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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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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tap Handle #552: Forgotten Boardwalk

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

If you thought this tap was associated with Alice in Wonderland, you can be forgiven for being wrong, as I thought the exact same thing when I initially acquired it. Although it does bear a strong resemblance to the Cheshire Cat, the main difference is the third eye on the cat on the label. This feral cat, called "Growler", is the official mascot of the brewery, and she was chosen due to the numerous feral cats living under the New Jersey boardwalk. The third eye represents "all-seeing", or in other words, Growler's knowledge of strange tales that have happened along the Jersey shoreline for many years. The paint scheme and sculpting are simple yet appealing, and although no variety appears on the tap label, this tap was not used for all varieties; in fact, the brewery has many colorful variations (see photo at upper right). I've seen about 5 others on the secondary market, making this tap scarce, although the simplicity helps keep the price inexpensive.

Click through to read more about Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing and to see more photos of this curious tap...

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company was founded in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 2013 by Jamie Queli and David Bronstein. Queli, who grew up in the area, was a history buff that would seek out strange tales and lost stories along the Jersey coast and the Boardwalk. After years of homebrewing  her own beer and stints as a product manager in investment banking and lead singer in a band that once played at Madison Square Garden with Weezer, she was finally ready to open her own brewery after meeting Bronstein, who had also been a homebrewer and had brewed at Sly Fox for 7 years. In 2013 they located their brewing site - a 13,500-square-foot business park unit that was the former home of the Flying Fish Brewery. After Flying Fish had moved to a new location 10 miles south to Somerdale in 2012, the building had sat unused until Queli struck a lease agreement with the owner. Some delays ensued as they had to install new plumbing, floors, equipment, and electrical, and they also decided to install an 1800 square foot tasting room. Brewing was to take place using a 30-barrel Criveller system, with plans to use a 1- to 2-barrel pilot system to produce another 50 to 60 experimental brews.

During the construction delay, Forgotten Boardwalk gave away 1000 "keys to their brewery". Fashioned as both a skeleton key and bottle opener, it featured the company mascot, Growler the Cat. The key served as an exclusive membership to The Refuge Society Club at Forgotten Boardwalk, which gave key owners admittance to openings before the tasting room was open to the public, access to limited pilot-batch beers, merchandise restricted to members only, discounts, and members-only hours and gifts. The keys were produced in a limited quantity to keep the club intimate.

The brewery opened in late 2014 with the theme of a boardwalk that had been forgotten (a boardwalk that no longer had any visitors). Bronstein and Queli had been unable to decide whether to brew a witbier or a lager for their first beer, so they brewed a cream ale instead. The taste reminded them of funnel cake, which tied in with the Boardwalk and Queli's unusual tales and lost stories. The tasting room, designed by Queli, features skeeball machines, fun house mirrors, spinning wheels, and antiques, which she described as an "adult playground" that meshes with the boardwalk theme, right down to the pastel colors of the walls and doors.

All of their beers are based on forgotten tales. For example, Morro Castle Smoked Porter is named after a luxury liner that in 1934 caught fire off Long Beach Island, and eventually wrecked in the shallows near Asbury Park. It burned there for two days unabated, drawing crowds of gawkers who picnicked on the beach and watched it. The brewery's 1916 Shore Shiver IPA commemorates the historic New Jersey shark attacks that influenced the plot of Jaws. Even the Forgotten Boardwalk mascot, a three-eyed cat named Growler, has her own backstory. Growler is based on the feral cats that live under the boardwalks at the shore. They gave her a third eye so she would be all knowing, especially of the old boardwalk history, and it also gives her a whimsical, jester-like character.

The brewery's beers are adventurous in composition, with the use of experimental hops, spices and locally sourced fruits. They decided to bring in hops that larger brewers shy away from because they're only available in small quantities. Queli firmly believes that Forgotten Boardwalk needs to be unconventional to stand out in a crowded beer market; their goal is to become the second largest brewery in New Jersey. A distribution deal brought Forgotten Boardwalk varieties to all but six counties in New Jersey. The Cherry Hill warehouse can max out at 30,000 barrels per year without stopping production. The brewery has 3 core beers, with several specials and seasonals.

What the Butler Saw was the brewery's first production beer, a Belgian wit that has ginger, chamomile, coriander, lemon peel and orange peel flavors. It has a hazy straw color and an aroma of citrus with herb and spice. The name is based on a notorious story about a mutoscope on the boardwalk. Inside one of these mustoscopes, a silent slideshow featured a voyeuristic butler looking through a keyhole. The film, "What The Butler Saw," let viewers privately take a peep while standing in plain view. There are 6 other versions of this wit: #1 had rose and hibiscus; #2 had spiced chai tea; #3 had Szechuan peppers and peppercorns, #4 had blackberry & juniper; #5 had lemongrass and key lime zest; and #6 had fresh cucumber & ginger root. Recommended food pairings are earthy chevre cheese, duck a l'orange, mussels, potato pancakes with orange aioli, and fresh fruit salad.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.26 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  83 out of 100 (good)

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company
1940 Olney Ave, Suite 100
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA 08003

Source Material
Forgotten Boardwalk website

Brewery tap photo of multiple taps is courtesy of New Jersey Isn't Boring

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