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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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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tap Handle #406: Strangeways

Tap size:  13.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

As you may (or may not) know I'm a sucker for pretty much anything steampunk, which is why I love the Dogfish Head Steampunk tap handle and clock, and the Mad & Noisy Hops & Bolts tap handle. So I was also thrilled to obtain this Strangeways tap with its elements of steampunk...the gears and cogs, barrels, and a chimpanzee imitating the classic statue of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, except that it is contemplating the beer in its hand. The brewery refers to it as AFM, "The Discerning Ape." It is such a brilliantly conceived concept - the Strangeways tap is truly a work of art, and it is imposing at just under 14" tall. The mottled, paint-splashed look on the edge of gears is done intentionally to provide an aged look. It did not come with a label (which looks like it goes in the middle of the big blue gear), but to the best of my knowledge this tap is used for all of their varieties. It is incredibly difficult to find, and due to its fragility it doesn't survive shipping very well. So feast your eyes on this may never see another!

Click through to read more about Strangeways Brewing and to see more photos of this remarkable tap...

Strangeways Brewing was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 2012 by Neil Burton. Burton was in the retail clothing business when in 2009 he started to seriously consider alternating proprietorship, which would allow him to lease out equipment and space from a brewery. The only problem was that such an arrangement was against the law. Burton, who was bitten by the beer bug in the early 1990s during travels through Austria and Germany, decided to lobby for a change to the law. He was successful, but it took three years, during which time several other craft breweries had opened in the area. The explosion in brewing left Burton without a brewery partner with spare equipment for lease, despite working so hard on changing the law. 

Fortunately at the signing of the new law Burton met Mike Hiller, who became his brewer. They brewed up small batches and had local restaurants and pubs pick what would become their 4 core beers. In 2012 Strangeways moved into a large space which, due to zoning laws at the time, was one of two spots available in the entire city for them to open - and the only one that didn’t need significant upgrades. In 2013 they opened their doors and launched their initial 2 beers, Albino Monkey Belgian White Ale and Woodbooger Belgian Brown Ale. By 2014 they had expanded to 4 core beers and several seasonal and specialty brews.

Also in 2014, Strangeways Brewing settled its eight-month trademark-rights dispute with Strange Brew, a Massachusetts shop that sells supplies for beer-makers and wine-makers. Strange Brew opposed Strangeways’ attempt to register its trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Strange Brew said Strangeways’ use of that name would hurt Strange Brew’s business. Later, Strangeways filed a federal lawsuit asking that its trademark be approved and that Strange Brew’s mark be canceled as a beer brand since the company did not make beer. A settlement was reached that allowed the companies to continue using their names.

Strangeways' Albino White is a Belgian White with a malt backbone shrouded only by its sublimely complex sweetness. Its motives in its offerings of spicy hops, coriander, orange peel and white pepper spices need not be understood to be appreciated.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.07 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no rating

Strangeways Brewing
2277A Dabney Road
Richmond, Virginia, USA 23230

Source Material
Strangeways website


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