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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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Friday, November 30, 2012

Tap Handle #215: Railway City - Dead Elephant

This beautiful tap originally debuted on my wish list at #14. I obtained one and really love it. The detail is excellent, with the elephant sitting on a tiny train that belches clouds of steam. Even the base is made to look like circus rope and train tracks.

Railway City Brewery was founded in 2008 in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada by Paul Corriveau and Al Goulding. The brewery initially suffered from consistency issues, but a new head brewer arrived and tweaked some of the recipes, and also created their popular Dead Elephant Ale. Sales took off, and Railway City soon found itself unable to meet demand. As a result, they purchased a building that was a former Rite-Form Tool & Dye factory, but it needs extensive renovations before Railway City can move in. Currently they make 5 varieties and also 2 seasonals, and distribute from Windsor to Ottawa.

Dead Elephant Ale is a tribute to Jumbo the Elephant, who was tragically killed in a railroad accident in the late 1800’s in St.Thomas. Jumbo is featured throughout St.Thomas from the life size statue at the City’s west entrance, to the large wall murals adorning the downtown buildings. He was the prize attraction of the P.T. Barnum Circus that performed throughout North America. What a lot of people don’t realize is that during the early days, many circuses traveled by train, and thus many traveled to St.Thomas as part of their route. P.T. Barnum was a master marketer and many refer to the term of Jumbo sized items relating back to Jumbo the Elephant. In fact the name Jumbo was given to him by his London zookeepers which was a variation of one of two Swahili words: jambo (which means “hello”) or jumbe (which means “chief”). Either way, Jumbo’s name established the common word "Jumbo” as meaning large in size.

Dead Elephant Ale is a full bodied golden pale ale which pours with a linen-white medium density head, leaving spider web lace on the glass. On the palate the flavor is sweet fruity malts up front (apricot, mango) with a bit of candy, and slight grassy notes which fall away to reveal a hint of biscuit with rather pleasant grapefruit and perfume undertones. Weighted average on is 3.19 out of 5.

Railway City Official Website


  1. A nicely detailed handle. I think I'm about to crack and purchase myself the End Of The World tap handle for Xmas, lol.

  2. Those End of the World taps are looking harder to get than I thought they would be. Usually I overspend to get a tap and then suddenly there's a bunch on eBay for less...