New Tap handles!
As you’re likely aware, last year we went through a rather major brand redesign. Everything got a new look: from our website to our packaging, the new Cape May Brewing Co. brand is out there, ready to take the world by storm.
There was just one final piece of the puzzle that was waiting to be put into place: new tap handles.
You see them everywhere, at every bar and restaurant that carries our product. They’re our signal to you that you’re in the right place at the right time — have no fear, Cape May beer is here.
Distribution Manager Justin Vitti ran point on this rather large project. Now that the tap handles are in, he’s tasked with distributing them through all of our accounts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“We’ve ordered 2000 new handles,” Justin informs us, “and we’ve got 1,124 out in the field, including 223 of the old, old handles.”
That’s… a lot of handles.
Right now, the salesmen are tasked with swapping them out. Each of them have “starter packs” for their accounts with stickers and pliers, but as we get closer to the summer, our delivery drivers may be tasked with distributing them.
Each of the new handles are based on the beer’s packaging.
“The IPA handle has the blue-green scallop pattern, the Coastal handle has the light blue warning pattern,” Justin tells us.
During the design phase, Justin was constantly looking for ways to live up to Core Value #6: “Make it Better.”
Since we don’t really control which way the handles face — whether the logo at the top will be facing outward or sideways — we needed to have something along the side that said “Cape May Brewing Company”.
“The first go-around had the pattern down the side,” Justin says, “but we suggested putting it on the corners so that we could fit Cape May Brew Co. on the side.”
The original versions had the beer’s name running up the handle instead of down — with the name oriented going down, like a book jacket, you can still see the beginning of the name of the beer if there’s anything blocking the handle.
Essentially, the original version was a solid block without contour. The second iteration has ridges and curves, making it a bit more eye-catching.
We’re manufacturing specific handles for our core brands — Cape May IPA, Coastal Evacuation, and Devil’s Reach, with Summer Catch to come when we brew it again in the summer. However, our seasonals — Biscuits & Honey, Concrete Ship and the like — will get a universal handle with a sticker to list the brand name.
We hate to see the old handles go — particularly the really old ones that Mop Man whittled by hand — but those are growing pains that we’ve got to get through. We’re confident that you guys are going to love the new handles, though.
“Our old tap handles were so tall and people could immediately notice the outline of New Jersey,” Justin says. “The new ones are still tall and noticeable, and with their new look and bright colors, they‘re sure to stand out in a line of taps.”
Nonetheless, with the completion of the tap handles, our redesign is complete. It was eighteen months in the making and another eight months of rollout — over two years of defining ourselves and re-designing everything from the new website to the new packaging to the wrapping for the beer trailer to these beautiful new tap handles.
And our faithful fans have been by our side every step of the way.
Start looking for those new tap handles now. We should have them out to all of our accounts by summer.