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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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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tap Handle #275: Mad River - Jamaica Red Ale

This tap arrived as part of a group purchase, and it was so nice that I decided to keep it. This is another one of those taps where pictures don't do it justice. I've also seen a Steelhead version that has a green handle and it's quite nice as well.

Mad River was founded in 1989 in Blue Lake, California by Bob Smith. In the late seventies, Smith became a member of the original group that founded the “Humbrewers Guild”, and dreamed of opening his own craft brewery. While buying home brewing supplies, Smith met Ken Grossman, who ran a homebrew store in Chico. After Grossman shared his plans to build a brewery in Chico to be called Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Smith became determined to found a similar brewery in Humboldt County. In 1989, Sierra Nevada, having outgrown its starting brewery and with a new larger plant under construction, offered to sell their original equipment to Smith. In turn, Smith developed a prospectus and found the investors necessary to establish the corporation known as Mad River Brewing Company.

Construction began that winter, and in late 1990 the first draft Steelhead reached the market. Occupying just 4000 square feet and having a bottling line that took all six employees (including the office person) to run, Mad River sold twice as much beer as projected for its first full year of sales. Increasing demand in many markets outside of the Humboldt area allowed Mad River to grow about 30% per year. To keep up with demand, the plant grew to 12,000 square feet, with 20 employees including 5 full time packaging people. They also won awards, with Steelhead Extra Pale Ale and John Barleycorn Barleywine winning gold medals at The Great American Brew Festival. Mad River currently produces 6 year-round ales and 4 reserves. They were built on the foundation of reuse and recycle, long before it became cool to be a “green” business.

Jamaica Red Ale was originally brewed for a famous Reggae festival that happens each year in Humboldt County. It is a malty bitter American Amber style ale, with a mahogany hue. It brings an intense spectrum of hop flavors from the spicy aromatic to lingering bitter, all underscored by a full- bodied caramel richness. Recommended food pairing is Jamaican Jerked Chicken. Weighted average on is 3.32 out of 5.

Mad River Official Website

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