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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, April 22, 2015

Tap Handle #486: Elk Grove Brewery & Restaurant - Diamondback Wheat Ale

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

During the height of their success, the Elk Grove Brewery produced some great taps, but unfortunately this is the only one I have been able to obtain. I thought the gray and black paint scheme for the snake was a little unusual, until I found the photo to the right (courtesy of Wikipedia), which depicts a gray-colored rattlesnake. The snake on the tap, wrapped around the "Wheat" sign, is a particularly evil-looking fellow. Although it isn't as beautiful as some other snake taps such the Coors Rattlesnake or the Steelback Copperhead, it's still awesome. At the base of the sign, "Elk Grove" is carved into the shaft. Since the brewery is no longer in business, their taps are scarce, and are some of the most expensive on the secondary market. This Diamondback Wheat tap is the only one of its kind that I've ever seen.

Click through to read more about Elk Grove Brewery & Restaurant, their Diamondback Wheat Ale, and to see more photos of this elusive tap...

Elk Grove Brewery was founded in Elk Grove, California in 1995 by David Ogden. Ogden was already running a successful restaurant in an old building, originally general store when it was built in 1885, and one of the oldest buildings in Elk Grove. Ogden decided to turn it into a brewpub and called it Elk Grove Brewery & Restaurant, tapping homebrewer Bill Wood as his brewer. He installed an antique bar salvaged from a turn-of-the-century San Francisco pub. However, in the summer of 1999, Ogden decided to sell the business to Mac "Big Mac" McAuley and Jackie Andersen-McAuley. The brewery was producing about 530 barrels of beer at the time. Later that year, at the Great American Beer Festival, the brewery won Best Small Brewpub, along with two gold medals for their beers, while Wood won top brewmaster.

The awards continued when Wood's Otis Alt won a gold medal at the 2002 World Cup Beer Cup. At the time, the brewery's best seller was its lighter-style beer, "Big, But Blond". In 2003, Elk Grove was purchased from the McAuleys, who wanted to retire, by one of their waitresses, Tammy Correa (and her husband Chris). As late as 2004 the brewpub was still winning medals, capturing yet another gold medal at the World Beer Cup. But it all came to an end in 2008 after several changes of management, a down economy and the impact of a lengthy street closure to Elk Grove Boulevard during a city construction project. The brewery closed, and Wood moved on to brew at the Auburn Alehouse. For a brief time the location was The General Store, a restaurant and bar, but by 2012 it was closed. In 2014 a new restaurant, Lola's Lounge, opened in the former brewpub and is doing well.

Diamondback Wheat Ale was brewed with malted wheat, making it very easy to drink, with a light, dry finish. It won a gold medal at the 1999 Great American Beer Festival.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.84 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no rating

Since Elk Grove Brewery is closed, no address or website is provided.

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