When we were up in NH and VT on our most recent beer research trip we saw this crazy-looking tap handle for the first time. I’d never seen this before, but both Alchemist (Headytopper) and Hill Farmstead sported these guys. And given that those two breweries are making 2 of the best IPAs in the country right now, I was curious. These are serious brewers, and they’re using some handle I’d never seen.
So we asked about these handles. We were told that they were very expensive (they are, but not as much as we were led to believe) and hard to source (we ordered ours online, pretty easy). They work with a different type of valve. Supposedly it doesn’t allow the beer line to be exposed to air. I can’t confirm that, but maybe. The valve appears to be a ball-type, whereas the valve of the standard tap handle is a piston.
And they offer a ton of control of the pour rate of the beer. This part is really amazing. You can dial a little ring on the side of the tap that controls the flow rate. So if you have a keg that’s been disturbed recently and is creating too much foam, you can dial back the pour rate to keep things in check. The pull of the handle itself allows for massive control. It’s built really well, and just feels really nice to use and has a long long throw. The spout is also long, so you can plunge it into the beer cup (which further helps control the pour). And my favorite thing about this tap handle is that the head it creates on the beer is just velvety soft. It has a completely different texture than our old tap handle.
Come by and give it a test run. We’re serving Jack’s Abby IPL at CloverHSQ (7 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA), and incredible beer from Framingham that gets a 97 on Beer Advocate, and just launched High and Mighty Fumata Bianca, a delicious smoked rye beer last night at CloverHUB (1075 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA).