David Pike, owner of Barrel Republic:
"Obviously, the two biggest things that make a good craft beer bar are selection and atmosphere. It’s one thing to have a bunch of beer on tap, but you also want the right vibe, you want people having a good time. It needs to be casual and accepting, with a laid-back vibe, because in the end, beer drinking isn’t supposed to be serious -- it’s supposed to be fun. But the bar staff can’t be too laid-back. They need to be attentive, friendly, and, most importantly, clean. One of the things we’re meticulous about is cleaning out the lines every time we change out a keg so people aren’t getting some funky taste when we pour a beer.
"It also needs to be affordable for everybody. One of the things that’s cool about our model of being able to pour your own pint and only getting charged per ounce is that you can spend a couple hours at the bar and only spend, like, 12 to 15 bucks."