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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, May 26, 2014

Tap Handle #403: Vancouver Island - Sea Dog Amber Ale

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

With the help of my dad, his friend, and his friend's friend, I was able to get my hands on this tap, and it was worth the effort. What a beauty! This is Vancouver Island Brewery's new style of tap handle, as their old style has been retired. The colors are vibrant and the styling is superb. A row of planks forming a pier leads upward from a pile of wrapped rope at the base of the tap, to the orca splashing out of the water at the top. On each side is a cascade of water with the name "Vancouver Island Brewery" on it. The variety of the beer is a decal on a plank attached to the pier...notice the "thumbprint" that suggests this is where your thumb should go when you pour. There are some small intricate details like nails in the planks and faux wood grain carved into the surface of the planks. The only thing I'd change is the finish - usually I'm harping about the use of glossy finishes, but in this case it's reversed - I think the water should be glossy or semi-gloss like the orca. Otherwise it's a brilliant tap. Due to the difficulty I had in obtaining it, I'm fairly certain it's very difficult to find.

Click through to read more about Vancouver Island Brewery, their Sea Dog Amber Ale, and to see more photos of this gorgeous tap...

Vancouver Island Brewery was founded in Central Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada in 1984. It was the island’s first craft brewery, starting in a small warehouse and brewing a small selection of handcrafted draft-only products for pub customers. As support grew, they began to increase their portfolio, and in 1995 they made the decision to build a new brewery in Victoria. Over the years they grew from 6 employees to over 40. The brewery is involved in numerous local businesses, charities, and community events. The brewery produces five signature beers and multiple seasonal brews, and recently won a gold medal for its Beachcomber Summer Ale at the 2013 World Beer Championships.

Sea Dog Amber Ale is an altbier produced for a special occasion. The brewery’s hometown is also the base of the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet; the beer was crafted as a tribute to their nation’s Naval heritage, and to commemorate its Canadian Naval Centennial. It is an amber colored beer with a burst of hops and smooth malt finish. Like a true Altbier, it is fermented with ale yeast, but at a colder lager temperature. This gives it a clean finish with no esters like a lager, but retaining the malty quality of an ale. Its deep copper color comes from a heavy addition of dark crystal malt, and a touch of chocolate malt. Sea Dog is lightly bittered, so as to not mask it’s intense maltyness. Most of its hop character comes from a heavy dose of Willamette and Hallertauer hops at the very end of the boil.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.94 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  82 out of 100 (good)

Vancouver Island Brewery
2330 Government St.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 5G5

Source Material
Vancouver Island Brewery website

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