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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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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tap Handle #309: Cheboygan - La Cerveca Lighthouse

As you know, I like lighthouses, so I had to have this tap. This is a pretty rare one. Each variety has a different colored top...for instance, the Lighthouse Amber has a red top. The tap is modeled after the Cheboygan Lighthouse (pictured to the right).

Cheboygan Brewing was founded in Cheboygan, Michigan in 2011 by Mark Lorenz, Jamie McClurg, and Joe Kwiatkowski. McClurg was a retired Proctor and Gamble executive who had owning a small business on his bucket list. He felt that the microbrewing business was doing well and talked to his friend Lorenz. The area had a rich brewing history; in fact, the brewery shares its name with a former brewery (although there is no true connection between the two).

The original Cheboygan Brewery was founded as Northern Brewing Company in 1882 by James and Patrick Moloney. The name was changed to the Cheboygan Brewing and Malting Company in 1890 when James bought out his brother. Patrick went on to start a bottling company, with James as his biggest customer. But James received a generous offer and sold the brewery in 1905.  The new owners expanded the business tremendously, producing a variety of beers including lagers, ales and porters. The company maintained an aggressive advertising campaign in local newspapers and other periodicals. In a 1908 tongue-in-cheek challenge to the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company’s promotional slogan “The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous,” the Cheboygan brewery marketed their product as “The Beer that Made Milwaukee Jealous.” In 1911, after 29 years of beer production, the Cheboygan Brewing and Malting Company shut down as a result of a declining local economy, the impact of local prohibition laws, and competition from larger breweries. By 1915, all of the brewery buildings were torn down except for the bottling plant, which still stands today.

100 years after the closing of the original brewery, the new brewery sits a short distance away, and has embraced this local brewing heritage, striving to make it a cornerstone of the atmosphere at Cheboygan Brewing Company. Historical signage, as well as displays highlighting the contributions of the Hentshels, the Moloneys and others, lines the taproom walls. One display offers interactive features, allowing customers to view historic timelines and artifacts. Working with the Cheboygan Historical Society, the brewery plans to display antiques, including a wooden barrel and a branding iron. Archival labeling and advertisements are also part of the marketing and branding strategy. McClurg was most impressed with the business model of the Alaskan Brewing Company, which he visited on a trip to Juneau. Cheboygan's first offering and signature beer is Lighthouse Amber, a German style Alt; they now brew 5 different varieties.

La Cerveca is the brewery's newest beer, a pilsner brewed in the Mexican-Bohemian tradition using five different styles of malted barley with flaked maize and blended with noble German hops, to impart a dry crisp character. Weighted average on is 2.81 out of 5.

Cheboygan Brewing Official Website

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