says giving back to the community is an important part of Hopportunities’ business model. Galluccio will take home 80 percent from the sales of her art on display, but the 20 percent staying with Hopportunities will go to the nonprofit Community Greening.
“Essentially, we’re hoping to plant a lot of trees,” said Macatangay.
One of the taps always has a sparkly green handle, meaning 20 percent of the profits from that beer go to Community Greening, as well. Macatangay says they’ll switch it up, attaching the handle to beers from local brewers who might need a little more exposure.
Opposite the Florida beer wall, the building has giant garage doors that can be rolled up on nice days, and for bigger events. Macatangay says they have permission to close down the parking lot for three major events a year.
Macatangay owns an insurance company as his day job – Hopportunities is a passion project. But he’s already thinking about how to expand it to other parts of the state.
“I have no business opening up a craft beer hall, but I think we put together something special,” he said. “I’m just a guy that wants to bring good beer to people."