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Draft Society Taproom self-serve bar opens in downtown Augusta



AUGUSTA, Ga. – There are several beer-only bars, but  few allow customers to pour their own drinks.

At Draft Society Taproom, patrons pay by the ounce, similar to many frozen yogurt shops, according to owner Alley Kneece.

“You get to decide how you drink,” she said. “So what that does is it allows you to kind of play with drinking a little bit more.”

The bar offers 43 craft beers on tap, with the majority from breweries in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. The taproom also offers non-alcoholic options, wine, sodas, ciders and kombucha.

Several games are available including shuffleboard, Golden Tee virtual golf, foosball and a giant Connect Four game. Kneece said the bar plans to hold special events such as yoga and disco.

She and co-owner Norman Dunagan have followed a similar self-serve model with their Aiken bar, Alley Downtown Taproom. They also own Whiskey Alley in Aiken. Kneece said the Draft Society’s location is great because it’s close to Aiken but in a bigger city. She also said she likes the strong bones of Broad Street’s historical buildings where the bar is housed.

“Bringing life to something you can tell was once really vibrant is kind of fun and exciting,” Kneece said.

Though it’s owned by Aiken residents, the bar is being managed by Augusta native Ashley Valdes.

“I’m really excited about the beers,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be able to put whatever I wanted on tap. So I’ve done my research with Untappd, I’ve checked the ratings on all the beers, and I just really like to see what people like and what they enjoy.”

Draft Society Taproom is at 874 Broad St. near James Brown Boulevard across from the Richmond County Board of Education offices. It is open Monday through Wednesday from noon to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from noon to midnight. An all-day grand-opening celebration is planned for Saturday, May 8.