I know Shipyard Brewery, or at least I thought I did. They’re up in Portland and are well known for their seasonal beers like their Summer Ale, Pumpkinhead, and Smashed Blueberry. They had also been on the top of my mind recently because of their beautiful figural tap handles, like their Old Thumper tap handle with and ornate boar’s head decoration. It was a little odd though because I’d come across an earlier version of the Old Thumper tap handle marked as a Ringwood Brewery beer.
Breweries get bought out all the time in the craft beer scene so I made a mental note of Ringwood but hadn’t gone into the history of the brewery an it’s connections with Shipyard. As it turned out the answer would come to me when I came across an article in the Bangor Daily News outlining how Shipyard Brewery got it’s start and Fred Forsley’s connection to Alan Pugsley and Ringwood Brewery.
The article was a fascinating read by my immediate thought was that I needed to put Shipyard back on the top of my partner list. I had been trying to get a partner brewery in Maine because I spend most of my childhood growing up there and I have a lot of friends that are still in the area. That in combination with the quality of their tap handles and their connection with the UK, I had to make it happen.
I managed to connect with Adam and we were planning my visit in just over a week. They offer their tap handles in their gift shop and online but aside from some collectors they only sell occasionally. The custom umbrellas would give them a chance to make use of more of their tap handles while being able to offer premium alternative to their current umbrellas. The next free day that I had I was headed up to Portland to get a look at their updated tap room and get some taps converted for their shop.
With the first batch there’s a limited run of taps available including Red IPA, Double Thumper (a newer version of Ringwood Brewery’s Old Thumper), Gingerbreadhead Man, and Monkey Fist.
If you want to see all their beer gifts in person swing by their Portland Tasting Room, grab a pint, and do some shopping!
Read more about custom beer gifts we’re making with our brewery partners in the From the Tap blog.