Piney River Brewing Company

The Barn in the BARn Tap Handles at Piney River Brewing Company

In Start up on January 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

This blog post is long overdue…it started sometime last March when Brian and I were at the Craft Brewers Conference.  While looking at everything from keg collars to glycol chillers we picked up some information and talked to some companies that make tap handles.

Fast forward to this past summer when a pressing need for tap handles was upon us.  We knew that we needed tap handles for our off premise sales.  We needed a handle that was distinctive, that said “PineyRiver Brewing”, and that covered the bases of the various beers we offer.

Covering all of those bases is pretty hard, especially when you’re trying to be fiscally responsible.  Add to that the fact that we have started our brewery with five regular beers on tap, so we needed to be able to cover all five beers with our tap handles.  Plus, we didn’t want to go with some “made in China” tap handle that was stamped out thousands of miles from the people that would be enjoying the beer we brewed in our barn in Missouri.

Enter David Pepper and Firkin Taphandles.

I found a story on David in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about his efforts at helping Schlafly create new tap handles in conjunction with their 20th anniversary.

Brian and I met David at his home in St. Louis the first weekend in September while Andy was enjoying The Cardinals Crew Festival at Busch Stadium with his Grandma.  While Andy was getting Jason Motte’s autograph and talking to Tony LaRussa, Brian and I unloaded a bunch of original wood from the BARn into David’s garage.

Yes, you heard right, we used the old wood that came down off the barn for our tap handles.  David has done some tap handles for breweries that used reclaimed woods of various sorts.  We used our own reclaimed wood.

That’s a nail hole going through the bottom of that tap handle.

David also designed a special slot in each handle that allows us or the restaurant or bar serving our beer to slide the name/style of beer in and out of the tap handle as the beer changes.  One style of tap handle that covers all five of our current styles of beer.

And our tap handle design?  Well, that was pure inspiration thanks to our friend Joe Richardson. 

Remember the sassafras mash paddle Joe made for us?

If you are someone that spends time holding a paddle  while canoeing on a river, you know the shape of the end of the paddle in your hand.  We decided to use that same shape in the hand for our tap handles.

Two tap handles, one paddle handle.

We’re pretty proud of our tap handles.  We’re glad we were able to support another small business in Missouri.  We love the old barn wood re-used in tap handle form.  And we especially hope that a lot of our barn handles find a way to a bar or restaurant near you.

And here are a few more photos just for fun…Cheers!



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