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A year ago I wasn’t planning on creating a business making beer gifts. I didn’t think I’d be working with local breweries like Down the Road and Shipyard. There was definitely no plan to expand into making bottle openers, pizza cutters, and other gifts with beer tap handles.

On this day last year, I headed to Sapporo Ramen in Porter square to grab ramen with my friends Gus and Nat. I was excited to catch up with them over a good meal and I also had a crazy idea in my head that I needed to run by them.

“Guys, what do you think about this. Umbrellas, beer tap handles…”

“You’re going to make umbrellas out of beer tap handles! Do it!”

I didn’t even know what to think. I had expected some sort of deliberation, validation of the idea, perhaps the concept of a beer umbrella would need more explaining. What I got was pure excitement, they were just as psyched about the idea as I was.

As we caught up we also kicked around the idea. Went into a bit of detail about the models of umbrellas and the breweries that I could work with. I had already gotten what I needed, it was that instant moment of pure delight.
I was going to start making beer tap umbrellas.

Over the past year, I’ve destroyed dozens of umbrellas while prototyping. I got to one point where I thought I had the perfect design, only to hear a crack as the umbrella shaft split down the center. I had a beer tap slip out of my hands and bounce off of another tap, snapping the other tap into two pieces. I’ve gone to brewery after brewery trying to figure out who to talk to about partnering up to make beer tap umbrellas, it’s not a question most of them are expecting.

While I’ve struggled over the past year, I’ve found a level of kindness that reminds me why I love my friends, the craft beer community, and all the people that I’ve come across in this journey. Melissa and Paul brought RainTaps into both of their stores D2 and Arlington Centered. The team over at Down the Road Brewery was wonderful and totally on board from the moment I reached out to them, and they became the first brewery to carry my beer tap umbrellas. Katie from the Mass Brewers Guild was absolutely incredible and tapped me to make the beer gifts for their annual brewers guild meeting. Zeke from Goorin Bros brought me in to do pop-up shops at their Harvard Square hat shop. I’ve also had the support of Somerville Scout, Somerville Open Studios, Eugene from WouldWork Shop,  and countless friends that have been fashion models, promoters and just… friends.

Over the next year, you’ll see more of RainTaps. You’ll read more about my beer gifts in newspapers, on beer blogs, who knows I might even end up of Shark Tank. Each time you see the gifts I make it’ll be a sign that the energy and support of this wonderful community of people is still going strong.

Keep being wonderful, keep doing great things.

Ben

 


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