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Left Case

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Left hand case:  Introduction to the exhibit, 1897 beer dispensing patent, taps from Baja, ChuckAlek, Iron Fist, BNS, Manzanita, Second Chance and O'Sullivan Brothers' breweries. 


Early Beer dispenser with Tap Handle Patent (1897). A very simple tap handle is seen to the left of “Fig. 2” above the spigot in an US patent.

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Preserving Their Stories: Not every San Diego craft brewery founded in the 20th century survived into the 21st. The stories of Baja (1991-1996), ChuckAlek (2012-2018), and Iron Fist (2010-2020) are partially preserved through their handles. Some breweries had few or no handles made.

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Wooden Tap Handles: BNS (2013-present), Manzanita (2010-2018), O’Sullivan Brothers (2014-2017), and Second Chance Beer (2015-present). Wood is a popular tap handle material subject to different treatments such as painting, turning, burning/etching, etc. It recalls early wooden beer kegs and promotes environmental consciousness by using a natural material. Other popular materials are metal and resin that prove durable under heavy use in wet conditions.