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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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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tap Handle #489: Jarre Creek Ranch - Pitchfork Pale

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery made some great taps during their existence; this is one of two different taps that I own, and I have seen five different taps from the brewery over the years. Each tap is colorful, and this is one of the few that have a whimsical theme. Playing on the classic photo "American Gothic" by Grant Wood (pictured right), the tap was created by an artist we have become used to seeing: the 'S' inside of a 'C' that appears on many taps on this site such as Drop Kick and Peckerhead. It is dated 2001, which coincides with the opening of Jarre Creek's brewpub. The tap is scarce and expensive - I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, their Pitchfork Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery was founded in Castle Rock, Colorado in 1996 by Steve Long, Hans Schmidt and Justin Moore. Long was a  lawyer who bought the historic Jarre Creek Ranch to do some farming. After the costs started to mount he decided to start a brewery to raise supplemental income. He turned to Schmidt and Moore to help him get started, and the brewery's success was so rapid that they had to arrange for contract brewing through Breckenridge Brewing to provide additional production. The property, which was deeded to the Jarres in 1873 by the United States government as payment for service in the Civil War, also included water rights to Jarre Creek, and over the years the ranch was used for cattle, tree farming and hay production. The brewery was located in a small building adjacent to the historic dairy barn.

In 2001 the brewery opened a brewpub in Castle Rock. The new brewpub, which included a restaurant, took over all of the brewing and was located on the ground floor of the three story building. The second floor housed a sports bar and the third story was a sit-down restaurant, and both floors opened onto patios and decks with panoramic views of the Front Range. The brewery produced 3000 barrels per year to serve the Castle Rock area, with 50% sold to local restaurants and the rest served on site. The next year the brewery won medals at the World Beer Cup and won more medals at various competitions over the next few years.

In 2005 Long closed down the bar and restaurant, although Moore continued to run the brewery out of the bottom floor. Long cited various reasons for the closure: a new cluster of competing major corporate franchise restaurant openings the year before (such as Outback Steakhouse, Red Robin and Sonic Drive-In), the impact of 9/11, and the general slowdown in the economy, including the failure of promised nearby movie complexes to open that would have greatly boosted business. All these factors had a negative financial impact on the brewery & brewpub operations. Brewing continued for 4 more years until the brewery finally closed in 2009. Long sold the ranch (the original brewery site) to a company that returned it to an equestrian-based business, with an indoor arena located in the building once used to house the refrigeration units for the beer kegs.

Pitchfork Pale Ale was an English-style pale ale that was dry-hopped, combining a strong floral aroma with a mild bitterness that was far from overpowering. The pronounced hop characteristic was complemented by a slight maltiness, making this an extremely drinkable beer. It won a silver medal at the 2002 World Beer Cup and a bronze medal at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival. Pitchfork Pale was introduced when the brewery first opened their restaurant.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.06 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no entry

Since Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery is closed, no address or website is provided.

Source Material

American Gothic photo courtesy of Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. I like this one, just a pity they didn't do something more interesting with the back of the tap handed.