This project's funding goal was not reached on February 3, 2014.
About this project
To create an interchangeable tap handle system that is affordable, available and professional looking for home brewers, kegerator owners and growler users. In addition to the initial six Face Plate designs, our product line will continue to expand to include additional generic beer logos, brewery specific, wine and craft soda and customizable labels. The residential user will now have the ability to brand their home bars and growlers with their favorite brews.
HOW IT WORKS:
Initially, while learning the art of home brewing and attending craft beer events, we discovered a problem finding a tap handle to show off our home brews (Ale, IPA, Lager, Pilsner, Stout, Wheat). We found most beer taps to be very expensive and logoed for only one beer type. With every change of the keg, a new tap handle was needed.
We tried using the chalkboard style handles, but felt they were messy and lacked that professional image we wanted our home bar to portray. Like most, we simply branded our handles and beer growlers using a piece of masking tape and a marker or another type of homemade label.
While planning a backyard BBQ and purchasing a keg of craft beer, we were again on the hunt for a tap handle that would showcase the locally produced beer. The local beer store where we purchased the keg didn't have anything available for purchase. We also contacted the brewery and it was not available, so we were forced to use a plain black universal handle.
Initially, we worked to create an interchangeable handle for our own personal use and quickly realized we had a viable product that could compete within the tap handle category. It was our diamond in the rough!
FINAL PRODUCT DESIGN & SPECIFICATIONS:
Our product design is simple. A beer tap handle that features endless interchangeable logos that can attach to a standard beer faucet or 64oz growler.
The SWITCH TAP system is a patent pending beer handle design which attaches to any standard beer faucet (3/8" x 16 UNC), which then can accept interchangeable acrylic face plates (labels), representing the various craft beers and home brews.
Every handle is injected molded out of durable black polycarbonate and individually tapped with a standard (3/8" x 16 UNC) thread which attaches to the beer faucet. Our goal is to expand the types of materials offered for for SWITCH TAP handles in the future.
The handle also features a magnetized holster which will accept the acrylic logoed "SWITCH PLATES” and keep them securely in place.
Each SWITCH PLATE is made out of durable ¼” acrylic.
We currently are introducing a set of six interchangeable SWITCH PLATES featuring the following types of beer: Ale, IPA, Lager, Pilsner, Stout and Wheat.
In the future, we hope to continue to expand the line with brewery specific SWITCH PLATES each featuring their custom logos for their beers.Attached to the acrylic back is a magnetized polycarbonate slide mechanism. This easily and securely slides into the holster located on the tap handle. Each slide mechanism is magnetized for added security.
The "STUD STOPPER" is a 2-part cap and stopper system. The stopper is made out of food grade black Silicone featuring a 3/8-16 UNC stainless steel threaded stud and the cap is a custom screw down lid. This 2-part system creates a better seal and minimizes CO2 loss. Currently, the stoppers are only available for 64oz growlers or a 38mm opening.
SWITCH TAP REWARDS:
·STOUT & IPA PACKAGE:
·PILSNER & WHEAT PACKAGE:
·ALE & LAGER PACKAGE:
PRODUCT DESIGN EVOLUTION
The next design created was a slide and holster mechanism that simply attached to a universal beer tap using an industrial grade adhesive strip. This design did not adhere to the tap handle securely.
Adjusting the previous design, the slide and holster mechanism was integrated into an actual tap handle.
The SWITCH PLATE slide mechanism initially featured one large rectangular magnet within the cavity. This allowed for the SWITCH PLATE to attach to the beer fridge. We found the large magnet was much too expensive if we were going to make an economical product. We replaced the large magnet with two smaller, more powerful circular magnets allowing us to cut costs without sacrificing the magnetic force desired.
Concept #4: Stud Stopper Design
The original stud stopper design required modification due to carbonation buildup within a filled growler. The design needed the addition of a screw down cap to secure the stopper within the growler, thus resulting in a tighter seal than a traditional growler stopper.
Now that we have completed all the leg work, we brought our project to Kickstarter. We are lacking the funds to purchase inventory levels that make manufacturing and packaging costs effective. We have set our goal at $10,000 which will help us to begin production with a quantity resulting in a reasonable price for consumers within the brewing industry. We hope the beer community embraces our system and our goal is exceeded.
ESTIMATED PRODUCTION TIMELINE
Countless hours have been spent working with industrial engineers, manufacturers, graphic designers and attorneys for the development and design of the SWITCH TAP System.
We have secured qualified vendors primarily within the Dallas/Ft.Worth area who are excited and ready to begin production immediately. Components to the system that are not sourced locally are already on order. Our vendors are aware of our production expectations, timelines and schedules to get our products delivered to our backers.
- Launch Kickstarter Campaign! (12/20/13)
- Finalize packaging designs (Week of 12/30)
- Brief vendors on Kickstarter progress and finalize production dates, schedules and quantity requirements. (Week of 1/6)
- Receive product and packaging components (Weeks 1/27 - 2/10)
- Production orders released to all Vendors (Week of 1/27)
- Kickstarter campaign concludes (2/3)
- Assembly (Week of 2/10)
- Package Products (Week of 2/17)
- Ship out the SWITCH TAP SYSTEM (Week of 2/24)
- www.switchtaps.com launches and is open for business
Risks and challenges
Our concern at the moment is finalizing custom packaging for the system. We are in the process of identifying our product configurations and overall packaging design. We will also require additional staffing for the assembly and packaging. Not to worry, we have troops waiting in the wings ready and willing to get these delivered.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
YES! We are already determining the next set of designs. If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear it. We are also working with breweries to secure rights to their logos and are looking into Wine and craft soda face plates as well. You will be able to collect many more faceplates that will work with your SWITCH TAP handle very soon.
This is a two-part system. A silicone stopper is inserted into the 64oz Growler. The screw cap fits over the stopper and is screwed down to ensure the stopper remains in place and is not ejected by the carbonation buildup. When the stopper is pulled out of the growler using the handle, it is similar to that of a champagne cork with a similar "POP".
- (44 days)