Kansas legalizes self-serve beer taps, loosens alcohol laws

Craft beer being poured.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is loosening up its laws on brews and booze.

Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill Monday authorizing self-serve beer taps, allowing longer hours for bars and taverns and legalizing candy laced with alcohol.

Colyer said during a ceremony on a downtown Topeka sidewalk that the legislation shows Kansas is forward-thinking and willing to help entrepreneurs.

The new law takes effect later this month and ends the state’s status as one of the few that don’t allow self-serve beer taps.

The automated taps vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. Generally, a customer walks in, talks to a bartender who then gives the customer a card or bracelet with a set amount of money attached to it. The card is then used at the self-service taps, charging by the ounce.

After 32 ounces have been poured using the card the customer will have to report to the bartender who then decides whether they are good to have a few more drinks or need to be cut off. Also, video surveillance on the taps is required to ensure that the person using the card is who it is supposed to be.

The provision was inspired by plans for a new downtown Topeka restaurant near the Statehouse. A trio of Topeka entrepreneurs are aiming to open a new downtown bar, the Brew Bank, that would feature a wall of self-serve beer taps boasting the best offerings from local breweries.

The idea proved popular with city business leaders, who named the Brew Bank the $100,000 winner of the Topeka Top Tank Competition, a contest searching for business ideas to revitalize downtown Topeka.

The new law will also allow bars, taverns and restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 6 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. and permits liquor stores to sell alcohol-laced candy.

Previous coverage: