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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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Monday, April 28, 2014

Tap Handle #394: Prinz Brau

Tap size:  9.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting: internal 3/8" nut

This tap appears to be made of hand-carved wood but it is actually a hard, molded plastic. I was completely fooled in thinking it was actually wood! When I received it, it was quite dirty, so I gave it a good cleaning. With the dirt removed it is really a beautiful tap. Due to the age of the tap (it dates to the late 1970s) and the limited operation period of the brewery (in Alaska), this tap is very rare.

Click through to read more about Prinz Brau and to see more photos of this classic tap...

Prinz Brau was founded in 1961 by the German food group Rudolf-August Oetker. They were already brewing Brau Prinz in Germany, and decided to invest in brewing in Italy under the name Prinz Brau to distinguish it from the German brand. Over the next 4 years they built 4 breweries and an office building in Italy. In 1976 Peter Bading, the manager of the Jonas Brothers Furriers in Anchorage, reached out to the Prinz Brau brewery in an attempt to bring authentic German brewing to Alaska. Bading was a naturalized U.S. citizen who originally came from Germany. He convinced Prinz Brau to make a fact-finding trip to Alaska, and after seeing that all beer in Alaska was imported, and considering the success they had with the foreign investment in Italy, they agreed to build a brewery in South Anchorage. The state government sweetened the deal with a 56-cent-per-case tax break for beer brewed.

Demand for the new beer soon exceeded production capacity. For the state of Alaska, Prinz Brau was a good deal. Prinz Brau reported investing $11.7 million of German money in Alaska and putting over 40 Alaskans to work. But the state never got the chance to sell the brewery the beer-brewing grain from the $200+ million Delta Barley Project that didn't get started until 1978. By then the brewery was on the ropes. Problems arose when the German management team stubbornly refused to adjust to American cultural differences. A union strike followed, and then a botched ad campaign featuring Prinz Brau's beer as unpasteurized, which attracted a Coors importer who took over the market. By 1979, due to low sales and competition from Coors and Olympia, the brewery had closed its doors.

There is no entry for Prinz Brau on Ratebeer or Beer Advocate, most likely due to the length of time that the brewery has been defunct. And obviously there is no online site, either.

Source Material
Alaska: The White-Collar Adventures of an Advertising Pioneer by Kay Guthrie

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