Mandependence! We’ve arrived!

We were just interviewed for the hugely popular and wildly funny Mandependence.com podcast.  Hanging out with Big Al and Taters was a blast.  They have one of our edge lit signs for their studio which we made from their DOM logo.  You can see it in the studio stills and hear us on this podcast.

Sometime we’ll have to do that ‘light sword that looks like a laser saber’ for the kegerator there.

http://www.mandependence.com/manly-podcast-11-21-2012

Edge lit studio sign with mandependence.com

A little slow on the blog

We’ve been very busy lately, and have been a little slow on the blog. We recently delivered ten walnut tap handles for a restaurant in Baltimore. Simple, elegant and beautiful walnut.

We’ve also been working on a special idea using challenge coins. This gives you the ability have a tap handle that shows your pride in your favorite team, your military service, or your Harley. We’ll make the tap handle with a place to insert your Logo challenge coin, you do the rest. We can even order the challenge coin for you. Have a favorite football team? Amazon.com sells challenge coins for everyone in the league in a standard 1.75 inch size.
Pictures coming soon.

A mad scientist’s work is never done, and I hope to keep it that way!

– John

Whiteboard Tap Handles

Whiteboard Tap Handle

Maple and Oak White board tap handle

About a year ago, we were asked if we could make a whiteboard tap handle. I didn’t really want to, because all the ones I had seen looked pretty darned cheesy, but if I was going to do it, it was going to be the best whiteboard tap handle ever. I tried everything I could think of…plastic (hazes, scratches, looks awful), automotive clear coat (it works, but its toxic).

The only good option we found was porcelain coated steel. Its expensive and you have to buy a bunch of it. About the only way to cut it without chipping is with a waterjet cutter….just not in the budget.

After a year of trying everything, we *finally* found the perfect solution. Antique style glazed tile. Its smooth as silk and easy to write on. It takes dry erase, wet erase and permanent marker. Dry erase marker wipes off easily. Wet erase doesn’t come off with casual contact. Permanent marker comes off easily with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol or vodka on a paper towel. No hazing! It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and if you have to cut it, you can cut it cleanly with a tile saw.

Here’s our first try. It’s been very well received.

Magnetic Insert Tap Handles

We now have our magnetic insert tap handles on the web store. There are two versions. One of them allows for personalized lettering and has one recessed insert. The second one has two insert with no personalized lettering. These came out of a contest we held last year, and we’re really happy with how they’ve been received at the stores and home brew clubs. Father’s Day will soon be upon us, and tap handles like this make brewers very happy.

(If you have an idea for a tap handle you wouldn’t mind sharing with the world, let us know! Once we have something we like, we often send our prototypes to our customers. It’s our way of saying “Thanks!”).

More exotics for tap handles

We just got a new shipment from our supplier. They do have some outstanding stock.

Here are some pictures of some of the woods we can turn into beautiful wooden tap handles for you…just let us know what we can do and we’ll get started.

More custom taps and exotic woods.

Here is another tap handle from the mad scientist lab. It is three different kinds of wood: Heartwood poplar, Maple and Walnut. I’m nicknaming it…The schmoo.

Laminated Beer Tap Handle

A customer (and friend) wanted to specify his own profile and wood. No problem! This was done in red heart and the grain is mesmerizing.
redheart custom beer tap handle

This one will be next to the redheart tap handle on the same kegerator. It’s made from purple heart. Purple heart is fascinating because the color tone of the wood changes with time. This one is a lavendar/brown mix today.
purpleheart custom tap handle

Happy New Year Everyone

We’ve finally have a facebook page. Once I figure out how to apply a like button, I’ll add it here, but you can find it now by searching for “BestBrewTap”. We look forward to a new year with new designs, new woods, and new ideas.

Again, have a wonderful new year.

John

From the Mad Scientist Lab

In our design contest, one of our contestants suggested a tap handle with a removeable label for beer type.  I tried out several ideas, but a breakthrough idea hit me out of the blue…coin holders.  These are very high quality and made to tight specs, air and water tight, made to be easy to see through.  Perfect!  We sourced some high energy 1/32″ magnets that fit inside the coin holders and some magnets with holes in them for inside the tap handles.  We could have just used a washer inside the coin holder, but that would be cheesy and wouldn’t let you store the unused holders on the side of the fridge for easy access.

This is just a prototype for right now, but it should be pretty close the model we sell.  Tell us what you think and how many you need!

Tap Handle with Interchangable label holders

First First Design Contest Winner

We hosted a tap handle design contest at www.homebrewtalk.com.  If you like brewing beer, there really is no better forum and what a great group of people.  In just a few days, we had bunchs of great ideas for tap handles ranging from rowdy to brilliant, and there are just too many good ideas we’d like to try that we can’t just have one winner in this contest.

The first winner is Hungry4Hops with Brass Knuckles.  More winners soon.

Tap handle in maple with Chrome Ferrule
Contest winner #1

 

Maple Custom Tap Handle
Close-up view of Brass Knuckles

What’s currently on tap…

The American Red Ale I brewed for our Columbus Day Massacre Paintball Day was from Austin Homebrew Supply.  I really like this company because they allow you to customize your recipe online from their ordering system. Its original gravity was 1.054 and ended at a final gravity of 1.012, making it about 5.6% Alcohol by Volume.  It fermented very vigorously, done in about 2 days.  I skipped the secondary as I needed it to be done a little more quickly than I normally would do.  It was not as clear as I would have liked, however, it was very tasty!  I plan to bottle some in some Grolsch flip top bottles for later and  take some to my homebrew club (Bloomington Hop Jockies) in the keg.

After I clear the keg, I plan on brewing a scotch wee heavy ale, which will be a new one for me.  I love stouts and porters, but these are a bit heavy for most people.  I thought a wee heavy would be a good compromise between what I like and what my friends tend to like.  I’ll also have the time to ferment at a lower temperature and run a full secondary fermentation.