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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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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tap Handle #444 - Captain Lawrence - Brown Ale

Tap size:  12.75"
Rarity:  Common
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap's beauty lies in its simplicity and color scheme. By now you know I have a soft spot for several tap handle features...steampunk, mermaids and pretty women, hard ciders, and medieval themes...and barrels also belong on that list. The green, brown, and gold colors really pop and work well together. The base has three sides, presenting different looks depending on which side is facing the viewer, and different varieties have a different name on the sides of the base. The barrel has gold-colored bands, and on each end the initials "CL" are embossed in cursive script. Also on each end of the barrel, a green banner lies on underneath with the name of the brewery appearing on it in white lettering. The overall effect is quite pleasing. These taps were made in great numbers and are very inexpensive.

Click through to read more about Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, their Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this elegant tap...

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company was founded in Elmsford, New York in 2006 by Scott Vaccaro. In 1995 Vaccaro began homebrewing with five gallon batches of beer brewed on a kitchen stovetop after a friend’s father introduced him to homebrewing. He left for college but continued to homebrew while studying. He came across an ad for the Fermentation Science program at the University of California at Davis, so he decided to move west and went to junior college while working at Fermentation Frenzy, a home-brew shop in Los Altos. After two years he moved on to attend UC Davis, and interned at Bank Street Brewery in Stamford, Connecticut and at Andams Brewery in Southwold, England. During his senior year at Davis, his class took a field trip to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, which Vaccaro managed to turn into a job opportunity. After six years in California, he decided it was time to move back east, although he traveled to Europe first, to visit the breweries that he had heard about for years.

Upon returning home from Europe, he took a job at The Colorado Brewery and Steakhouse as a brewer. Unfortunately, only six months into the job the brewery was forced to close its doors, as the investors, most of whom lived in Colorado, decided it was time to get out of the beer business. There were no breweries near his home town in which he could work, meaning he would have had to leave the area to do so. As a result and seeing a market that needed to be filled, he decided to found his own brewery. In 2006 he started up the Captain Lawrence Breweing Company in Pleasantville, New York. This first incarnation of the brewery had a 20 barrel system. After five years, needing more space to operate a bottling line and a larger system to increase capacity, the brewery was relocated to Elmsford, approximately five miles from the original brewery. The new facility has a 40 barrel brewing system and more fermentation capacity. There is also a small seven barrel system for experimental and specialty batches. The new brewery began operation in 2011, and  donates spent grain to a local farmer for use as cattle feed.

Captain Lawrence currently brews 6 year-round varieties and several seasonals and specials. The brewery takes its name from Captain Lawrence Drive in South Salem, New York, the road on which Vaccaro's childhood home is located. The street is named after Samuel Lawrence (1733-1796) who was a captain in the Westchester County Militia, 3rd Regiment during the American Revolution. The facility in Elmsford is open for tastings, visits, and retail sales, and growlers are available for take-out. In 2007, BeerAdvocate magazine ranked Captain Lawrence #5 among its "Top 50 American Breweries", and the brewery has won multiple gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Ale (known previously as simply Brown Ale) is named after the little birds that fly by the brewery looking for grain after the weather turns cold. It was to originally be a Fall/Winter seasonal but high demand pushed it into the year round lineup. A smooth and malty brown ale, it has a subdued hop presence, putting the emphasis on malt, not hops. Recommended food pairings are roasted meats and rich cheeses.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.32 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  86 out of 100 (very good)

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
444 Saw Mill River Road
Elmsford, New York 10523

Source Material
Captain Lawrence Brewing website

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