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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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Monday, August 7, 2017

Tap Handle #655: Blackjack - Bowsprit Bock

Tap size:  14.5" tall by 3.5" deep
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, brewery closed
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The first time I saw this tap I knew I had to have it. A pirate cutlass cleaving through a cannonball? Take my money! I was surprised by the height - it is a whopping 14.5" tall, but it also requires some special mounting considerations if space is tight, because the curve of the cutlass and the hilt gives it a depth of about 3.5" deep. The name of the brewery appears on each side of the cutlass blade, and their symbol appears at the top of the tap, which is the base of the hilt of the cutlass. Across the back of the blade is the name of the beer. The other reason I was glad to pick one up is that the brewery is no longer around, which explains why I have only seen 3 others. Those other taps were reasonably priced but that was a couple of years ago.

The bowsprit of a sailing vessel is a spar extending forward from the vessel's prow. It provides an anchor point for the forestay(s), allowing the fore-mast to be stepped farther forward on the hull.

Click through to read more about Blackjack Brewing and to see more photos of this sharp looking tap...

Blackjack Brewing was founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2014 by Ed Wenda. A Raleigh native, Wenda was a dentist who one day realized he enjoyed brewing beer more than drilling on teeth. Wenda brought in Brooks Hamaker, a 29 year brewing veteran, to be Blackjack's head brewer. Hamaker had spent more than a decade  being the head brewer at Abita Brewing, with stops also at Fullsteam and Big Boss breweries. Wenda located the brewery in an old warehouse, which featured lots of outside seating, a bar and gaming area in the tasting room, and hosted comedy nights for entertainment. Food trucks outside supplied lunch and dinner menus.

Despite good reviews, competition in the crowded Raleigh market made sales difficult for Blackjack. In September of 2015, Blackjack announced that they were selling the building to Lynnwood Brewing and were moving to Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington, which was located on the coast, seemed a better fit for their pirate theme and offered less competition. However, just a couple of weeks after announcing the move, Blackjack sold their entire operation to Lynnwood Brewing and closed for good with no explanation. By early 2016, Wenda had returned to practicing dentistry in Raleigh.

I can't find any descriptions of Blackjack's Bowsprit Bock. Beer Advocate has an entry (for the incorrectly spelled "Bowspirit Bock", but lists no score or description, and there is no entry at Ratebeer for the brew.

Since the brewery is closed, no address or website is provided, and even their Facebook page has been removed. However, their Twitter account, though not active, can still be viewed.

Source Material

Bowsprit description and photo courtesy of Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Searching the web for images of this old tap handle and found it here. I am the designer and manufacture of this handle. Thank you for the comments, it was a fun project to work on and was sad to have this customer close several months after their opening. I am considering this concept for another brewery and wanted to see how many images are on the web. I do understand about the size and limitations of the handle and I'm modifying for a better fit.