If there is one thing I have learned since building wood tap handles for brewers of beer, kombucha, cold press coffee, and bar owners is that they are one hell of a creative group. None more so than Charles Nguyen. Him and his brother Andy run one of the best Craft Beer Bars in Texas, Nobi Public House.
I have been a fan since they opened with the most uncomfortable bar stools known to man. Since then they have grown in size & popularity, most likely because they got new chairs. Or it might be the right combination of a crazy good craft beer selection paired with amazing Vietnamese fusion style food.
General Manager Channing Herring constantly get his hands on kegs of super rare beers that you can't find many other places. Because of this they go through 50 - 60 kegs a week. Not only are they changing out the kegs, but they had to change out the tap handles as well. Then they had to store the old ones, while hunting down the new branded tap handles. Turns out with the 1000's of new craft beers out there, that can turn into a huge pain in the ass, eating up space and labor.
This is part of the reason Charles asked me and the Half Yankee Workshop to build him a set of custom tap handles. The other reason is that Charles is obsessed with creating the dopest atmosphere for the place. A perfect example is how he works with local Houston artist Don Kee Boy for some sick custom art for the walls and crowler labels.
So I don't know why I so surprised when he gave me a bag full of crazy plastic M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Yup these are the strange little flesh colored monsters from both of our childhoods. He hand selected 67 of his favorites and asked for some custom tap handles.
That's when things in the shop got weird!
They approved of my choice of Beech for these tap Handles due to it's durability and hardness.
While planning the wood down to the proper thickness, the first of many sacrifices were made.
I had to walk away while cutting the handles to size and came back to this type of nonsense.
I hope this doesn't make a mess!
All out war in the dust bin.
Feeding a victim into the router!
Found them at the Drill Press extracting the heart out of a "Volunteer"
Gladiator Battles to the death were a popular choice of entertainment among them.
Originally we planned on encasing them in Carbonite, but since we couldn't find any, epoxy resin was used.
Then the finish was applied and we laser engraved the Nobi logo on the handles. After that, the standard brass inserts were added we got them the hell out of our shop.
Nobi's uses our metal chalkboard Tap Signs and liquid chalk markers to label each tap.
Best part about wood tap handles are that they are similar but none will be the exact same.
Special thanks to Wilson Barbee for getting these great photos!
So if you are in the area I highly suggest stopping by for a few pints and a Nobi Dog. Give a toast to these strange little warriors but I wouldn't turn your back on them too long. A few seem to be escaping!
Chief Sawdust Maker