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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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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tap Handle #540: Rabbit Hole - 10/6 English IPA

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Rabbit Hole's tap handle is the second of the three Alice In Wonderland themed taps that are in the Museum's collection (the first was Mellow Mushroom's Bogart Ale in profile #454). Featuring a gigantic top hat, there is a pocket watch just below the brewery's name at the top of the hat. A sculpted gold chain wraps around the back of the hat and is attached to the pocket watch's handle. Below the pocket watch is a recessed rectangular area where the beer label is placed (see right). I have a label for each of their core beers, but I've chosen to profile 10/6, since it just seems to fit with the hat and theme so well. At the bottom of the hat is a purple wrap. I can't find any information on why the brewers settled on the Alice in Wonderland theme, but if I do I'll add that in the future. The tap is rare but commands a higher price than you'd expect on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Rabbit Hole Brewing, their 10/6 English IPA, and to see more photos of this maddening tap...

Rabbit Hole was founded in Justin, Texas in 2012 by Matt Morriss, Tom Anderson, and Laron Cheek. Moriss discovered the world of artisanal beers just after completing his Engineering degree from Texas A&M. He spent 17 years as a software developer, but on the side he was a home brewer and a BJCP certified beer judge. He brewed at home for 9 years, winning numerous regional and national awards and judging in countless competitions. In 2012 he completed the Siebel Institute World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology. He met Anderson at the software company they both worked for. Anderson, a native of New Jersey, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Scranton in 1993. He began homebrewing shortly thereafter, but had been out of it for some time until Moriss got him hooked again. Cheek had joined the Marines after high school, spending six years there including three tours in the Persian Gulf and one tour in Somalia. After his honorable discharge, he moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he got his degree in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University. Anderson and Cheek met while in line at a book signing. Anderson hooked Cheek on home brewing and craft beer.

The three friends began to start talking about opening a brewery together, and started planning in earnest in 2011, eventually turning to Kickstarter for funding. They were also aided by investment from an unexpected source, Mike Modano, an NHL hockey player for the Dallas Stars. In his career, Modano made 561 career goals, the most of any American born hockey player. The three brewers connected with Modano through a mutual friend before Rabbit Hole was even in the planning stages. Their homebrew club brewed a batch of Bohemian Pilsner for the Famous Mineral Water Company, and a bottle of it found its way to Modano. He was impressed, and when they were in the planning stages, the brewers contacted him about a possible partnership opportunity. Modano invested in an ownership stake in the company, and worked with Rabbit Hole to develop a Kölsch beer named 561 (after his career number of goals).

Rabbit Hole settled on the small town of Justin because they didn’t want to be the third brewery in Fort Worth or the fifth brewery in Dallas; they wanted to be in a place that had good history, that wasn’t just a suburb or a bedroom community, and that had a little bit of character. Some places they explored were actually hostile to them, but the response from the people of Justin, on the other hand, couldn't have been more positive: they sold out their advance tickets for their grand opening brewery tour, in which 105 people attended, including the city's mayor. The brewers decided to focus on classic styles that are popular elsewhere in the world but aren't well-represented in America, such as a Kölsch or an English IPA. Rabbit Hole's brewery is modest, featuring a patio area (beer garden), tasting room and brewing area, but there is ample room for expansion. Much of the brewery’s beers and decor are inspired by English playwright Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, with everything from purple walls to rabbits to watches on the taps.

The brewery's three releases, Mike Modano's 561, Rapture Fusion Brown Ale, and 10/6 English IPA were highly received: Rapture Fusion won a silver medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, and all of their beers are 2015 gold medal winners from the Beverage Tasting Institute. Rabbit Hole also has 4 seasonal offerings, including Hole Lang Syne, which was the first bottle release by the brewery in 2014. It commemorated the coming year 2015; 608 hand numbered bottles were released. There will be another limited bottle release in 2015. Their beers are distributed across North Texas.

Rabbit Hole's 10/6 English IPA features a prominent English hop character supported by a smooth, bready malt backbone. This ale is crafted with the finest floor-malted Maris Otter winter barley and flavored with three different varieties of English hops. It is bold and flavorful without driving your palate completely insane.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.32 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  No Score

Rabbit Hole Brewing Company
608 Topeka Ave
Justin, Texas 76247

Source Material
Rabbit Hole website

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