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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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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tap Handle #431: Tioga-Sequoia - 99 Golden Ale

Tap size:  8.75"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Tioga-Sequoia has really hit a home run with this tap handle. The skeleton bandit looks great in his sombrero, vest, and ammo belts, and the mustache and goatee are a great touch too. At the bottom is the Tioga-Sequoia emblem, which looks like a highway sign you would see in a national park. I'm not sure what to make of the base - it almost looks like a tombstone, but has strange ridges around the edges. There is a "Drink Local" slogan on each side, and a beautifully colored symbol on the back of the base that represents the beer variety, as does the name on the hat. This tap can be found in the secondary market, but it does command a high price due to high demand.

Click through to read more about Tioga-Sequoia Brewing, their 99 Golden Ale, and to see more photos of this iconic tap...

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company was founded in Fresno, California in 2010 by Scott and Michelle Kendall. The husband and wife team broke into the brewing business in 2000 when they purchased Butterfield Brewing's brewery and restaurant, which had been founded in 1989. In 2003 they renamed it to the Sequoia Brewing Comapny. Kevin Cox, a former cellar master/production manager in Napa Valley who had been head brewmaster at Butterfield, stayed on with Sequoia Brewing to be their head brewmaster. He won five gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival as well as numerous regional and state awards.

In 2005, Sequoia Brewing opened a second location. Located in northeast Fresno, it featured a mountain lodge atmosphere, with rock fireplace, patio, bar, and restaurant. In 2010 Cox moved to downtown Fresno to bottle and retail select Sequoia beers in a spin-off company called Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company. The new spin-off brewery acquired a 30,000 sq. ft. of additional space to add to the existing brewery for grain and packaging storage, as well as parking. The increased space allowed for the expansion of their current production facility and the purchase of five new fermenters. This initially doubled Tioga-Sequoia’s production capabilities to 5,000 barrels per year, with the vision to grow that number to 12,000 - 14,000 barrels. Additionally, Tioga-Sequoia recently purchased a new state-of-the-art bottling line that has significantly increase efficiencies to bottle and label the brewery’s retail products. The bar & grill features live music regularly and is the home of the legendary Yeti Burger (a large burger with its own time-based eating contest).

Through connections made at the 2011 Fresno Food Expo, Tioga-Sequoia was able to expand its relationship with Save Mart Supermarkets, getting their Drink Local rack product displays in stores in Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings Counties. Sales doubled in first six months making Save Mart the brewery’s #1 customer at 30% of all sales. In 2012, the brewery got its Half Dome into Costco Wholesale, and the brewery also expanded its relationship with Save Mart to include 15 stores in Stockton and Modesto, plus 4 new stores in Bakersfield. That placed Tioga-Sequoia’s beers and authorization of all of their products in 63 Save Mart Supermarkets across the entire San Joaquin Valley. Additionally, the brewery also added 7 Vons stores in Fresno County to its list of retail outlets. Continuing its retail push, Tioga-Sequoia can also be found in 5 Wal-Mart stores located in Dinuba, Visalia, Selma and Fresno. The brewery has been focusing on bombers for retail outlets, including drugstores such as CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite Aid. Currently Tioga-Sequoia beers can be found in over 100 restaurants and bars in the Valley.

The Southern Sierras, which run along the Eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley, include such landmarks as Yosemite National Park, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Forest. For every case of beer sold, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company contributes $1 to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to the preservation of these various areas. The brewery has 5 featured brews that each are named after a famous natural monument found in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains: Tamarack Amber Lager, General Sherman IPA, Half Dome California Wheat, Mt. Whitney Pale Ale, and Peak Pilsner, with another variety named after historic Highway 99, California 99 Golden Ale.

California 99 is an easy drinking honey golden ale that is meant to be enjoyed by beer drinkers on all levels. A slight sweetness and rich flavor is derived from the honey malt used along with other specialty grains. This craft beer was also created to unite the cities of the San Joaquin Valley connected by California Highway 99.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.82 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  81 out of 100 (good)

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company
746 Broadway Street
Fresno, California 93721

Source Material
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing website

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