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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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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tap Handle #362: Lone Star - Guitar

Tap Size:  7"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I had thought this tap would be taller when I bought it, but pictures can be deceiving. It is a wood tap, and is not really three dimensional, but is instead flat except in the carved contours of the wood. One reason I like this guitar-themed tap over others is that most others show only the head and small part of the neck of the guitar, while this tap shows the head, a long neck, and the body (where the label is).  Lone Star taps tend to be rare and expensive, and this one is no exception, as it can be hard to find.

Click through to read more about the lengthy history of The National Beer of Texas and to see more photos...

The Lone Star Brewery was founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1884. It was the first large, mechanized brewery in Texas. Adolphus Busch, of Anheuser-Busch, founded it along with a group of San Antonio businessmen. Busch founded, or had interests in three Texas breweries: American Brewing Company in Houston, Texas Brewing Company in Fort Worth, and Lone Star. These companies were not a part of Anheuser-Busch, but were independent breweries. Busch chose to use the Alamo as the brewery's brand name, which directly conflicted with the Alamo Brewing Company, which also used the Alamo brand. When the conflict came to a head, Busch purchased Alamo Brewing in 1895, and consolidated it with the Lone Star Brewery. By 1896, a stone structure had replaced the brewery's original wood frame. The brewing water was from an artesian well, eight hundred feet deep.

Busch died in 1913, leaving Lone Star in a precarious situation. The brewery was a pet project of Busch's, but his successor did not share the enthusiasm. Still, the Lone Star brewery continued to operate for another 5 years until Prohibition forced it to close. When Prohibition ended in 1933, there was an attempt to re-open the brewery under the name Mission Brewery, but the attempt failed (the iconic smokestack was built during this period). The next year the plant produced beer under the Sabinas brand name and then the name Champion. In 1940, the name Lone Star was first used to market a beer from the brewery. Brewer Peter Kreil from Munich created the formula for the first beer to actually be called Lone Star beer. In 1949, under the leadership of Harry Jersig, Lone Star went public. By 1960, the brewery had 651 employees and by 1965, annual sales exceeded 1 million barrels. Their advertising campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s used a beer-drinking armadillo.

Olympia Brewing Co. of Washington bought Lone Star in 1976, and it changed hands again in 1983 when Wisconsin's G. Heileman bought Olympia. Detroit-based Stroh Brewery Co. then bought Heileman and closed the San Antonio brewery in 1996 moving beer production to Longview, Texas and signaling the end of San Antonio as a major brewing town. Milwaukee-based Pabst bought most of the Stroh brands, including Lone Star, in 1999, and began brewing Lone Star at the San Antonio Pearl Brewery to great fanfare. In 2000, the Pearl Brewery was closed because it was outdated and would have been too expensive to continue to operate or to bring up to date. Production of Lone Star is currently contracted out to non-Pabst owned breweries (e.g. Miller Brewing Company in Fort Worth).

The brewery (pictured below) was vacant for many years, but now houses the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Lone Star beer uses the finest hops from the Pacific Northwest with hearty grains from the Central and Northern Plains. Malted barley and corn extract combine to provide Lone Star with nature's finest ingredients for brewing. Lone Star's ingredients give this beer its full natural flavor. The choicest hops lend complexity and aroma to this beer, and its proprietary mashing regimen creates the perfect balance of alcohol, body, and character. It won gold medals at the 2007 and 2008 Great American Beer Festivals. Weighted average on is 1.76 out of 5.

Source Material
Lone Star website
Great American Beers: Twelve Brands that Became Icons by Bill Yenne
The Cooking Channel has a nice recipe for Chorizo Mussels with Lone Star Beer broth

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