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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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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tap Handle #448: Rock Creek - Nuttrageous Brown

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I have seen 3 taps from the defunct Rock Creek Brewery, and this tap is the rarest of the 3. It features a man dressed in renaissance clothes, holding a tankard of beer in one hand and a pipe in the other, while leaning on a half-barrel. The name of the variety and the brewery appear below. All of the Rock creek taps use the same tapered white base. On the back of the white base is an "S" and a "C", along with a date of 1999, meaning it was produced when Rock Creek started up their new brewery in Raleigh, North Carolina. That same mark appears on the Weston Drop Kick Ale Tap, so both taps were manufactured by the same person or company. Like many older taps, the paint is starting to crack, especially on the back, but so far there is no peeling. This tap is very rare - I've never seen another, so its value is hard to determine.

Click through to read more about Rock Creek Brewery, their Nuttrageous Brown Ale, and to see more photos of the tap...

The Rock Creek Brewing Company was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1998 by Jon Esposito. Esposito was an entrepreneur looking to start up a brewery, and he took ownership of the defunct Arrowhead Brewery in Chambersberg, Pennsylvania, although he kept his headquarters in Richmond. Some of the beer names had Virginia ties (Black Raven Porter - Edgar Allen Poe; Devil's Elbow - a crook in the James River), and the brewery was a traditional English brew house, employing traditional brewing processes. In 1999 Esposito moved brewing operations to Raleigh, North Carolina. The Raleigh brewery was double the size of the previous one, and featured a small tasting room and beer garden. Customers were able to tour the new facility and sample Rock Creek’s beers and food. The brewery produced five year-round beers, as well as a number of seasonals and specials.

In 2001, Esposito made a deal to merge the Rock Creek Brewery with Ernie F. Pride's Chesapeake Bay Brewery, as well as the Potomac River Brewery. The thought was that by combining assets and brands, the merger formed a larger company that was better able to compete in a crowded market. The Rock Creek brand still existed but Chesapeake Bay was effectively a parent company, continuing to brew Rock Creek beers. However, only two years later, the new, larger brewery shut down in 2003 due to lagging sales. When Chesapeake Bay closed, all their associated brands, including Rock Creek and its beer varieties, came to an end.

Nuttrageous was a brown ale that used a special blend of rare malted barley to give it a mild, nutty flavor.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.01 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no rating

Since Rock Creek is no longer in business, no address or website is provided.

Source Material
Pennsylvania Breweries by Lew Bryson
Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City by Lee Graves

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