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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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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tap Handle #516: Rapscallion - Honey

Tap size:  12.5"
Rarity:  see below
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The Rapscallion tap features a bright red female imp (or perhaps she is a demon or devil), holding a cup of beer while sitting on top of a platform that has been speared by a three-pronged pitchfork, with Rapscallion's name carved (sunken) into the platform. The variety of beer appears as a label on all four sides of the base. There are several variations of the tap; this is the tall 12.5" version, and there is also a smaller 8" version. In addition, on some taps the female imp is made of resin, while on others she is metal. There is no way to tell which version is which from just a photo...the metal version will attract a magnet, and is colder to the touch than the resin version. The taps are made locally in nearby Rhode Island...I rarely see them on the second hand market, and since the resin versions are more fragile, it is hard to find them without pieces broken off. The metal version is quite scarce. The price for an undamaged Rapscallion tap can be pretty high.

Click through to read more about Rapscallion, their Honey Lager, and to see more photos of this devilish tap...

Rapscallion was originally founded as Concord Junction Brewing Company in Concord, Massachusetts in 1993 by Brett Pacheco and two friends. The three men had been home brewing together for two years before deciding to open their own brewery. After considerable strategic planning and some personnel changes, the brewery found its home in West Concord in an old pail factory and began producing beer in 1996. It featured a twenty barrel system and a fully automated bottling line from Italy. After brewer Mike Labbe purchased the brewery from the original owners, he changed the the name to Concord Brewers, and in 2003 he moved the brewery to Shirley, Massachusetts, changing the name again to Concorde Brewing. He brought in brewer Dann Paquette, formerly of Northeast Brewing, with his Rapscallion line of beers. However, after a few years, Labbe found that he preferred brewing beer to running a brewery, and after toying with the idea of closing it, he instead sold the brewery to Concorde's accountant, David Asadoorian. Asadoorian changed the name to Concord Brewery, and relocated it to the old Brewery Exchange complex in Lowell, Massachusetts.

In 2007 the brewery was purchased by brothers Peter and Cedric Daniel. The brothers had owned Boston Barrel and Tap, a company that provided draft beer services to microbreweries, and it was through their connections at Boston Barrel and Tap that they were able purchase Concord Brewery. They wanted to keep local brewing traditions alive, which involved maintaining the recipes for Concord, Rapscallion, and Harvard Brewery (founded in the 1890s in Lowell), all of which the brewery owned the rights to. Their goal was to relocate brewing operations back to the Concord area, but their financial situation prevented them from an immediate move. Instead, they struck an agreement with Pennichuck Brewing, thanks in part to ties with previous owner Labbe (who had helped found Pennichuck). After changing the name of the brewery yet again, this time to Rapscallion, the Daniels moved all of Rapscallion's equipment to Pennichuck's facility in Milford, New Hampshire, where Pennichuck brewed Rapscallion under contract.

The Daniels began to work their way back towards Concord by moving their contract brewing from Pennichuck to Paper City Brewing in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 2008, and then to Pioneer Brewing in Fiskdale, a small community in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in 2011. After two years, Rapscallion and Pioneer switched roles: Rapscallion purchased Pioneer's equipment, employees, and brick-and-mortar location, while Pioneer contracted to have their beers brewed by Rapscallion. The owner of Pioneer had run his brewing operation for 10 years, and wanted to scale down his long work days. The brick-and-mortar operation was located in a huge barn that was converted into a state-of-the-art brewery, with a tasting room, tours and beer sales.

In 2014 Rapscallion opened a restaurant and brewpub in Acton, Massachusetts, in a house built in 1790. Peter Daniel’s father-in-law, Claude Miquel, ran the Chez Claude restaurant in the same space for many years. The new restaurant and brewpub featured farm-to-table food inspired by Rapscallion’s beers, as well as fresh ingredients from local farms, and an outdoor beer garden during the summer. The spent grains were given to local farms to feed the cows, which in turn supplied the beef that went into the restaurant's meatloaf. Rapscallion currently makes five beers, with several seasonals and specials, many of which are available in their two locations as well as 80 restaurants across Massachusetts. The brewery only distributes within a 200 mile radius to make sure their focus is on the local area.

Rapscallion Honey is an American Extra Pale Style Ale infused with native wildflower honey from local farmers, and is the flagship brew of the brewery. It’s a crisp, clean, and refreshing craft beer with hints of cascade hops balanced by a subtle honey aftertaste, and an amazingly dry finish. At 4.5% alcohol by volume, Rapscallion Honey is a premier session beer which can be enjoyed any time of the year. It is brewed using a Harvard Brewing recipe from 1898.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.83 out of 5
Beer advocate:  81 out of 100 (good)

Rapscallion Brewing
195 Arnold Road
Fiskdale, Massachusetts, USA 01518

Source Material
Rapscallion website

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