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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tap Handle #145: Steelback - Red Maple

This is a great tap, not quite as nice as the Carolina Blonde, but the style of the lighthouse is different and attractive.

Steelback Brewery was founded in Ontario, Canada in 2002 by Frank D'Angelo, who was looking for expansion space for his juice company, D'Angelo Brands. He found a site in Tiverton, Ontario, that came with a brewery. D'Angelo intended to sell the brewery, but decided instead to start a beer company. The company's promotional strategy included extensive sponsorship of sporting events and venues. The expense of sponsorship, however, was to be their downfall. Citing poor revenue, high marketing costs and the weak Canadian dollar, both the brewery and D'Angelo Brands filed for protection from creditors. In 2007, D'Angelo sold his majority stake in Steelback Brewery, but remained as chairman of the company.

In 2008, Jon Sherman became the official owner and CEO of the new brewery. Steelback switched gears from the flashy prime time ad campaigns to a more local and minimalist approach in the Ontario market. As part of the relaunch, Steelback felt it was important to pay tribute to its roots in the area of Bruce County, so the Kincardine lighthouse was featured on new packaging. Following the relaunch, the company won multiple brewing awards and also was awarded Sobey's Business of the Year Award in 2009. Despite this, business could not be sustained, and later that year, 35 of Steelback's 39 staff members were laid off, leaving a skeleton staff to continue producing and selling beer. Sherman cited low sales as the reason for the layoffs. In 2010, the remaining staff members were issued letters of termination and the brewery was quietly shut down with no official announcement. At the time of closure, Steelback's six beers included Steelback Premium Lager, Steelback Tiverton Honey Brown, Steelback Premium Draught, Steelback Tiverton Dark, and Steelback Light, and only on draught, the Steelback Red Maple.

Steelback Red Maple was a deep amber-red in color, with a creamy, sweet malt flavor and maple aroma. Weighted average on is 2.76 out of 5.

Since Steelback is no longer in business, no website link is provided.

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