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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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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tap Handle #612: Rye River - McGargles Knock Knock Ned's IPA

Tap size:  7.5"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, import, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This is a really unusual tap handle. It's got three chunky, blocky parts to the design: the top (featuring a decal of the brand), the center, which features a decal stating "brewed in Ireland" and a bas relief of the Ned McGargles character, and finally the base, which has a sculpted "ribbon" with the name of the beer on it. The actual brewery's name (Rye River) does not appear on the tap. The back looks exactly like the front, except there is no Ned character. It's small in stature at only 7.5", but you have to admit it is quite unique. Most images I can find of McGargles taps are very plain, and since McGargles beers are imported into the U.S., this may have been a promotional piece, although I can't confirm that. I can say that I've never seen another. The brewery has a character for each beer, and Ned is the character for the IPA. Ned is described as follows:

"Knock Knock Ned, like his brew, spent years entertaining crews of Merchant Seamen. Don’t be fooled by his height - this world renowned pirate impersonator with his two wooden legs, is as hoppy as his Indian Pale Ale, and equally as rugged."

Click through to read more about Rye River Brewing, their McGargles Knock Knock Ned's IPA, and to see more photos of this outlandish tap...

Rye River Brewing Company was founded in Kilcock, Ireland in 2013 by Alan Wolfe, Niall Phelan and Tom Cronin. The three friends were having a discussion one night about the economic downturn, creating jobs, fueling a local economy and trying something new and exciting  - all of which led them to decide to start a brewery. All three of them had extensive industry experience - Phelan had worked at Molson Coors, Wolfe had worked for Diageo, and Cronin had worked for Heineken. They named their brewery after a river that passes through the town, and created the McGargles brand as their flagship, based on a fictitious dysfunctional Irish family of brewers. These beers were originally contract brewed by the Thomas Hardy Brewery, and each beer has a story, representing a member of a typical Irish family with its own unique personality and tale to tell. According to the story, this family of distinguished brewers have never ‘established’ themselves, but they’ve brewed informally in a bathtub on an island off a coast of Ireland for years. The tagline is "You can’t choose your family but you can choose your beer!”

Rye River beers proved to be very popular, served in 250 bars around Ireland, exported to about 15 countries including the USA (into 150 pubs in New York) and Canada, and have won many awards along the way including eight medals at the International Beer Challenge in London. The popularity of the beers also fueled a 2900% increase in revenue in 2014 and a 300% increase in 2015. This growth in revenue allowed the brewery to start construction on a new plant and visitor center projected to be over 8000 square feet, and will include a bottling line and a beer museum, on a site that traces its brewing history back to 1595. It is the first 100% Irish made brewery built in over 100 years and is projected to take three years to complete, with the visitor center expected to open in 2016. The brewery currently produces a range of 15 beers including 6 McGargle beers, and is a distribution center for imported brands such as Bavaria and San Miguel, along with craft beers such as Innis & Gunn from Edinburgh. They also provide hop kits, and offer help and advice to people who are seriously interested in home brewing or the brewing business.

A more balanced India Pale Ale with a less bitter finish, Knock Knock Ned's IPA doesn’t taste like it is a 6.5% ABV brew. With initial tones of citrus like fruit followed with a caramelized pallet, this IPA is considered strong and hoppy. Ned’s is, however, balanced with three types of specialty malts. Rich hops of Cascade, Target and Hallertau give this IPA a distinct and unique flavor. Recommended food pairings are spicy foods, Irish stews and cottage pie.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.89 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no score

Rye River Brewing Company
Enterprise Centre
Kilcock, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Source Material
Rye River website

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