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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 22, 2014

Tap Handle #436: Carton - Red Rye Returning

Tap size:  13.5"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I like this tap. The blocks that form the base look like the alphabet blocks a lot of us played with as kids. Above that is a space for the label, an open box carton, and a 3-D representation of New Jersey, home of Carton Brewing. My tap has a few spots that show usage, but that just gives it a little more character. Although this tap is pretty rare, it is quite affordable.

Click through to read more about Carton Brewing, their Red Rye Returning beer, and to see more photos of this stately tap...

Carton Brewing was founded in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey in 2011 by cousins Chris and Augie Carton and Jesse Ferguson. Augie was a stockbroker and had worked in the film industry, Chris was a Newark defense attorney, and Jesse was a music producer. The Cartons were born and raised in the area, and when they met Jesse, they enjoyed good beer but realized that everything was from out of state. They developed an interest in tasty sessionable beers, and when Augie gave Jesse a homebrewer kit,  he attempted to make a session beer. They sent Jesse off on a year of internships to Terrapin Brewery and Kelso in Brooklyn. The three men decided they had something to contribute to the NJ beer discussion and got to work opening up a brewery.

Situated just a few blocks inland of the Sandy Hook Bay, the brewery is housed in an old brick building that was initially built in 1906 to store tents for the Methodists that established the community in Atlantic Highlands, and it has held many occupants over the years, such as a candy shop and a beer distributor’s warehouse. They set up a state-of-the-art Newlands Systems 15 barrel brew house with a boil kettle recapture system, where the only waste was water and minimized the odors for nearby residents. Also found in the brewery is the "Tippy", their 20 gallon pilot system which allows a range of flexibility to experiment and tweak recipes before brewing using the main system on a significantly larger scale.

Carton brews with local water, treating it only with a charcoal filter to remove chlorine. The Atlantic Highlands drinking water  comes from underground aquifers, providing a clean, fresh, and unique water source for the brewery. The brewery is also focused on the environment. besides the odor control, they give spent grain to local farmers to feed livestock. Augie is committed to selling beer in cans rather than bottles. Cans prevent light from affecting the beer, but there is an environmental aspect as well - Aluminum is much easier to recycle than glass, and the brewery doesn't want glass on the beach.

Carton brews at least 6 core beers and has several other seasonals and specials, including Something Like Sandy, of which $20 per sixtel sold is donated to local rebuilding efforts. Due to the hurricane in 2012, the brewery was without power for 8 days during the lactic rest phase, and keeping to their experimental nature, they decided to boil and brew it. The beer turned out well so they brought it back under different conditions.

Red Rye Returning features brown-sugared chocolate malting and a rye base, with Simcoe, Cluster, and Horizon hops spicing up the mix.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.27 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  86 out of 100 (very good)

Carton Brewing Company
6 East Washington Avenue
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey 07716

Source Material
Carton Brewing website

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