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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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Friday, May 20, 2016

Tap Handle #606: Pabst - Project Pabst

Tap size:  11" tall x 4" deep
Rarity:  readily available, special event
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This Pabst tap features "Pepper the Unicorn", a symbol Pabst created 6 weeks prior to the first Project Pabst event in Portland in 2014. They had a team create a 22 foot unicorn statue, which stood at the center of the festival. PBR, Figure Plant, Superfly, and David Korins design all came up with the idea of having a unicorn and they helped design the statue of Pepper, complete with a color-changing LED horn that displayed the colors of the rainbow. The unicorn symbol was chosen due to a tongue-in-cheek myth in Portland that the city was built on a unicorn burial site and that it used to be the “city of unicorns". The tap handle was used to dispense Pabst on draft at the event and is a tie-in to the statue, and features Pepper standing on a segmented red white and blue platform with the Pabst symbol on it. The symbol also appears on a large medallion between the unicorn's front legs, hanging from a chain around Pepper's neck. The unicorn is colored silver, except for a white mane and tail, copper-colored hooves, and a a brand or tattoo of the Pabst symbol on its right flank. The horn sticks out at a slight angle, giving the tap a depth of 4", but that shouldn't be a problem for displaying it if the unicorn faces forward. Given that the tap was originally created for a concert in Portland in 2014, these were initially rare, but the success of the first concert leading to a second concert in 2015, and an expansion to 4 concerts in 4 cities in 2016, combined with a push in marketing that would disgust the hipsters that saved the brand in the 2000s, has made these easy to obtain if you are willing to spend around $100.

For more about Pabst, see this post.

Click through to read more about Project Pabst and to see more photos of this mythical tap...

Project Pabst is a music festival that takes place in Portland, Oregon. The first two editions of the festival were held in September 2014 and July 2015. The festival is produced by Superfly and sponsored by both Pabst Brewing Company and Stubhub. Since the 1970s, Pabst Blue Ribbon had experienced a steady decline in popularity. But in the early 2000s, the beer’s sales began growing rapidly in certain urban areas, with the New York Times identifying Portland as the instigator. Supposedly, the popularity was due to certain consumers’ desire for a cheap, working class beer that didn’t try to buy their loyalty with gimmicks like “advertisements” and “commercials,” along with a heavy dose of 1970s nostalgia. Pabst created the first festival as a "thank you" to Portland for its role in reviving the brand.

In their initial ideas for the logo of the festival, they made the Portland's Old Town sign into their Project Pabst logo. Portland’s Old Town sign is an outline of the State of Oregon with “Portland, Oregon Old Town,” written in the middle. At the top of the sign, there is a giant deer jumping over the logo. Pabst liked the idea of the sign and made a similar one with the outline of the state of Oregon and the logo “Project Pabst Portland Oregon.” Instead of using the deer in the logo, they decided to make it a unicorn instead. Portland’s city board refused their license application because Project Pabst’s product (beer) has age restrictions, in violation of the licensing guideline requiring goods that license the use of the sign to be available to all ages. PBR decided to use the logo anyway, even after a cease and desist order from the city. 

The first Project Pabst in 2014 was received well among fans, featuring bands such as Tears for Fears, Modest Mouse, X Ambassadors and Violent Femmes, and was deemed a complete success by Pabst, inspiring them to hold a second festival the next year. Despite temperatures around 100 degrees for the 2015 edition and an expected turnout of 10,000 people, over 15,000 fans attended the two day festival. Weezer, Against Me!, Blondie, and Run The Jewels were the biggest crowd-pleasers of the 2015 lineup. Project Pabst was praised for refusing to price gouge the fans by allowing people to bring their own sealed water bottles to beat the heat, and by selling draft and canned Pabst for only $4. The end result of the festivals saw an increase of 25,000 cases of Pabst sold per year in the Portland market. After two successful years in Portland, Pabst has expanded the Project Pabst music festival into three new cities in 2016: Denver, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Project Pabst offers a unique experience, incorporating music, art, hands-on experiences, and food and beer at reasonable “non-festival” prices. Aside from great bands, festival goers will be entertained with the PBRcade (an old school arcade), PBR Vandalism which is an interactive art experience utilizing a van as a canvas, and PBR Wax, which is a mobile studio where people can record their own demo of music and take away the recording on a vinyl 45. Additionally, a local artist from each city will be highlighted on a limited edition Project Pabst 16 ounce can.

Source Material

 Pepper the Unicorn statue photo courtesy of PretentiousPDX

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