AMAZING TAP HANDLES!!!

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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, November 5, 2015

Tap Handle #533: Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery - Pig's Ear Brown Ale

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  Standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Woodstock Inn taps have long been popular even though they are not the most detailed taps. This Pig's Ear tap is probably their most well-known and sought-after, and is probably my favorite of those that the brewery produces. It features a bas relief pig looking out of a window or barn door. The name of the brewery and the variety of beer are sculpted onto the tap as raised letters. Once very scarce, this tap has popped up with greater frequency lately, dropping it to more affordable levels, but it can still be considered very rare.

Click through to read more about Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery, their award-winning Pig's Ear Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this rustic tap...




Woodstock Inn and Station Brewery was founded in North Woodstock, New Hampshire in 1982 by Scott Rice. Rice and his family purchased a 100 year old home that had been abandoned for 17 years, renovating it into the Woodstock Inn, which had 4 guest rooms, a 25-seat restaurant and a room for the owners up in the attic. Two years later, the owners expanded the Inn by cutting the nearby defunct Lincoln train station in half and moving it to their property, allowing the expansion of the kitchen, the dining room, and owners' quarters. In 1995, with another expansion, the brewery was conceived and the business was transformed to the Woodstock Inn Brewery and Brew Pub. Rice had noticed the Inn's restaurant and bar were selling quite a bit more craft beers than anything else, and decided that adding a brewery to the property might be a good idea. He and the Woodstock Inn's head bartender, Errol "Butch" Chase, signed up for an internship at nearby Shipyard Brewery in Portland, Maine.


In 2012 they invested in a $2.9 million expansion, which included increased seating in the restaurant, a function space, alternative energy sources, and expansion of the brewery. Prior to the expansion, only 1300 barrels of beer a year were made at the brewpub to fulfill demand at the hotel and restaurant. The rest of the beer sold by the brewery, about 4500 barrels, was contract brewed by Shipyard. The brewery expansion, which consisted of a 30 barrel brew house as well as 30 and 60 barrel fermentors and a new bottling line, allowed them to ramp up production on their full time and seasonal beers as well as bring back some brews that were retired. The contract brewing was eliminated, and all brewing is now done on site. Chase became the Brew Master and garnered a number of national awards for the brewery's twelve handcrafted beers. 


The new building has 85 solar panels on the roof, powering an industrial sized pellet stove to create heat and hot water for the brewery and the rest of the building. The brewery is open daily, offering tours of the facility, a sampling session, and a selection of freshly brewed ales that use hops from around the world blended with imported English grains. There are now 33 guest rooms - some of these are five adjacent properties that were converted into units - as well as two acclaimed restaurants and the brew pub.


Pig's Ear is a medium bodied brown ale with a balance of roasted and crystal malts, creating a hearty, nutty flavor. It has a medium bitterness with a slightly sweet finish. It won Grand National Champion for brown ales at the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships in 2004 and again in 2006.


Ratebeer.com weighted average:  3.2 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  80 out of 100 (good)


Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery
135 Main Street
North Woodstock, New Hampshire, USA 03262




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