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Beer pong: the great uniter

Taps from Scratch to host beer-pong tournament in hope of bridging the beer-culture divide

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"No, and no," I reply. "This is a beer school."

"That's right," he smiles.

See, Brunson's company is not a bar, and it needs to be 100 percent in compliance with Florida law – in this case, he's got to abide by a regulation that permits the service of 3-ounce pours of alcoholic beverages only, the same rule that art galleries that give out wine at art openings must follow. Brunson is not allowed to sell beer inside Taps From Scratch, but samples are free with a paid tour of the premises. Most of Taps From Scratch's revenue comes from its keg-delivery program.

"When I started this, I realized that good beer – craft and homebrew – needed to be made easily available for people," Brunson says. "I have friends that were Budweiser, Shock Top guys. They tried craft beer, some of the stuff I've tapped here, and now they're Bell's Two Hearted guys, getting on me about what to try next."

Brunson has since taken on the role of craft-beer evangelist – he's made Taps From Scratch a comfortable place to hang out, with couches, chairs, video-game towers and local art on the walls. His next goal is to open a brewing school on premises, with classes each Wednesday and Saturday, in a converted break room that has walls decorated with empty malt bags. For $10 a month, he says, people will be able to learn to brew using Brunson's in-house kits and supplies. So whether you're into homebrew or just loafing around on a comfy sofa in a cool, social space, he wants Taps From Scratch to feel like home.

And again, Brunson wants the beer pong tournament to be like a beacon to people who have yet to believe that Taps From Scratch – or craft beer – has anything to offer them. Brunson says he hopes that beer drinkers of all stripes – traditional, craft and anyone who falls in between – will take part in the event. Come for the ambience and the tournament, come back again for the beer.

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