Travis Esquibel is the founder of Tap That tasting room and draft beer equipment rental.
What do you have planned for your anniversary?
We are so excited and feel so blessed to have made it to our sixth anniversary. What started out as a small niche service business in our garage, has turned in to what it is today: a draft beer rental, sales and service company, and a taproom full of friends and fun times. On April 27th we will celebrate our six-year anniversary party from 3-11pm. As always, admission is free as we look forward to having our Tap That friends and family celebrate with us. We have a special beer list that has been curated specifically for this day, along with free hourly raffles and live entertainment. Food vendors will also be on site keeping everyone fed.
When you started the business six years ago, it was “locals only” at your tap room. Now there’s beer from places like Dogfish Head, Great Divide, Avery… why did you decide to make that switch?
It’s true that when we first opened we were 100% local everything. At that time there were very few places that offered the amount of local-only draft, cans, and bottles that we did, especially where we are located in North County. As more and more places opened over the years it became easier to find a good local beer on tap. Because of this our customers were looking for a broader selection, so we started mixing in a handful of really good independent craft options from outside San Diego about a year or two ago. Now, having said that, we still have great relationships with most local breweries, continue to support local breweries, and remain having a high percentage of local offerings.
Are hazy IPAs your best sellers? If not, what is?
Hazy IPAs do move pretty well here. However, since I am a sucker for a clean West Coast IPA, you will find more of those featured on the board than the “hazies.” Our bottle and can selection (which we offer for on-premise consumption or to-go) has definitely increased in hazy offerings over the last several months as the haze craze has grown.
Are there any styles doing well that surprise you?
I will be honest and say that in our taproom filled will stellar IPAs, hard-to-get BBA beers, and sours, we are always a little bit surprised by the popularity of the local lagers and pilsners on tap. I personally love this beer style, but in this day of “higher ABV!” or “stronger hops!” the pilsner, lager request is probably the most surprising.
Who are some of your favorite breweries to work with?
There are far too many breweries to list that we enjoy working with, as we have a great working relationship with nearly all of the brands we have brought in. We have done countless tap takeovers, meet the brewer nights, keep the pint nights and so forth with breweries all throughout San Diego County. On the rental side of the business, we have worked closely with, and enjoy working with Modern Times, Stone, The Bruery, and Burgeon on a number of their special events providing draft beer equipment and expertise.
How do you split your time between the tap room and the event/keg rental side of the business?
It is difficult at times. We basically have two separate businesses (and kids to add to the mix). The beginning of the week starts with making sure the tap room is fully stocked and hours spent sending quotes out for wedding and corporate events along with ordering kegs for our home and office customers. The rest of the week is spent out in the field taking care of keg deliveries and draft service issues. Along with our keg beer and wine, our product offerings now include cold brew coffee and kombucha, so the orders coming in keep us really busy. Lucky for me I have a great wife/business partner that helps run the show and together we have built a stellar team of employees that make it easy to run a fun-filled and successful business on both ends. We truly are blessed to have the amazing support team that we do.
Do you have any more news or events coming down the pike?
In the taproom we continue to have super fun daily events and offerings including bottle shares, trivia nights, tap takeovers, bingo nights, paint parties, themed parties, kill the keg specials and bottomless mimosas. (follow us on Instagram @Tapthattaproom, and Facebook @facebook.com/tapthatkeg to stay up to date on all the cool shindigs and happenings).