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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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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 is 3.7 out of 5.

Heavy Seas Official Website

Source Material
Heavy Seas Website
Baltimore Business Journal

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about YOU, but I paid a pretty good bit for my Loose Cannon handle.