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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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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tap Handle #381: Cellar Rats - Piper IPA

Tap Size:  12.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is an amazing tap featuring lots of great details. The three rats at the top have very distinctive features (maybe they are supposed to look like someone real?), which are also duplicated on the label. The rats are leaning against a tank and they are all holding mugs of beer. There are two sets of steps pressed into the base that run from the rats down to the bottom of the tap. The really interesting part is that the top piece is on a flat base and unscrews from the handle. I'm not sure what the purpose is...maybe a different top was planned for different beers. This is a very rare tap...I've not seen another like it.

Click through to read more about Cellar Rats, their Piper IPA, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Cellar Rats was founded in Madison, Ohio in 2008 by Tony Debevic Jr. Debonne Vineyards is the first Ohio winery to open up a microbrewery and appropriately chose the name Cellar Rats for their venture into beer since they are a brewery born in a wine cellar. Debonne Vineyards has been part of the Debevic family for four generations. Under Tony Jr.’s direction, Cellar Rats established itself as a leader in the craft beer market in Northern Ohio. The brewery has an acre of hops and mills their own barley. The name “Cellar Rat” is the nickname for a worker who does odd jobs and helps out during harvest at a winery. 

Initially the brewery could produce only three barrels of beer at a time, but after it brought in a 15-barrel brewer with a 30- and 50-barrel fermenter, the brewery more than quadrupled its production, resulting in a move out of the cellar and into a large purpose-built building next door to the tasting room. Cellar Rats acquired a legendary local brand called POC. POC Beer was made by the Pilsener Brewing Co. and was nicknamed Pride Of Cleveland by its fans. Pilsener changed hands several times, but the beer continued to be made in Cleveland until Schmidt & Sons, Cleveland's last big brewery, was closed in 1984.  POC is just one of 13 varieties that Cellar Rats produces, and are distributed throughout Ohio and Kentucky.

The Piper is an IPA that leads off with an upfront bitter delight, followed with a stampede of malt flavor and then marched to the finish with a floral and aromatic ending. Weighted average on is 2.63 out of 5.

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