WHAT IMPACT HAS YOUR PROJECT HAD IN YOUR COMMUNITY OR WITH THE AUDIENCE YOU ARE HOPING TO REACH?
Tap handles are a curious item. Not many people know what you are talking about until you say “the stick that pours the beer”. But these items are extremely crucial branding for breweries, because if your tap handle doesn’t stand out… neither does your product (beer).
Another thing many people don’t know is that it is the brewery that supplies tap handles to bars and restaurants, so any lost, stolen, or broken taps fall on the brewery to replace (and they are not cheap).
The average generic tap handle cost between $20-40/ tap and the custom tap handles average $100+/tap. Next, most tap handle companies require a minimum order of 200 or more (at this point, homebrewers don’t have access to custom designed tap handles). On top of this the lead time are long (6-8 months). In the end, most small/expanding breweries can’t afford tap handles and if they can, then they are not getting the necessary branding to help them stand out.
Our service to help homebrewers and breweries get the tap handles they need in their interests by offering a truly custom design, that is robust, inexpensive, and within less than a 1 or 2 month lead time. For being a “truly custom design to customer specifications”, the average cost per tap handles is about $25-40.
We are hoping to reach out to homebrewers at the Maker Faire (and possibly Breweries as well). This is our first public outreach event, so we are hoping for the best.
HAS BEING INVOLVED IN THE MAKER FAIRE HELPED YOU PREVIOUSLY OR WHAT ARE YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD
TO IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME ?
WHAT IS THE BACKSTORY TO YOUR PROJECT?
The backstory is pretty simple. In 2014, my friends who owned a brewery in New Mexico were going through expansions (opening 2 new location, upgrading their system, and distributing their products to bars and restaurants throughout the state). They had a group design their tap handles for about $75-150/tap and they were waiting 6-8 months for the order to be complete. At the same time they were going through re-branding so the tap handles they previously ordered did not match.
One of the owners joked that they should buy a 3D printer and make their own tap handles because the current one were so expensive, took forever to make, and . At the time I had access to a nice color 3D printer and told them I could make a couple. Made them some samples and they loved it and they requested to have a bunch made. For a while they were my major customer and other breweries hopped on.
Recently being done with school, I decided to push this forward to a service and take advantage of the huge beer market and community here in CO. I don’t think there is a better place to start!
I always enjoy seeing peoples first reactions. We I tell them that I design and 3D print tap handles, they think it’s from a Maker Bot or other low end printer. But they are always shocked to see the tap handles that are full color. The funniest one is when people ask if the tap handles are made out of wood and I reply, “Nope my 3D printer makes it look like wood”, and people still scratch their heads as comment that they didn’t know wood 3D printers existed and I slowly shake my head and try explaining the 3D printer prints the color on the parts.