“Impressive,” Stu said. The collection took up the entire wall. By Stu’s quick count, there were 72 in the display. “I appreciate a good beer, but I haven’t heard of most of these,” he said.
“Yeah, it’s a hobby,” Bill said. “Each one is a work of art — useful art, y’know? Not some paint spattered canvas someone says is valuable. These are meant to be used. This is working art.”
Stu didn’t really know Bill — his wife, Lori was friends with Bill’s wife, Camille — but he seemed seemed interesting — fast with a joke, quick to get you a beer. Someone who could be a good guy to know.
“Want to know a secret?” Bill asked, voice lowered, even though they were alone in the room.
“Always,” Stu said.
“Stolen,” he said, grinning and gesturing to the wall of taps. “Everyone one of these. Didn’t buy any of them.”
“It’s a thing we do,” Bill said. “We’re at a bar out of town, I see one that I like and I can get at, and Camille makes a scene away from the taps. These things just screw off, so I do it quick, and we’re out of there.” He lowered his voice again. “I get a new tap, and it makes Camille good to go. Know what I mean?”
“Interesting,” Stu thought, might be underselling Bill.