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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, June 24, 2014

Tap Handle #410: Madison River - Salmon Fly Honey Rye

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" hanger bolt

This great-looking tap was a gift from my friend Larry. The cheerful fellow in the hip waders is holding a fishing pole in one hand and a frothing mug of beer in the other. I've seen a variation of this tap where the fisherman had a full body in which the feet were the base. All of the labels from this brewery are beautiful and feature idyllic fishing scenes. The tap is very rare.

Click through to read more about Madison River, their Salmon Fly Honey Rye, and to see more photos of this sharp-looking tap...

Madison River Brewing was founded in 2004 in Belgrade, Montana by Howard McMurray. McMurray started as an apprentice with CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. He attended the American Brewers Guild in California, after which his career led him across the country before he established the Madison River. McMurray purchased the brewery and equipment from Moab Brewing, and started by contract-brewing for Moab, Park City, and Big Hole breweries. The brewery had been previously owned by Lightning Boy Brewing and then Great Brewing before it was purchased by Moab. In 2005, Madison River Brewing Company emerged when they received a state license to brew their own brands. The brewery is in a warehouse complex and has a large production facility, while the taproom was added in 2005. Situated in Southwestern Montana’s Gallatin Valley, Belgrade offers opportunities for skiing or biking in the Bridger Mountains or Big Sky area, hiking in one of seven mountain ranges, or fishing world-class rivers (one of which the brewery's name comes from).

Originally available only on draft, Madison River's first beer was the Hopper Pale Ale, followed by Salmon Fly Honey Rye (now their flagship beer). They now brew 7 year round beers and up to 10 different seasonals. Initially, Madison River Brewing distributed only in and around the Bozeman area, but has slowly expanded to cover all of Montana, most of Wyoming, and parts of North Dakota and Idaho. Demand soon outstripped supply thanks to an annual production increase of 30% during 2009 and 2010. It has become the third largest brewery in Montana. If the brewery keeps growing and produces more than 10,000 barrels, Montana state law will prohibit it from having a taproom and selling directly to the public. McMurray hopes the law will change before that happens.

Salmon Fly Honey Rye is an American wheat beer made from a blend of malted barley and malted wheat with a touch of raspberries.The malted barley used in this unique brew is complimented by the subtle spiciness of rye. Bittering and flavor hop additions help keep this brew extremely balanced. In addition, there is a mild sweetness that dulls any overwhelming rye or hop flavor derived from the pure local Montana honey.This popular beer is flavored with pure fruit to impart a subtle raspberry nose, a delicate fruit flavor and a slight pink hue. It is named for the annual salmon fly hatch that occurs in early summer on the Madison River.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.74 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  76 out of 100 (okay)

Madison River Brewing Company
20900 Frontage Road
Belgrade, Montana 59714

Source Material
Madison River website

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