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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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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tap Handle #363: Gage Roads

Tap size:  9"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Foreign taps are usually very rare and hard to come by. This one is especially rare - mine is the only one I've ever seen. The detail is excellent, featuring Poseidon or Neptune with a trident. At the top of the tap is what looks to be the whitecaps of a giant wave - or maybe it is a bank of clouds, it's hard to be sure. It is not variety specific, so it is used for all Gage Road varieties.

Click through to read more about Australian brewer Gage Roads and see more photos of the tap...

Gage Roads Brewery was founded by in Freemantle, Australia in 2005 by Bill Hoedemaker and Peter Nolin. The two friends were brewers at the Sail & Anchor Hotel in Fremantle, one of the first modern pub breweries in Australia that opened in 1984. They had dreamed of opening their own brewery, and enlisted Bill's brother John in making it a reality. They went public with the company and raised $4 million in capital. The company was named after a sea channel off Freemantle in the Indian Ocean where ships anchor that are waiting to enter the port.

The brewery's first beer was Pure Malt Lager, followed shortly after by a Pilsner and an India Pale Ale. The four years following 2005 saw the gradual increase in production from around 20,000 cases a year to 50,000 cases. Gage Roads started out as a niche brewer of its own craft beers, but in the face of tough competition it wasn’t making enough money to exceed its high overheads as they were undercut by cheaper imports. Gage Roads had to get bigger to survive. Bigger arrived in the form of supermarket giant Woolworths in 2009.

While Gage Roads needed someone to help grow its volumes, the retailer needed someone to produce its private label beverages, so the two businesses formed a partnership. Gage Roads agreed to produce an initial 350,000 cartons per year for Woolworths, while the retailer bought 25 per cent of the brewery for $2 million. The money went towards the capital infrastructure needed for brewing high volumes of beer, moving the brewery to a more to a low-cost strategy of brewing beer and cider under contract. Much of the production goes to support Woolworths’ exclusive brands strategy, under which Gage Roads makes the Sail & Anchor range, Dry Dock, Clipper Light, and Castaway. To accommodate the new strategy, brewing capacity was increased by installing a 100 hectolitre brewhouse. The brewery is now midway through a second, $9.5 million expansion to boost its production capacity from 1.2 million to 2.9 million cartons by 2015.

Other contract customers include Matso’s Broome Brewery, Two Birds Brewing, McLaren Vale Beer Company, Duckstein Brewery, Treasury Wine Estates, Margaret River, and San Miguel Yamamura (South-east Asia’s largest food and beverage packaging company, based in the Philippines.) Gage Roads also brews its own products, including 5 year round brews as well as occasional limited-release production runs, a popular cider product called Castaway, a low-carbohydrate beer called Bolt, a light beer, and an alcoholic ginger beer. Since the tap is not variety specific, I'll cover the brewery's first beer, Pure Malt Lager.

Pure Malt Lager, also called Premium Lager, is brewed in small batches from Australian barley and noble Hallertau hops, and conditioned at zero degrees to maximize taste. Authentically lagered for enhanced smoothness and superior flavor, it is well-balanced with a spicy, lemony hop flavor with a sweet, clean maltiness and a gentle, refreshing bitterness in the finish. Weighted average on is 2.56 out of 5.

Source Material
Gage Roads website

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