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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, January 28, 2015

Tap Handle #466: Thatcher's - Green Goblin Cider

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Green Goblin tap was sculpted by the same artist that did the popular Hobgoblin tap. In fact, many people would associate this tap with the Wychwood Brewery (which produces Hobgoblin) - but that would be incorrect. It is an easy mistake, since Wychwood once owned the Green Goblin brand; however, the tap was produced by Thatcher's after they acquired the brand in 2010. Thatchers had been making the cider under contract for Wychwood, but struck a deal to take over the brand themselves, and began marketing it heavily. The tap was part of that marketing plan, including a U.S. distribution that has brought the cider and the tap to America. It is very similar to the Hobgoblin tap in detail and limited color scheme, but check out the chalice and the fingernails and you'll see a bit more detail. They do come up from time to time, and the price has dropped and then stabilized over the past year, but it's still fairly expensive.

Click through to read more about Thatcher's, their Green Goblin Cider, and to see more photos of the fantastic tap...

Thatchers Cider was founded in Somerset, England in 1904 by William Thatcher. William originally made hard cider for the workers on his family farm in Myrtle, and he only made a small amount of a very high quality, which was famously known as ‘champagne’ cider. His son Stanley began selling draft cider to pubs in Somerset, and the company’s presence in the area grew. However, many of the local pubs started to become brewery tied, so Stanley struggled to grow the business alongside running the farm. In 1965 they purchased their first hydraulic press, replacing an old manual press. Stanley's son John took over expanding the orchards and the presses in the 1970s. In 1981 they took over Cheddar Valley cider, and moved their oak vats into a modern warehouse.

In 1990 the Long Ashton Research Station (LARS), an agricultural and horticultural government research center in the village of Long Ashton near Bristol, was shut down. It had been created in 1903 to study and improve the West Country cider industry. Thatcher took over the trees from LARS upon its closing and carried on the research that they were doing, looking for new cider apple varieties. By 1993 the research work paid off with the development of the Katy apple, which had an amazing balance of flavor, juiciness and acidity, and was perfect for cider making. Over the next several years Thatcher invested heavily in production equipment to meet the growing demand for their product, and in 2009 they purchased the Railway Inn in the village of Sandford so that they could open their own cider pub close to the farm.

Thatchers had partnered with Wychwood Brewery to launch Green Goblin cider in 2007 under Wychwood's label. In 2010, after Marston's had purchased Wychwood, a deal was been struck with Marston's for Thatchers to take over all sales, marketing and distribution of the Green Goblin brand, which was exported to the U.S. starting in 2013. A new kegging line and also a bottling line were installed to help meet the demand for Green Goblin. Thatchers has 360 acres of its own orchard in Somerset. Alongside its bush orchards, Thatchers has pioneered a method of growing its apple trees in a hedgerow style. Trained on wires, this enables easier harvesting and also helps to ensure the fruit has the optimum combination of sunlight and rain. Thatchers also maintains a special exhibition orchard in which over 500 different varieties of apple tree are grown. Many of the traditional ciders produced at Myrtle Farm are matured in 100-year-old oak vats, which gives the cider a distinctive taste. They plan to add another 100 acres of apple trees over the next five years to keep pace with demand. By then, they will also have 500 acres of fruit supplied by contract growers. John's son Martin is currently running business operations.

Thatcher's Green Goblin is a ‘full bittersweet’ style of cider, using all English cider apples, including Dabinett and Somerset Redstreak varieties. It is aged in 100-year-old oak vats, which gives it a unique character and flavor, and is beautifully balanced to give a fresh character with a medium dry finish. Recommended food pairings are spicy foods such as chutney, curry, or batter-fried foods, pork, Capese salad, pasta alfredo, and carrot cake.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.0 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  No entry

Thatchers Cider Company Ltd
Myrtle Farm, Sandford
Somerset, Great Britain BS25 5RA

Source Material
Thatcher's website

1 comment:

  1. would like to contact the blogger, but cannot seem to submit a request