AMAZING TAP HANDLES!!!

About This Site

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.

Copyright Legalities

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.

Brewery history may not be used for any reason without citing the blog post or original source from which it was taken, and providing a link to such.

Failure to follow the guidelines above is a violation of Copyright Law, which protects original works of ownership.

Tap Handle Blog Simple Search

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Thoughts and Portland Cider Company Hard Cider

On this last day of 2013, I'm very happy that I completed over 150 posts for the year. It looked like I might not make it, but a late push helped me get there. That's almost 1 post every other day, which is probably the best I can do, but in 2014 I'd like to try to top that.

I have to admit I have a really terrible sweet tooth. What makes this a royal pain, besides consuming empty calories I don't need, is the fact that I'm hypoglycemic. My body has difficulty metabolizing simple sugars, and when I consume them, I suffer from headaches as well as digestive issues that don't need to be spoken of in detail. Drinking a glass of Mountain Dew, eating a piece of cake, or munching too much caramel corn causes me much suffering soon after eating such sugary sweets.

Beer Blog Profiles #3: Appellation Beer

Stan Hieronymus runs a blog called Appellation Beer, but he has done so much more than that - he is an accomplished author of such works as Brewing With Wheat, Brew Like A Monk, and For The Love Of Hops. His blog is full of lots of great and interesting material. My favorites are:

The Hop Union Hop Aroma Wheel

Finding Sanctuary on 9-11

Shock Troops of the Beer Revolution

Stan also reviews beer industry books and discusses monastery brewing. Check out his blog, there's so much good stuff there to read that you can get lost for days. I'm adding a link in the sidebar to his site.

Tap Handle #355: Bridgeport - Kingpin Double Red Ale

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Like the Hurricane Reef tap I profiled last week, this is a bas relief styled tap, mainly flat, but with the gangster sticking out slightly from the wall. The front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides. I was surprised when receiving it, it is much more impressive in your hand than it appears in photos. There are a few other versions of the Kingpin tap, including another figural one featuring a bowling pin. However, bowling pin taps have been made by several breweries...this theme is much more unique.

Click through to read more about Kingpin Ale and to see more photos of this killer tap...

Tap Handle #354: Crispin - Original Super Premium Hard Cider

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I'd seen this tap for a few years but never acquired it, because there was always something else I wanted more. However, when I received it as part of a group purchase, that worked out pretty well. It's basically a bunch of ice cubes stacked on top of one another, as Crispin was made to be served over ice. The front and back are almost identical to each other, with only slight sculptural differences found in the ice cubes. This is true for the sides as well. The clear lucite ice cubes are nicely done. This tap is fairly easy to find, as well as being inexpensive.

Click through to read more about Crispin and to see more photos of this cool tap...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tap Handle #353: Dogfish Head - Uber Shark

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Uber taps from Dogfish Head have developed a legendary status. In 2008 it was the Pimp Cane, one of the Holy Grails of tap collectors, and in 2010 it was the Steampunk tap, which often sells for $400 or more. The 2012 tap featured block figures that could be turned to make new figures, but it did not prove to be quite as popular. Every two years, the brewery releases one of these "Uber" taps as a celebration of beer and art, and distribution is very limited. This Shark tap breaks the two year cycle; it is the Uber tap for 2013, and it's gorgeous, featuring a great white shark swallowing a whole bottle of Dogfish Head beer. The custom metallic purple ferrule is also a nice touch. The tap was designed by artist Jim Mazza, who you can read about in this post on Dogfish Head's website.

Click through to see more photos of this killer tap...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tap Handle #352: Creemore Springs - Mad & Noisy Hops and Bolts IPL

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity: Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

For those who have followed the blog since the beginning, they might remember the euphoria I had when I first obtained the Dogfish Head Steampunk tap, the number one tap on my wishlist at the time. I think obtaining this Mad & Noisy tap is right up there as one of my best acquisitions. This is as rare of a tap as you are likely to ever see, and it is a beauty. With all kinds of gears, metal cylinders, bolts, and even a hop sticking out of the top, it's amazingly detailed and stunning to look at, with lots of bright, bold metallic colors. Due to a limited area of distribution and low production numbers, this tap is very hard to come by.

Click through to read more about Creemore Springs and their Mad and Noisy Brewing division, and to see more photos of this epic tap handle...

Beer Blog Profiles #2: 50 States of Beer

In my next segment of introducing you to blogs that provide great reading material, I've focused on 50 States of Beer. Brian has done some great work here, profiling beers from every state while providing a few nuggets of information about the state itself. Several of the beers he has covered have taps profiled right here at Amazing Tap Handles (he gives me a shoutout on a couple of them).

It should be noted what a fun, fascinating, and difficult project that must have been. Not drinking the beers - that part was easy. No, I'm talking about obtaining a beer representing each state (which due to lingering Prohibition-era laws and limited distribution can be tricky), especially when Brian lives in New England, far away from the Western states. He also had to take time to research the facts he provided, as well as write up the entire experience. And he did this in the order the states were admitted to the Union. Well done!

So head on over to 50 States of Beer and check out all of Brian's hard work. My favorites are Oregon and Washington (because I live in that area), but it's fascinating to read about beer as it relates to the other states. I'm not sure what Brian has planned now that he's covered all 50 states, but I'm looking forward to what happens next...


Friday, December 27, 2013

Tap Handle #351: Chicago Beer Company - Chi Town Pier Pale Ale

Tap size:  8"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Upon receiving this tap, it was smaller than I expected it would be. Despite that, it's a pretty impressive piece with some nice detail. It's quite rare and as a result it can be expensive to acquire. If you have the opportunity to obtain it, pay close attention to the spokes of the wheel behind the sailor, as the tips of the spokes can chip off very easily on the front and the back.

Click through to read more about Chicago Beer Company and this iconic tap...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tap Handle #350: Jim 'N Nick's - Reverend Mudbone's Homegrown Hopshine

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

For post #350, and Christmas Day, here's a special tap and one of my new favorites: Reverend Mudbone. The detail on this tap is amazing, from sculpted hairs on the paw that is holding the tray, to the classic antique-looking label that reminds you of 19th century snake oil libations. I love this tap! As I mentioned in post #248 (Red Brick Laughing Skull), Red Brick was formerly Atlanta Brewing, and Reverend Mudbone was a beer they contract brewed for the Jim 'N Nick's restaurant chain. The tap is very rare and hard to come by...from my understanding, this beer has been retired and is no longer made.

Click through to read more about Jim 'N Nick's Restaurants, their Reverend Mudbone Homegrown Hopshine, and to see more photos of this wondrous tap...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beer Blog Profiles #1: alcohol by volume

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will occasionally guide you towards other beer-related blogs that I think are interesting. The very first blog I'm featuring is called alcohol by volume, or abv for short. Paige is the blogger behind abv, and her writing style is really engaging. There's quite a bit of content and a lot to explore, especially for those in the midwest, as several posts range from Michigan to Texas.

Not only is the site blessed with excellent writing, but the pictures are gorgeous, too - always in focus with perfect exposure - it's enough to make a fellow blogger jealous! I like blogs that talk about history, travel, and food, and abv has a good mix of all of them. I highly encourage you to click the link in the sidebar and explore it for yourself. My favorite posts would be:

California Common and Anchor Steam Beer

Sour Ales

Fresh Hop Beers

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tap Handle #349: Heavy Seas - Loose Cannon Hop 3

Heavy Seas has made one of the best "toy on a stick" taps out there. The pirate theme is awesome - who doesn't like pirates? The detail on the skull is excellent, and the hat and eye patch are a nice touch, with the Heavy Seas brand visible on the hat. The varieties differ based on the label, and the labels themselves are both humorous and beautifully illustrated. Many of these taps were made, so they are fairly easy to find.

Heavy Seas was founded in 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland, by Hugh Sisson.
In 1980, Sisson had planned on becoming a stage actor and director until his father Albert persuaded him to come help at his tavern, called Sisson’s, where he focused on imports and then craft beers to separate the tavern from others in the area. In the mid ’80s, he and his father decided to convert the pub to a brewpub. Sisson, his father, and former Senator George Della, Jr., lobbied for a bill that legalized brewpubs in Maryland. In 1988, the bill was signed into law, and in 1989, Sisson’s became a Maryland’s first brewpub, with Hugh at the helm as brewer.

In 1994, he left Sisson’s to found Clipper City Brewing, named after the clipper ship, which was first constructed in Baltimore. He intended to fill the gap that was opened when production of the National Bohemian brand moved out of the city. He managed sales, accounting, and even worked shifts on the kegger. A rocky market made contract brewing necessary to enable the brewery to stay afloat. Clipper City purchased another Baltimore brewery, Oxford, in 1997 to add volume. In 2003, a third brand called Heavy Seas was created. The Heavy Seas brand grew quickly, and in 2010, the Oxford and Clipper City brands were renamed or discontinued. Sisson has served on the PR committee for the national Brewer’s Association. He is one of the founding members of the Brewer’s Association of Maryland and has served as president, vice president and treasurer multiple times. He also founded the Cross Street Irregulars, Baltimore’s first homebrewing club. And since 1986, he has been an active player in legislative issues surrounding beer in Maryland, from festival legislation for manufacturing brewers to growler legislation for retailers. For 23 years, he has co-hosted a weekly radio show reviewing wines, beers, and spirits on the Maryland NPR network.

In 2011, the brewery increased its square footage from 15,000 to 25,000, and in 2013 the facility added more equipment, with plans to produce 85,000 barrels by 2014. Heavy Seas beers sell in 19 states, from Florida to Maine and as far west as Michigan. Six varieties are brewed year round, with another 3 as seasonals, and their beers have won several medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

Hop 3 is a triple hopped IPA containing over 3 pounds of hops per barrel and is the brewery's flagship beer. The carefully cultivated interplay of Simcoe, Palisade, and Centennial creates a most fragrant IPA - its nose bursts with notes of grapefruit, herbs, and pine. Bitterness is somewhat subdued by the floral quality that pervades the taste. The color is burnished gold, and the mouthfeel is creamy. A strong malt backbone balances out the triple-hopped beer. Its nickname, Hop3, comes from the brewing process: brewers hop Loose Cannon in the boil, the hopback, and the fermenter. Recommended food pairings are pork and applesauce, buffalo wings, and carrot cake. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.7 out of 5.

Heavy Seas Official Website

Source Material
Heavy Seas Website
Wikipedia
Baltimore Business Journal

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tap Handle #348: Florida Beer Company - Hurricane Reef Caribbean Pilsner

Reminiscent of the Kona taps, most Florida Beer taps are flat taps that have a slightly 3 dimensional sculpting that is called bas relief style. This style gives the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. The effect on this tap is pretty cool, with the sea plane, banner, and palm trees raised above the background. The colors are bold and beautiful. Although other Florida Beer taps are more common, this one is a pretty rare tap that can be hard to find.

Florida Beer Company was founded in 1996 in Melbourne, Florida, as Indian River Brewing Company, by Bruce Holt. It produced its first beers, Indian River Shoal Draft and Indian River Amberjack in 1997; production of Kelly's Irish Hard Cider and a variety of private label beers began in late 1997-1998. The company was capitalized by about 65 shareholders, a guaranteed loan, and founder contributions. The Company was recapitalized in 2003 under the new ownership of Humberto Perez, who is a third generation brewer (his grandfather began one of Venezuela’s largest breweries back in 1929). The company was renamed Florida Beer Company. Perez hired Jim Massoni as President and CEO. Massoni was a successful businessman who originally worked as an executive at BEA Systems, an internet technology pioneer in Silicon Valley. His efforts at Florida Beer resulted in better beer distribution, higher quality brewing equipment, and numerous awards and medals.

In 2005 the company acquired Ybor City Brewing, whose subsidiaries included the Key West Brewery and the Hurricane Reef Brewery. After the acquisition, Florida Beer Company became the largest craft brewer in Florida. By 2008, the Company sold 19 different beers and two ciders, and contract brewed for a small number of customers, including Original Sin Premium Hard Cider and Kelly's Irish Cider. Florida Beer sells its products in Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Carolina and the Caribbean. The Company maintains two facilities, a production brewery (including a tasting room, retail store, and office space), and a 20,000-square-foot warehouse located one mile north of the brewery. In 2013 they received the rights to produce Duff Beer (The Simpsons) and Hogs Head Red (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) for Universal Studios. The company has won several awards at national competitions.

Hurricane Reef Caribbean Pilsner is light-bodied, refreshing, and delicately balanced in the tradition of the Caribbean Islands. The pilsner is one of 4 varieties of the Hurricane Reef brand that Florida Beer acquired in 2005, and it won a silver medal in the 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.14 out of 5.

Florida Beer Company Official Website

Source Material
Wikipedia
Beer of the Month Club
The Original Craft Beer Club
Beerpulse
Brewbound

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Links and Other Beer Blogs

Over in the right sidebar I have begun to add links to other beer blogs that I consider "friends of the blog". I highly encourage you to explore these other blogs, as they contain some great content. I'll be adding a new feature called "Beer Blog Profiles", in which I will occasionally post about each of these other blogs in the Links section. Look for the first one later this week...

Tap Handle #347: Mudshark - HavaBlue Wheat Beer

Although this tap is simplistic and lacks detail (imagine how awesome a three dimensional version would look), the shape of the tap gives it a lot of character. It's flat, pressed metal with an enamel paint coating, and the whimsical feel comes across nicely. The best part is that they are fairly inexpensive.

Mudshark Brewery was founded in 1998 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona by Scott Stocking. The Stocking family relocated in the 1970s from upstate New York to Lake Havasu. Mudshark Beach (now Rotary Park), named after a famous Frank Zappa song, was a place to relax and enjoy all the activities associated with “River Life.” Scott Stocking opened his first store, Mudshark Pizza and Pasta, in 1984, and subsequently opened Mudshark Brewery and Restaurant in 1998.

In 2010 Scott Stocking & his wife Tina opened an offsite production facility in addition to the brew pub. In 2011 they added a bottling operation. Currently they produce 6 packaged brews, but they have brewed almost 40 varieties since opening. In 2012 they added solar panels and converted the facility to be 80% solar powered.

HavaBlue is an American wheat beer, pairing the bright flavor of blueberries with the smooth richness of vanilla bean to create a crisp, refreshing lightly hopped indulgence and a slight sweetness. Recommended food pairings are chicken, white fish, dessert, or a light salad. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.88 out of 5.

Mudshark Brewing Official Website

Source Material
Mudshark website
Havasu Magazine
Arizona Beer Sommelier Blog


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tap Handle #346: Bavarian Barbarian - Hammerin' Ale

What you're looking at here is an expensive and rare tap that has become very hard to find, since the brewery is no longer in business. On first seeing the tap I thought it was from Europe, until I dug deeper. The only difference among varieties is in the labeling. It's a great tap that impresses everyone who sees it.

Bavarian Barbarian was founded in 2007 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania by Mike Hiller. Hiller was a welder and actor who landed his first brewing job at Legend Brewing Company in Richmond, Virginia. Later, while living in Boston, he was inspired to open a brewery after reading the autobiography of Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head. Hiller spent much time working on his business plan and raising money to start the brewery. He purchased a large building that was previously a Ford dealership in Williamsport, and began by brewing kegs for local restaurants and bars, while opening a tasting room at the brewery called the "Horde Room". While Hiller brewed the first two varieties, Hammerin' Ale and Headbangerz Brown, his wife Kira ran the business side. Bavarian Barbarian was Williamsport's first production brewery since the 1950s.

Eventually the brewery expanded to as many as 10 varieties including year round and seasonal offerings. In 2010 it became embroiled in a small controversy when Hiller started a thread on probrewer.com asking fellow brewers for opinions on the ratebeer and beer advocate rating sites. Although Hiller's comments were fairly tame, some of the other brewer responses went a little overboard and ultimately the thread was deleted.

By the beginning of 2012, business conditions for Bavarian Barbarian had rapidly deteriorated. Caught between the bank trying to foreclose on their equipment and their landlord attempting to evict them for non-payment, the brewery was forced to close its doors. A final post to probrewer.com by Hiller warned strangers from contacting him to try to obtain his equipment ("an attempt to pick over the carcass of my lost company") or asking him for the details of his failings, calling it "extremely distasteful, rude and completely disrespectful."

Hammerin' Ale was an amber ale brewed to be a well-balanced, easy-going beer, with a rather simple recipe which yielded a deep amber color and a sublime balance of malt character and hop flavors. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.03 out of 5.

Since Bavarian Barbarian is no longer in business, there is no website to link to.

Source Material
Pubcrawlin' blog
BrewLocal blog
Mybeerbuzz blog
VisitPA.com
Beerpulse.com

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tap Handle #345: Hauser Estate Winery - Jack's Hard Cider

As I've mentioned before a few times on this blog, I really like hard cider. Hard cider was once the prevalent alcoholic beverage in the early days of the U.S., and has been making a comeback over the last few years. So any time I have an opportunity to buy a great looking hard cider tap, I'm going to pursue it. This has to be my favorite hard cider tap to date, with a twisted up apple. Jack's is an east coast offering, but maybe someday I'll have a chance to sample it. For now I'm really enjoying the tap, which is somewhat rare due to the small size of the winery.

Jack’s Hard Cider was founded in 2008 in Biglerville, Pennsylvania but traces its origins back to the turn of the century. In 1907 John S. Musselman, Sr. and his two sons, John Jr. and Christian High, purchased the Biglerville Canning Company. After a successful first year, a second canning facility was built in Gardners, Pa. This new plant, and the original one in Biglerville, provided much needed canned goods for servicemen during World War I, including corn, tomatoes, and sliced apples. John (Jack) A. Hauser was hired into the distribution department in 1934, and rose through the departments within the processing plant until he was positioned to take over the company.

In 1944, Musselman Sr. passed away and Hauser stepped in as president, where he turned Musselman’s into a household name across the country with its apple products. Hauser left his family with orchards, farmland and an estate. In 2008, Hauser Estate Winery opened its doors and the first bottle of hard cider rolled off the bottling line, labeled “Jack’s” in memory of Hauser's accomplishments. Initially the bottles were only sold directly out of the winery, but now they are sold in six states including Georgia, Virginia and Florida. In the past three years, cider production at Hauser has increased by 30 times. Jack's uses up to 19 varieties of apples, which can cause the taste to vary from batch to batch. Apples are grown, picked, pressed, fermented, filtered and canned all on-premise in their partially solar-power, fully underground and naturally cool winery and cidery. They produce 2 varieties year round.

Jack's original is dry, crisp and refreshing, with lots of bright acidity, none of the mustiness that can sometimes accompany a cider, and a great nose of baked bread and fresh apples like a freshly baked apple pie. Recommended food pairings are: blackened fish, citrus salad, barbeque, spicy salsa, and pumpkin pie. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.84 out of 5.

Jack's Hard Cider Official Website

Source Material
Jack's Hard Cider website
East Coast Wineries Blog
The Evening Sun
pennlive.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tap Handle #344: The Traveler Beer Company (Boston Beer Company) - Curious Traveler Shandy

This tap features some really great artwork, the styling of which is reminiscent of the surreal stop motion collage art used in British culture in the 1960s and 70s, in such influential shows as The Beatles Yellow Submarine and the Monty Python television show. It's so unique compared to other taps, which is commendable. I've seen a different version for the Jacko variety that is red with different art, but it's not striking as this tap.

The shandy tradition dates back to the 17th century and is typically beer mixed with a citrus-flavored soda or carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or cider. Today, English publicans pour a blend of traditional English ale with various lemon and lime beverages for their patrons, though real lemons or limes are rarely used.

Alan Newman of Alchemy & Science had traveled to Europe back when he was the founder of Magic Hat Beer Company. He was struck by the cloudy citrus-infused beer favored by the locals, known as a shandy. He came away from the experience determined to develop his own recipe. When he moved to Boston Beer Company's Alchemy & Science, he used that experience to combine craft beer with lemons and limes into his first shandy. The House of Shandy Beer Company was formed under the Alchemy and Science division and Curious Traveler was the first product of both entities. The House of Shandy was renamed to the Traveler Beer Company, and it now brews 4 varieties, including strawberry, pumpkin, and honey ginger.

Curious Traveler is a fresh, bold, craft-brewed, all malt wheat ale infused with real lemons and limes. This shandy has a lively fruity flavor and a powerful “throw your head back” fresh lemon aroma. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.81 out of 5.

The Traveler Beer Company Website (check out the great cocktail mixes!)

Source Material
The Traveler Beer Company website
All About Beer Magazine
beerpulse.com
origlio.com

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tap Handle #343: Starr Hill - Double Platinum Imperial IPA

I've always admired Starr Hill taps, but I never pulled the trigger on obtaining one until I finally picked it up as part of a group. The big star on top looks like a badge and is very impressive.

Starr Hill Brewery was founded in 1999 in Charlottesville, Virginia by Mark Thompson and Kristin Dolan. Thompson was a biology student who apprenticed at breweries in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1990's to learn the brewing craft. Thompson was tabbed by James Bernau, president and chairman of Nor'Wester, to help set up and run their affiliate Mile High Brewing in Denver, Colorado in 1995 (see this post). While at Mile High, Thompson developed the recipe for his Irish-style dry stout through collaboration with Thompson Mambe, an African brewmaster who had worked at Guinness's St. James Gate brewery in Dublin. Mile High closed in 1996, at which point Thompson decided to returned to his native Virginia, determined to open his own brewery with recipes he had developed.

He found a historic storefront on Main Street that was once home to the state of Virginia’s first craft brewing operation, which had been founded by two grandsons of author William Faulkner. In 1999, Thompson opened Starr Hill Brewery. Named after the local neighborhood, the brewery shared its historic building with the legendary Starr Hill Music Hall, where Thompson's craft beers became a favorite to visiting beer lovers, musicians, and music fans. He brewed beer for the pub on the premises, and he contracted out the kegged and bottled versions of his beers to Old Dominion Brewing in Ashburn.

In 2005, in response to the growing demand, Thompson moved from his small brewing operation to a larger brewing facility 10 miles away in Crozet, in foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The building he leases was a former Swanson/ConAgra frozen food plant that was tailor-made for brewing on a large scale, with a complex physical infrastructure in place and plenty of room for expansion and experimentation. It even has a tasting bar. With ambitious plans to become a national brand, Thompson sold a a minority stake in Starr Hill to Anheuser-Busch, who agreed to distribute Starr Hill brands, which are now found in restaurants and clubs throughout the Mid Atlantic and Southeast, and are also available at many grocery and convenience stores in the region. The brewery has won 19 awards for its beers at The Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup, in particular the Dark Starr Stout (that Thompson developed at Mile High), which is the most decorated stout in the American craft brewing scene.

Starr Hill currently brews 6 year round and 4 seasonal varieties, as well as several other specialty and reserve offerings. They added several tanks to bring their capacity to 55,000 barrels of beer, and completed expansion of their facility, including a fermenting cellar. Starr Hill also collaborates to brew a beer for the Hard Times Cafe, as well as partnering with several local artisans to develop a bevvy of beer-related creations such as a chocolate brittle that features Dark Starr Stout in the recipe, an Amber Ale Vinegar, and a line of soaps using spent grains and hop oils.

Double Platinum Imperial IPA is a double IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe and Centennial hops to achieve a strong aroma of citrus and pine, balanced by a smooth, malty backbone and sporting a copper color. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.54 out of 5.

Starr Hill Brewing Official Website

Source Material
Starr Hill Website
The Washington Post
Flavor Magazine
Washington Business Journal

Friday, December 6, 2013

Artist Taps on eBay

As some of you know, I prefer taps that come from breweries rather than custom-made taps. The custom-made tap market, however, is a widely populated and highly flourishing market, and there are some great designs out there. A friend of the blog asked if I could spotlight the custom taps from a friend of his. To the left and right you will see a couple examples of his artist friend's work.

This artist's eBay ID is therandallknight, and you can find his taps here. He makes both taps and growler plugs. If you're into custom taps, definitely have a look at some of his offerings...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tap Handle #342: Schlitz - Lady on Globe

This is a classic tap from Schlitz that has been around for a long time, as long as at least the 1980s and possibly before that. The tap is plentiful and easy to find. The normal appearance of the tap, pictured to the right, is of a gold woman on a gold globe and base, with white letters on a red band. Kelly and I decided to give it a different look, one more colorful and realistic looking. What you see on the left is a repaint done by Kelly, a process I talked about about in this post about repairs and repainting. It's a beautiful, unique paint job that reveals quite a bit more detail, and puts a bright new spin on a classic look.

For more about Schlitz, see this post.