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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, October 20, 2015

Tap Handle #530: Redhook - ESB

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  metallic purple 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This is the third of three Redhook taps I acquired around the same time period - the IPA Tiki and the Mudslinger bike handle being the other two that were recently profiled. I've seen several taps featuring dog bones, but this is the first tap I've seen featuring a rawhide chew. Notice the detail in the folded ends and the yellow stains around the folds - this thing looks real! It has the typical Redhook sign attached, a large ESB label, and at the bottom is the purple and gold "W" symbol for the University of Washington and the phrase "GO DAWGS!" "DAWGS" is a reference to UW's nickname for its teams and mascot, the Husky, and explains the choice of the rawhide chew for the tap. Also, since purple and gold are the UW's colors, the metallic purple ferrule is a very unique touch - you don't see colored metallic ferrules on very many taps. Reader Keith informed me that in 2013, Redhook signed a new advertising deal that continued to make them UW’s official beer, and this rawhide chew tap was made to commemorate that deal. Very few of these were ever produced - I believe I have only ever seen two others. This scarcity makes the value a bit hard to pin down.

The University of Washington was founded in 1861, making it one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. It features one of the most highly regarded medical schools in the world. The UW occupies over 500 buildings, with over 20 million gross square footage of space, including the University of Washington Plaza, consisting of the 325-foot UW Tower and conference center. The campus is situated on the shores of Union and Portage Bays, with views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. The university has two other campuses, one in Tacoma and one in Bothell. 

For more about Redhook, see this post.

Click through to read more about Redhook's ESB and to see more photos of this tap...

Redhook ESB was first brewed in 1987 to replace Redhook's original Ale in their lineup. Modeled after the premium Extra Special Bitters found in English pubs, it rapidly became the brewery's most popular beer, and to this day it is considered their flagship brew. In 2015, to celebrate Redhook's 35th anniversary, they gave their ESB a retro-style design makeover.

Despite being an Extra Special Bitter, Redhook's ESB is not as bitter as the name would suggest. This full-bodied amber ale has a toasted malt flavor and pleasant finishing sweetness, and is available year-round. Recommended food pairings are grilled meats, game, and cheeses. It won gold medals at the 2008 North American Beer Awards and the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.06 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  78 out of 100 (okay)

Source Material for UW Info

UW photos courtesy of and

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