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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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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tap Handle #243: Hangar 24 - Belgian Summer Ale

The Hangar 24 taps strike a chord with me, due to the fact that my grandfather was a pilot and owns an old Meyers OCB (open cockpit biplane). It's a beautiful tap featuring wood for the propellers and metal in the center. The Alt-Bier, Orange Wheat, and Amarillo Pale Ale versions are fairly common, while others are more rare, with the main difference being the labeling and color of the metal center.

Hangar 24 was founded in 2007 in Redlands, California by Ben Cook. Cook was a Riverside native who worked in Quality Assurance at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys, CA. He was also a pilot who would meet his buddies at hangar 24 at the Redlands Airport after an afternoon of flying, to trade stories, talk aviation, play music and share beer that Ben had brewed at home. While learning about QA/QC at AB and majoring in Biology at California State University San Bernardino, Ben fell in love with beer and its culture. Wanting to learn more, he attended and graduated from the Master Brewers Program at the University of California, Davis.  Following graduation Ben began renting a 4,640-square-foot hangar adjacent to the Redlands Airport, which was built during World War II on the former Norton Air Force Base, but had been relocated to its present spot in 1960 for the construction of biplanes. He was able to purchase equipment from the Monte Carlo Casino, which had brewed their own small-batch beers in their basement for their brewpub, but folded their operation just as Cook starting looking for equipment. He named the brewery Hangar 24.

Business soon took flight, and by the end of 2011, Hangar 24 had rolled out 15,000 barrels, making it the 88th largest craft brewery in the nation. The company employs a team of 97, produces 30 craft beers for thousands of customers and owns 1,200 barrels worth of fermentation capacity. Its flagship beer is Orange Wheat, and is joined by six other “core beers,” four seasonals, six local field beers and a rotating cast of others, concocted with native fruits and herbs. Cook is doubling the building’s space to 9,202 square feet to expand the brewery, which includes both bottling and canning lines. Distribution now includes Southern California, the Central Coast, and now the Bay Area, thanks to the purchase of a 22,000-square-foot distribution center and the lease of a warehouse in Anaheim.

Belgian Summer Ale is a seasonal  recipe with aromas of clove, pineapple and bubblegum. The flavor is a combination of spicy Belgian yeast with hints of pear & nutmeg. It finishes with a pleasant tartness, which comes from a technique called Sour Mashing. This procedure allows natural bacteria to produce a small level of lactic acid prior to fermentation. The result is a complex, slightly sour treat. Recommended food pairings are fruit salad, calamari, grilled fish, light pastas, Gouda and mozzarella. Weighted average on is 3.22 out of 5.

Hangar 24 Official Website

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