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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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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 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 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 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

1 comment:

  1. I just got one of these for $19. I feel like this is the deal of the century.