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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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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tap Handle #526: Uncharted Cider (MillerCoors) - Smith & Forge Hard Cider

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  Very Common
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is a very nice, simple and straightforward tap that is part of the Smith & Forge "masculine" marketing campaign. It is meant to look like a blacksmith's forge hammer. It uses a two-tone color scheme (orange and grey) with large, bold fonts for its lettering to help with the masculine look. Due to the big marketing push mentioned above, there were literally thousands of these taps made, so they are very easy to find on the secondary market and the price is very affordable.

Click through to read more about Uncharted Cider's (or should I say MillerCoors') Smith & Forge Hard Cider and to see more photos of this manly tap...

Smith & Forge Hard Cider hit the market in early 2014. Although it is made by Uncharted Cider Co., I can find no information on that company, other than it is located in Memphis, Tennessee and is a subsidiary of MillerCoors. The brand name is a reference to the early 1900s era's blacksmiths who "forged" relationships over a tinker of hard cider. The launch event for Smith & Forge Hard Cider was held in Brooklyn, and was themed as a turn of the century carnival, which challenged guys to take on an arm-wrestling machine. For PR, the brand tapped actor Jonathan Banks, who played Mike Ehrmantraut on "Breaking Bad" (and who officiated the arm-wrestling machine contest). MillerCoors determined that with the majority of hard cider consumed by women, men were underrepresented as hard cider drinkers, and they saw the possibilities of marketing to them through a masculine-themed brand design. In that vein, USA Rugby and the USA Eagles partnered with Smith & Forge Hard Cider to make it the "Official Hard Cider of USA Rugby."

Smith & Forge had only one cider on its menu at launch, but in 2015 the company released Tennessee Barrel, which is Smith & Forge Hard Cider aged in whiskey barrels. Smith & Forge Hard Cider is available in 16-ounce singles, 4-pack cans and 12-pack 12-ounce cans.

Smith & Forge Hard Cider is a strong, sturdy beverage made with juice from 100% hand-picked American apples. It is moderately sweet with a clean, dry finish. It is gluten free. Recommended food pairings are grilled meats (from chicken and pork to bluefish and scallops), barbecue, sweet and sour chicken, and pasta alfredo.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.69 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no entry

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