Tap Handle FOMO is Real

Tap Handle FOMO is Real

Mar 27 , 2021

Brad Lugar

We made it through the turbulence of 2020. We waited on the edge of barstools and sadly neglected kegs for the storm to pass. Now, the market has swelled faster than we even anticipated. Beer enthusiasts are back, flooding craft breweries and taprooms in droves. 

“But, hey, wait a minute!” You say, “I’m not prepared!"

Those 20 tap handles that were gathering dust in the stockroom for the past year just left the building, leaving me with zilch. My distributor took them all and they already need more. How do I restock on my most essential beer branding and marketing tool ASAP? What if I can’t get more branded tap handles fast enough to meet demand?”

Anxiety washes over you, threatening to diminish that sense of joy and relief that came with throwing your doors wide open to patrons again after a year of dreaded—dare we say, unprecedented—uncertainty.

So what’s the diagnosis?

“Fear of missing out” on a sale, on staying relevant in a flourishing and ever-growing marketplace. We’ve fielded so many calls lately from existing clients and newly interested partners that share a common tone: pure panic. 

And how can we blame you? We know that kickass USA made tap handles are the absolute best beer marketing tool a craft beverage company can invest in. Insufficient tap handles equals a drop in beer sales or the sale of any delightful sipper you distribute in keg. You need those handles, and you need them now, right?

Tap handle FOMO is cyclical…

We totally understand your tap handle angst. However, your FOMO feeds ours.

Good People Brewing Company Tap Handles made by Steel City Tap Co.

Fear of missing out on the opportunity to collaborate with any company on exclusive tap handles, made in the USA from top to bottom, keeps our engines running at max speed every day. Our Alabama designers, artists, and print techs are working more overtime hours than ever before. 

We’re determined, day in and day out, to ensure your tap handles not only look their absolute best, but they also get to work for you as soon as possible. You rely on those taps to sell more beer, more kombucha, more liquor, wine, tea, whatever tasty craft beverage you're concocting and pouring. Our goal is to successfully contribute to that process, never to stand in the way of it.

How do we take fear and anxiety out of the collaborative equation?

Think ahead. Even if it feels like way ahead. If you’re considering a tap handle redesign or have an idea for a brand-new beer tap handle, call us sooner rather than later. To be frank, waiting only leads to more waiting. 

We typically aim for production turnaround times of 6–8 weeks. With the market and economy ramping back up, our small production team is working tirelessly to fill orders coming at us from all directions—we are beyond grateful for the overwhelming support and huge opportunities. (Seriously, thank you!)

But here’s the thing. We’re human, too.

We’re damn hard working and hate to say “no” to any client. But at the end of the day, we’d rather produce the best than the most. No matter what turnaround time you may frantically need, we will never sacrifice quality.

The Black Abbey Brewing Company Tap Handle made by Steel City Tap Co.

Our priority is proving that your investment in our high-quality, handmade custom tap handles is truly worth every penny. And, if it comes down to it, that they are worth the wait. 

Your investment in custom tap handles only pays off when those fabulous, ferruled beauties get to work for you. But their journey to a prized place on the tap line starts with lots of hands-on TLC from our team, which takes time. Hours upon hours, my friend.

What if my tap handle is a semi-custom design with minimal frills? Can’t I get my order filled immediately?

No matter what your custom or semi-custom tap handle is made of—wood, acrylic, metal, resin, or a unique combination of elements—many of the same team members at our Birmingham, Alabama, facility are putting hands on it. We take immense pride in putting our hearts into every project, paying precise attention to detail no matter the shape, size, or ornateness of the detail. 

How can I continue to get the tap handles I need, when I need them, guaranteed?

Again, plan ahead. Don’t wait until you have “enough handles for now.” Stay ahead of the game, and always anticipate your need for more. With years of experience under our belt, we can confidently tell you: you will need more. 

We even offer special subscription services for tap handle reorders, branded hats and other swag, marketing accessories like tin tackers, customized can labels, and design services. Call Brad for more details about our client retainer program. It could be a game changer for your business. 

Plus, stay in touch with your distributor.

If you partner with a beverage distributor, communicate with them on a regular basis. Your distributor can help you keep an adequate number of tap handles on hand, because let’s face it, they need the handles to sell your product, too. It’s all about communication, baby.

If you or a brewer you know is experiencing symptoms of tap handle FOMO, keep calm and call or email Brad today.