Green Bars: Tap 13 gets waste down to zero at this Tooting Broadway Market drinking den

Fancy a pit stop at a zero waste bar to break up your shopping for groceries or after-work drinks? Then stop off for a tipple at Tap 13, a pop-up zero waste bar nestled in Tooting Broadway Market.

DSC Group, the team behind the newly launched bar, have taken the giant leap when it comes to sustainability and have eliminated the use of any single-use items. There’s no bottles, no cans, no disposables and no straws.

On the drinks menu, Tap 13 serves 4 craft beers, 2 ciders, 3 wines, 1 frizzante, and 3 cocktails. All of the drinks, including the pre-mixed cocktails, are served from 13 different taps. All drinks are served entirely from recyclable kegs therefore eliminating the need for waste glass, plastics and product.

Bar snacks are stored in Kilner jars on the counter and served in reusable containers. Tap 13 has successfully eliminated waste so much so that there’s not even a bin behind the bar.

Launched in June, the zero waste bar has proved to be popular customers. Punters can can sit up at the tiny bar or take their drinks to communal benches, shared with other food and drink outlets in the market.

Paul Belcher, co-owner of operator DSC Group, told Imbibe Magazine: “We wanted to do something different and there was a space in the market that was really small – just four metres wide by two-and-a-half metres deep. I’m not an eco-warrior, but as the project developed, it became a really nice aspect as everyone worries about the environment and saving it is something we believe in.”

DSC Group started life as a street food van, before opening a string of unique experiences including Donastia Social Club, housed in a shipping container in Pop Brixton, and The Tapas Room, with branches in Tooting’s Broadway Market and Deptford Market.

Cocktail-making is a bar tradition that generates a lot of waste. By having their cocktails pre-mixed and stored in kegs, Tap 13 are not only able to waste nothing, but the bar is also able to provide speed of service given that it doesn’t require a bar worker to make cocktails from scratch.

Paul Belcher added: “I think this kind of set-up is easier for bars trying to deal with waste. It’s also easier not to have so many products, so many things behind the bar that can go missing. It’s a simple, clean concept.

“I don’t think everyone will suddenly switch to running tap bars – customers like drinking hand-mixed cocktails – but bars that offer everything on tap do offer a point of difference for customers and the lack of waste is a positive. Anything that’s zero-waste and environmentally responsible is a good thing. As an operator it’s a nice feeling to do something like this.”

Tap 13’s drinks selection is expected to change regularly, including a “rotating guest beer spot” and seasonal cocktails.

Tap 13

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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