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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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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tap Handle #462: Coastal Extreme - Castle Hill Windward Weiss

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Castle Hill Windward Weiss tap handle is the eighth lighthouse tap I have profiled since starting the blog. Like the Cheboygan lighthouse tap, this one is based on a real lighthouse, Castle Hill, which is located on Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island at the end of the historic Ocean Drive. It is an active navigation aid for vessels entering the East Passage between Conanicut Island and Aquidneck Island. The lighthouse was completed in 1890 on property formerly belonging to the naturalist, oceanographer, and zoologist Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University. Agassiz sold the land for the lighthouse to the United States Government for $1.00. Although the lighthouse is not open to the public, the shoreline and cliff face where the lighthouse sits are accessible by several footpaths from the Castle Hill Inn and the Castle Hill Cove Marina. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 as Castle Hill Lighthouse.

The tap itself is beautiful, featuring an excellent likeness of the lighthouse, with a small outcropping of rock next to it. Below that, the long base extends down to a unique, flat ferrule. The detailing down the base resembles wainscoting paneling. At the foot of the base is a tufted grass symbol with the words "Newport Restaurant Group". Windward Weiss beer is made by Coastal Extreme exclusively for Newport's Castle Hill Inn (pictured right), a magnificent hotel and restaurant near the lighthouse that was originally Agassiz's summer home, and the beer is not found on the Coastal Extreme website. As a result, the tap is very scarce - I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Coastal Extreme Brewing, their Castle Hill Windward Weiss, and to see more photos of this majestic tap...

Coastal Extreme Brewing was founded in Newport, Rhode Island in 1999 by Brent Ryan, Derek Luke, Mark Sinclair, and Will Rafferty. The four friends were students at Colby College, where they spent their four years studying the science that would help them understand how to make beer while also doing the “sampling” that would make them love beer. Upon graduating in 1997, they decided to start a brewery. Over the next 18 months, information was gathered, plans were written, investors were begged, and skeptics were grown as the founders pressed forward with their dream. Rhode Island was chosen as the location due to the fact that at the time of opening, there were no other microbreweries in the state.

In 1999 they moved into their 2500 square feet in two garage bays in the Middletown tradesman center. Concrete was cut, used equipment was found, and the brewery’s first beer, Hurricane Amber Ale, was released under the Newport Storm label. In 2002 the brewery expanded by an additional 1000 square feet. In 2006 they started Newport Distilling Company to make Thomas Tew Rum, utilizing much of the same brewing equipment. In 2010, the brewery and distillery built a brand new facility in the North End of Newport which increased their square footage to 8,000, allowed them to build a visitor's center and tour deck, and was their first opportunity to upgrade their equipment from when they had first started in 1999.

The brewery has made well over 30 different kinds of beer, with Hurricane Amber Ale being their flagship brew. They started a limited release series called Cyclone, naming each release in the same way hurricanes are named, from A to Z and alternating male and female names, with each name tied to the brewery (such as Brent, named after one of the founders, or Sabrina, named after Brent's daughter). Their beers are both bottled and canned, and distributed  throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and more recently Pennsylvania. They produce approximately 5000 barrels per year, and were even featured in an episode of the television show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, in which the brewery showed in detail how they produce and package their Thomas Tew rum. They were also featured on the web series American Brewed.

Coastal Extreme shows a tongue-in-cheek humor when creating some of the names of their beers. In response to all the petty trademark disputes brought against Rhode Island brewers, Newport Storm offered a barrel aged imperial stout called infRIngement. They also have a Belgian Pale Ale that "packs a kick" named "Wham! Bam! Van Damme" (after Jean Claude Van Damme, the Belgian action movie star known for his high kicks).

Castle Hill Windward Weiss is an all-natural, all-grain German Hefeweizen comprised mainly of malted wheat and pale 2-row malted barley. There is a significant amount of Cara malt included to add residual complexity and results in a golden color. An authentic German Hefeweizen yeast strain was chosen to create Windward Weiss and it contributes mild banana tones and clove aromas characteristic in this style of beer. Three hops were chosen: Magnum hops for bittering, Tettenang hops for a mild spice flavor, and Cascade hops for a mild citrus finish. 100% unfiltered, this brew will remain cloudy to the glass, allowing the special yeast to round out the brew.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.93 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  85 (very good)

Coastal Extreme Brewing Company
293 JT Connell Rd
Newport, Rhode Island 02840

Source Material
Newport Storm website
Castle Hill Lighthouse photo:
Castle Hill Inn photo:

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