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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, September 16, 2014

Tap Handle #428: Dick's - 12 Man Pale Ale

Tap size:  9.75"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Growing up in Portland, Oregon in the 1980s, and not having an NFL team in the city, the area would receive regional games on the major networks (no cable existed back then). With the AFC televised on NBC and the NFC televised on CBS, I watched a lot of Seattle Seahawk and San Francisco 49ers games, and the two franchises became my favorite teams. There was no better treat than watching greats like Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice destroy the opposition every week and go on to win Superbowls. Though Seattle did not make it to the Superbowl during that time, watching Jim Zorn, Curt Warner and Steve Largent play football for the Seahawks was a bonus. Imagine my horror when Seattle was moved from the AFC to the two favorite teams in the same division!

I was happy for the Seahawk team and fans (who are collectively known the "12th Man") when the team crushed the Broncos earlier this year in the Superbowl, making this tap even more special. It is a arm bearing the image of a giant foam finger, with a 12 man tattoo on the arm and the signature of Norm Johnson, a kicker for Seattle that played from 1982 to 1990. The tap was designed by Johnson's 12 Brands company and Great Artisan Beverage Distribution, and it is very rare and expensive - I've only ever seen one other.

Click through to read more about Dick's Brewing, their 12 Man Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this winning tap...

Dick's Brewing was founded in 1994 in Centralia, Washington by Dick Young. Young had started homebrewing in 1984, and sold homebrew supplies at his business, Northwest Sausage & Deli. When he wasn’t busy handcrafting smoked summer sausage and pepperoni at the deli he was handcrafting small batches of beer. Dick built from scratch a three barrel brew house (which is still used today for pilot brews) to start designing and creating recipes in the back of the deli. The beer was so popular among Dick’s friends that he soon found himself exceeding the annual production limit for homebrewers. In 1992 Dick decided to make his hobby a business and started the application and permit process to create Dick’s Brewing Company. After two years and many batches brewed, Dick’s Brewing Company became a reality.

Dick realized he would need more space for his growing passion, so he built a 2,100 square foot building adjacent to the deli. He started with the three barrel system and would brew once a week yielding 6 kegs. Initially he focused solely on three beers: Pale, Porter and Dick Danger. Dick Danger Ale is still their best selling beer to date. When asked why he started the brewery Dick always answered, “I started brewing beer for one reason, I was thirsty.” Dick was loud, gregarious, barrel-chested and strong, and he was always smiling. Stickers that he passed out at beer festivals that read “Dick’s Beer Test Dummy" were very popular. Over 13 years the brewery grew from 200 bbls in sales in one state to over 3000 bbls in 6 states. New uni tanks and bright tanks were added along with a brand new bottling line to keep up with demand. In 2006 Dick set his sights even higher, and he started construction on a new brewing facility. After two long years of work  they moved into a brand new 18000 square foot brewing facility.

The passing of Dick Young in 2009 was a devastating blow for the local craft beer community. At age 56, Dick was going strong and seemed to have many years ahead of him when a sudden aortic aneurysm took his life. Today, the Dick’s Brew Crew is led by Dick’s daughter, Julie Pendleton. With the new brewing facility producing 23 different styles, the brewery feels like there is plenty of room for growth. At the deli and brewery, along with tasty deli food and meats, you can sample the full complement of Dick’s beers. They sell beer to go, including growlers. Dick’s is available at grocery stores across Western Washington.

In 2014, the brewery celebrated their 20th anniversary with the introduction of a brand new beer and fresh new look. Dick’s Midnight Ride is a brand new recipe developed by head brewer Dave Pendelton. The brew is a Black IPA, a dark, malty beer with great hop profile. The name also holds significance not only for the brewery’s journey over the last 20 years, but also in looking to the future. Also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale, it is the first of Dick’s Beers to sport the brewery’s new label and logo. The newly designed labels retain some of the original images, which had been chosen by Dick, but are now formatted with a new logo and a standard design for all Dick’s beers. The new packaging was unveiled the summer of 2014 for the core products of the brewery which include the flagship Dick Danger Ale, India Pale Ale, Golden Ale, Cream Stout, Lava Rock Porter, and Working Man’s Brown Ale. The remaining labels will hit the market throughout 2015.

Dick's 12 Man Pale Ale is a sessionable American pale ale that weighs in at 4.5 percent ABV and is designed to be balanced and easy drinking. It is a collaboration between Dick's, Great Artisan Beverage Distribution (GAB), and 12 Brands LLC. Norm Johnson, the ex-Seahawk kicker and one of the business partners of 12 Brands secured the trademark of the 12 Man Pale Ale after two years of battling legal red tape. This is notably reflected in the name 12 Man, as opposed to 12th Man, because 12th Man is a trademarked phrase owned by Texas A&M University. After meeting with Dick's and GAB, they knew they had found the partnership. GAB is a distribution company owned and operated by a network of wholesalers throughout the Pacific Northwest, and Bev-Link is a division of GAB that assists in the development, marketing and distribution of brands throughout the U.S. The team of GAB & Bev-Link oversaw the project, including the recipe, the design of the can, the tap handle, and the development of the overall market strategy. weighted average:  2.91 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  76 out of 100 (okay)

Dick's Brewing
5945 Prather Rd SW
Centralia, Washington 98531-9618

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