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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 26, 2015

Tap Handle #543: Snow Dog Brewing - Vail Snow Dog Ale

Tap size:  14.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  custom 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

You can't help but be impressed by the massive size of this Vail Snow Dog Ale tap handle - it's huge! Shaped like a giant femur bone, it is made of plastic and is very lightweight, almost like a large toy bone. The label is attached to a thick, round, clear acrylic piece that appears to be glued to the tap, and there is one on each side. The ferrule used is quite unique, with a lip around the outside of it, allowing the bottom of the bone to fit inside of it. Since the brewery has been gone for many years, as you might expect this tap is very scarce - I have never seen another.

Click through to read what little information I could find on Snow Dog Brewing, their Vail Snow Dog Ale, and to see more photos of this monstrous tap...

There's not a lot of information available on Snow Dog Brewing. It was founded in Avon, Colorado in 1998 by Jerry Jones. Jones was a commercial real estate agent who had previously ran resorts such as Snowmass, Keystone and Beaver Creek. There was no physical brewery; instead, the beer was contract brewed by Breckenridge Brewing. At some point, for reasons that are not clear, "Vail" was dropped from the name of the ale, and contract brewing was switched from Breckenridge Brewing to Lonetree Brewing. However, by 1998 Snow Dog was unable to generate enough sales and closed permanently. Ironically, their contract brewer, Lonetree, closed as well sometime around 2002. The defunct Lonetree Brewing should not be confused with the new Lone Tree Brewing, which is based in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree.

It's not entirely clear what type of ale Vail Snow Dog Ale was; the only references I can find say that it was 100% barley malt and top fermented. The name comes from the legend of the Snow Dog, which originated high in the farthest reaches of the Colorado Rockies. The trappers and miners there used to tell of a large white dog who would appear and lead them to safety through blinding snowstorms. Sightings of the Snow Dog persist today and her memory was kept alive by Vail Snow Dog Ale, a classic hand-crafted ale brewed in the Rockies, where her spirit still roams. There is no entry in either Ratebeer or Beer Advocate for Vail Snow Dog Ale, Snow Dog Ale, nor the Snow Dog Brewery itself.

Since the Snow Dog Brewery is defunct, no address or website is provided.

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