AMAZING TAP HANDLES!!!

About This Site

Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

Copyright Legalities

Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

Brewery history may not be used for any reason without citing the blog post or original source from which it was taken, and providing a link to such.

Failure to follow the guidelines above is a violation of Copyright Law, which protects original works of ownership.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tap Handle #649: Redhook - IPA

Tap size: 12.25"
Rarity:  beer and tap no longer produced
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Every now and then I discover that a tap that has been in the collection for a long time that somehow never got profiled in the Museum. It's made to look like a rocket with a ringed planet balanced on top. Three fins at the base of the tap help give it that rocket feel, and also make it 3-sided, with 3 decals between the fins with the brewery name and beer variety. Although it is not an exact likeness, I believe this tap was inspired by the Fremont Rocket, a sculpture in the eclectic neighborhood of Fremont in Seattle (see photo to right). As I discussed in profile #528 of the Redhook Tiki IPA, aka Ballard Bitter,  Redhook hasn't brewed their IPA/Ballard Bitter since some time in 2013, so that year may have been when the tap was used. They occasionally pop up on the secondary market, and when they do the price is very reasonable.

For more about Redhook, see this post.

For more about Redhook IPA (aka Ballard Bitter), see this post.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Bloggers.

Click through to see more photos of this out-of-this-world tap...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tap Handle #648: Redhook (Buffalo WIld WIngs) - Game Changer Pale Ale

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  beer retired
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap is so well made that it looks like a real remote control! Game Changer Pal Ale was made in collaboration with Buffalo Wild Wings, and they are known for their hot wings, TV sports viewing, trivia games, and beer. This remote fits that TV viewing and trivia game theme perfectly. The buttons on the front are all raised like those of a real remote, and Redhook decals appear in various places. A series of symbols appears along the top of the remote's "window", and although I wish I knew what they mean, for now it remains a mystery. Since the beer is no longer produced, the tap is becoming more scarce and price is rising accordingly.

Buffalo Wild Wings is an American casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, which specializes in Buffalo wings and sauces. As of February 2017, it had 1,240 locations (631 directly owned by the company, and 609 franchised locations) across all 50 U.S. states and DC. An alternate nickname in recent usage by the company is B-Dubs. It was co-founded in 1982 by Jim Disbrow, Scott Lowery, and Bernard Spencer. Disbrow, Lowery, and Spencer came up with the idea one weekend when they got together in Kent, Ohio, for Disbrow to judge an amateur figure skating competition at Kent State University in 1980. They decided to open up their own restaurant, first in Columbus, Ohio, and then in Westerville, Ohio one year later.

Originally called Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, in 1990 Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck began to franchise. In 1998, the name was changed to Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. The corporate headquarters was located in Cincinnati, Ohio until 1997 when it moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The chain is best known for Buffalo-style chicken wings along with over a dozen dipping sauces, as well as a complement of other items such as chicken tenders and legs. The chain's menu also features appetizers, burgers, tacos, salads, and desserts, along with beer, wine, and other beverages. They are known for their famous "Blazin Wing Challenge." They challenge customers to eat 12 of their hottest wings under six minutes. The winners receive a free T-shirt and get their picture on their wall of fame. The restaurants feature an open layout with a bar area and patio seating flanked by over 50 televisions and media screens.

For more about Redhook Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Redhook's Game Changer and to see more photos of this game changing tap...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tap Handle #647: Twisted X

Tap size: 12.25"
Rarity:  50 or less seen, tap retired?
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Although this tap is very much in the style of a toy-on-a-stick, the inexpensive price and the Mexican Day of the Dead styling of a skull in a sombrero was too good to pass up. It also came with some great labels, and I've chosen to profile the beer variety based on which label is my favorite: Chupahopra. There is room for a label on both the front and the back of the tap. As is normal for dark colored taps, fingerprints and dust will show up quite easily. I was told that this style of tap is no longer in production, but I have been unable to verify that. If so, I imagine these will be harder to find in the years to come.

Click through to read more about Twisted X Brewing, their Chupahopra IPA, and to see more photos of this stylish tap...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Collectors Club Update

Back in my last anniversary post I mentioned the formation of the Amazing Tap Handles Collectors Club (ATHCC). So far there are 22 members who have joined the Club. Members are scattered across the U.S. and Canada, so how do you bring such a geographically diverse community together? By forming a message board that allows members to communicate with each other in real time. So far topics have covered a wide range of subjects - introductions and inspirations, favorite taps, display ideas, purchase experiences, a price database, and links to places to purchase taps. There have been tap sales, giveaways, and rare taps I have made available for sale exclusively to Club members.

I should also disclose that tap giveaways may move exclusively to the Club sometime in the near future.

The Club is open to anyone who wants to join, with one exception - people who sell taps on eBay, including flipping taps for big profits, are not eligible to join. There a multiple reasons for this policy, but I can't explain further at this time.

If you'd like to join, send me a message using the "Contact Me" gadget in the sidebar. I hope to see you in the Club!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tap Giveaway #11 Results - UPDATE

Jeff has claimed his prize, so the is contest is officially over.

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I'd like to thank each of the 16 people who entered this month's giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Jeff H.

Jeff has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. If you've been trying to win a tap, don't give up...it took Jeff 8 contests to finally win, so sometimes you just have to be patient and persistent. I will be giving away another great tap in May, so make sure you check back for the chance to win a free tap!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tap Giveaway #11 Announcement and Details

Let's giveaway a tap before April is over! This will be the 11th contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)
#7 - Leinenkugal IPL - won by John P (out of 12 entries received)
#8 - Shiner Smokehaus - won by Graham B. (out of 12 entries received)
#9 - Haacht Rince Cochon - won by Blair B. (out of 15 entries received)
#10 - Hobgoblin (new style) x 2 - won by Patrick M. and Doug K. (out of 22 entries received)


For this contest I'm giving away another tap that I have never profiled: the Celt Thirsty Warrior Cider tap handle. This is an awesome tap that is probably the second most valuable tap that I have given away (based on secondary market value) and is an import. The tap is new and unused in its original box. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on Sunday, April 30, so you have until Saturday, April 29th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tap Handle #646: Flying Mouse (new style)

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

As fantastic as the original tap from Flying Mouse Brewery was, this new tap exceeds it in every way. A full-figured Bartleby Hopsworth, sporting a Rocketeer-style jet pack, is kneeling on top of a large furnace. His hands are holding on to a sign that allows a label to be attached to indicate the beer variety. Gears, struts, rivets, copper bands, valves, and pipes, along with the jet pack, give the tap a very strong steampunk influence. Decals on the back enhance the tap by simulating flames in the furnace, and pressure gauges decals enhance the steampunk feel. The Flying Mouse brewery symbol appears on the front, while the brewery's abbreviated name, "Flymo:b", is sculpted into the door of the furnace. To the right you will see a label sheet that came with the tap, which includes a wide variety of beers to label the tap with. Since the original tap reflected Bartleby's backstory as a mouse who invented wings so he could fly, this tap suggests that Bartleby took his desire to fly to the next level by replacing his wings with a jet pack. The amount of detail and the Steampunk theme make this a top tap in the collection. A couple of these have hit the secondary market at outrageous prices, but otherwise they are pretty scarce.

For more about Flying Mouse, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this astounding tap...

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tap Handle #645: Monterey Bay Brewing - Mad Otter Pale Ale

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" large ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap comes with a great story. I've shared the long version with my Collectors Club members, but I'm going to give you the short version here.

Every year my dad spends a couple of months in Palm Springs, and on the return trip home he stops to see me for my birthday, usually bearing a tap I've never seen before as a present. Last year it was the Figueroa Mountain 101 and the year before that it was the La Quinta (and before that it was the Vancouver Island Killer Whale). This year he couldn't find anything for me, and he asked me if there was a brewery along the way that might have a tap I'd want. It took me a few minutes of thinking before I asked him if his trip was going through Monterey, which it was. I asked him to stop at the Monterey Bay Brewing Company to see if he could pick me up a Mad Otter tap. When he arrived in Monterey he called the brewery, but got an answering machine. After following some leads, he was able to get in contact to one of the owners, Mark Fitch. My dad explained to Mark about my museum and the blog and how he wanted to get me the tap for my birthday. Mark was very adamant that the brewery did not sell their taps. In fact, only 2 taps, both damaged, had ever got away from their control. It takes a long time to get them because they are hand made and painted by one guy in the U.S. Disappointed, my dad left his contact information and my blog address in case Mark decided to change his mind.

As my dad was almost out of town, he got a phone call back from Mark, telling my dad he had looked at my site and was wondering if my dad was still in town. My dad said yes, so Mark agreed to meet him at a nearby mall. When they met, they hit it off right away, and Mark sold my dad a tap handle. When my dad presented me with the tap and the accompanying story on my birthday, I was stunned. I never imagined he would be able to get me one of these Mad Otter Ale taps. It features a blue otter in a top hat that's right out of Alice in Wonderland. The otter's eyes and partial grin look a little crazy. He holds on to the front of his jacket with white gloved hands. Although the brewery's name does not appear on the tap, a yellow label with black letters bearing the name of the beer is prominent at the bottom. The round base is a newer re-design of the tap; an older version has a blocky base that has the beer name and the brewery name on the label. Another difference is that the older version has a blue hatband while this newer version is white. Since these taps are hand-made in small numbers and the brewery keeps tight control over them, this is one of the scarcest taps you will see here on the site.

Click through to read more about Monterey Bay Brewing, their Mad Otter Ale, and to see more photos of this insanely awesome tap...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tap Handle #644: 7 Seas - Cutt’s NW Amber Ale

Tap size: 9.75"
Rarity:  hand-made
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

There's not much to say about this tap, as it is a giant number "7" made out of wood, in a gothic style font shape, with a red overlay front and back that has the word "Seas" cut into it. Another notable feature is the name of the beer, which has been woodburned into the sides of the tap, giving it some unique character.  They appear on the secondary market from time to time and are fairly affordable. I wanted one because it is a local brewery, and I plan on visiting the brewery at some point, since it is only a few hours away from me.

Click through to read more about 7 Seas Brewing, their Cutt's NW Amber Ale, and to see more photos of this by-the-numbers tap...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tap Handle #643: Charles Wells - Dry Hopped Lager

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, import
Mounting:  custom 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt with set screw

Feast your eyes on this amazing tap! Courtesy of the wonderful people at Charles Wells Brewing, this tap is an absolute stunner. It is modeled after the brewery's founder, with tattoos on his chest that hint at various aspects of the brewery, such as its founding date (1876), location (Bedford), and Charles Wells' worldly travels in the Merchant Navy. He has one leg placed on top of a barrel that bears the name of the brewery and the beer, while the name of the beer is also tattooed on his back. The tattoos are not decals but are actually sculpted into the figure. I included an extra photo of the base of the tap to show the addition of a hexhead setscrew that can be used to tighten the ferrule to a 3/8" bolt during mounting. I'm thrilled to add this tap to the collection, as it is highly detailed and difficult to find.

In return for the brewery's generosity to the museum, I'd like to take a moment to talk about the brewery's charity partner, MIND. MIND are the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, and their mission is simple: they won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. MIND also provides help and support directly to those who need it most. Their network of more than 130 local MINDs offer specialized support and care based on the needs of the communities they support. You can find out more on their website at http://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/.

For more about Charles Wells Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Charles Wells' Dry Hopped Lager and to see more photos of this outstanding tap...

Tap Giveaway #10 Results - UPDATE

Update: Patrick and Doug have both claimed their prizes, so this contest is officially over. Again thanks to all who entered.
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I'd like to thank each of the 22(!) people who entered this month's giveaway contest. That's an incredible number, the most ever for one of my contests, in fact. It's killing me to award just one tap. So with that in mind, combined with the fact that I haven't held a contest in a couple of months, I've decided to award 2 of these Hobgoblin taps for this contest. The 2 winners of the contest, chosen at random, are:

Patrick M.
Doug K.

Patrick and Doug have 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. I will be giving away another great tap later this month, so make sure you check back for the chance to win a free tap!

Also check back tonight for a post featuring a tattooed man from Wells Brewing...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tap Giveaway #10 Announcement and Details

It's long past time that I had another tap handle giveaway contest, so here it goes! This will be the tenth contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)
#7 - Leinenkugal IPL - won by John P (out of 12 entries received)
#8 - Shiner Smokehaus - won by Graham B. (out of 12 entries received)
#9 - Haacht Rince Cochon - won by Blair B. (out of 15 entries received)


For this contest I'm giving away a tap that I have never profiled: the new Hobgoblin tap handle. This is a really great, wicked looking tap with a hobgoblin coming out of an evil-looking tree. The tap is new and unused in its original box. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on Tuesday, March 7th, so you have until Monday, March 6th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tap Handle #642: Scuttlebutt - Hoptopia Imperial IPA

Tap size:  9.75"
Rarity:  hand made, 10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Hoptopia is the first of three similar Scuttlebutt taps I own, featuring a "toy on a stick". Despite the toy on a stick look, the tap actually has a lot of small details that give it a little extra pop. The pirate, complete with a hook hand and eyepatch, holds a sign with the name of the beer sculpted into it. The name of the brewery is sculpted letter by letter down the shaft of the tap, and if you look closely you can see small silver nail heads on each letter, making it look as if each of them were nailed on. Hoptopia, along with the other taps in this style, is long out of production, and all of them are highly valued by tap collectors and rarely seen on the secondary market, with each variety commanding prices over $100 (and sometimes twice that).

Click through to read more About Scuttlebutt Brewing, their Hoptopia Imperial IPA, and to see more photos of this salty tap...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tap Handle #641: Cervezas Alhambra (Mahou San Miguel) - Reserva 1925

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  import, 10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

There's nothing extraordinary about this tap, and it is not fully figural. However, it does have a cool looking design at the top, and I have an admitted attraction to imports, especially one with ties to the amazing palace of The Alhambra. The figure at the top resembles an animal in abstract, perhaps a lion, which bears a strong likeness to statues under a fountain in one of the Alhambra's courtyards (see photo below). The name of the beer, brewery, and country appear at the bottom of the tap, and on one side of the tap are the words "Strong Lager 6.4%". As an import, the tap is very difficult to find - I've only seen a couple of others.

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered to Renaissance tastes. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine influences found in the Mezquita of Córdoba. The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.

(Editor's note: the Alhambra is one of my favorite places on earth; I was stunned by the first photos I saw of it in the book "Castles of Spain". Alhambra is the inspiration for many songs and stories, and even appears in video games such as Assassin's Creed and Civilization V. If you like ambient music, I highly recommend Jon Mark's album "Alhambra", with its moody influences of Moorish conquest, lush Alhambra gardens, and windswept mountain plateaus. You can listen to samples at Allmusic or iTunes.)

Click through to read more about Cervezas Alhambra, its Reserva 1925, and to see more photos of this exotic tap...

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tap Handle #640: Long Island Meadery

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, hand-made, brewery closed
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

What a great tap this is! I previewed this tap in a recent anniversary post, where I stated that mead is made with honey, thus the the bee and honeycomb on the tap are a great tie-in to the product. There are lots of great details to be seen here, from the suit of armor the bee is wearing (a nod to the medieval festivals that owner Paul Holm was fond of), to the flag the bee is holding, to the oak barrel it is standing on, to the dozens of geometrically-shaped honeycomb sculptings. The bee even has four arms! One of the bee's hands holds a foaming mug, which is curious because mead looks more like wine than a foaming mug of beer. The barrel holds a place for a label but I would bet that labels are even harder to find than the tap. Without a label, I decided to profile the Meadery's Traditional Mead, since it has the most reviews of all of their varieties on Ratebeer. My overall impression of the tap is that it is brilliant and colorful, and also extremely scarce, since the Long Island Meadery has been closed since about 2010. In fact I've never seen another on the secondary market - only a photo from another collector.

Click through to read more about Long Island Meadery, their Traditional Mead, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tap Handle #639: Big Rock - Buzzard Breath Ale

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, beer retired, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Here's a tap that I previewed in my recent anniversary post, and it is one of my favorite taps. It features a buzzard dressed as a cowboy, ready to draw the frosty cold bottles of Buzzard Breath Ale in his holster. The familiar Big Rock logo appears above the buzzard, and the carved "stone" base is also a common feature of Big Rock taps. The Buzzard Breath Ale logo is painted to resemble a sign nailed to the rocks. Another sign appears on the back, bearing only the word "Buzzard". The buzzard itself is somewhat of a bas relief style, as it cannot be see from the back. The colors are bright and beautiful on this tap, and the whimsical theme makes it outstanding, and to me, highly desirable. I have never seen this tap on the secondary market, only a lucite version with a copy of the label inside it.

For more about Big Rock Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Big Rock's Buzzard Breath Ale and to see more photos of this standoffish tap...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tap Giveaway #9 Results - UPDATE

Update: Blair has claimed his prize, so this contest is officially over. Again thanks to all who entered. Just so you know I have another one of these taps and will give it away in the near future...
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I'd like to thank each of the 15 people who entered this month's giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Blair B.

Blair has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. I will be giving away another great tap in January, so make sure you check back for the chance to win a free tap!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tap Giveaway #9 Announcement and Details

Well, I'm still not ready to resume tap profiles, so how about a tap handle giveaway contest instead? This will be the ninth contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)
#7 - Leinenkugal IPL - won by John P (out of 12 entries received)
#8 - Shiner Smokehaus - won by Graham B. (out of 12 entries received)


For this contest I'm giving away a tap that I posted about back in profile #178: Haacht Rince Cochon. This is beautiful tap featuring a big drinking from a foaming mug while sitting on a barrel. The tap is new and unused in its original box. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on Wednesday, December 14th, so you have until Tuesday, December 13th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Update 11-29-16

I know you are looking for new content (and a new tap contest) but it will be a few more days. My new employee will start on Monday, which will relieve some of my work issues. I have also been focused on working on the Barcade (pellet stove & flooring install) and getting the Collectors Club off of the ground, which is starting to round into shape nicely with 14 members so far.

I should have a new post and contest starting up by this weekend at the latest...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tap Handle #638: Local Option Bierwerker

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  readily available
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Considering that Local Option's owner, Tony Russomanno, carries a pocketknife around with him, in that context the design choice for this tap makes perfect sense. Featuring a fully extended switchblade, possibly the coolest feature on the tap is the brewery's logo, sculpted as a three-dimensional medallion, with a profile of a skull sporting a mohawk made from the building skyline of downtown Chicago. The lighting may look a bit off in these photos...I relocated my photo area to the barcade, but I am still working on a good lighting scheme. Although the tap seems small, it is deceptively normal-sized at nearly 11" tall. It is easy to find and is very affordable.

Click through to read more about Local Option Bierwerker, their Dampf Loc all-barley ale, and to see more photos of this cutting edge tap...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Update 11-14-16

It looks like things are slowly getting back to normal. The past 3 weeks have been the worst I have ever had at work, which included the passing of my co-worker and friend that I had previously mentioned as having been diagnosed with cancer. This event makes me even more dedicated to the Museum, because for all intents and purposes, it may become my legacy. When I was younger I wanted to write a successful novel because I wanted to remembered for something after I was gone. I think the Museum has, to a degree, fulfilled that desire.

Also, the Collectors Club is now set up and initial interest has been better than I expected. I'm hoping that activity within the club will pick up in time as people get more comfortable with it.

Look for a new tap profile within the next day or two. Profiles should pick up soon because I have signed on an assistant to help me write them. And look for a new tap handle giveaway within the next few days as well.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Museum Turns 5 Years Old, Part 5: Collectors Club

In the final installment of this year's anniversary post, I'm pleased to announce the formation of the Amazing Tap Handles Collectors Club (ATHCC). The ATHCC is small association of tap handle collectors, where members can choose to share contact information with each other for the purpose of buying, selling and trading tap handles. You will also be able to see member feedback/trade ratings. Other requirements and benefits to joining the club will be presented to club members during sign up.

If you are interested in joining the club, use the Contact Me gadget over in the sidebar, or email me if we have had previous contact.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Museum Turns 5 Years Old, Part 4: Profile Previews

Instead of doing a "Cream of the Crop" post this year, which has become an exercise in futility with the number of taps I have, instead I'm going to preview 10 taps that will be profiled over the next year. These taps are all scarce, and I'm looking forward to profile them here on the site. Unfortunately I could not locate all of them in a timely matter...although I wanted to photograph them all, I also wanted to get this post finished. As a result, with the brief discussion of each tap, I've attached the few photos I did take, just to wet your appetite.

So click through to see the 10 taps, in no particular order, that I'm most looking forward to profiling over the coming year:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Museum Turns 5 Years Old, Part 3: Individual Tap Statistics

It's time to take a look at the individual tap statistics. To revisit the concept, I'm listing which taps generate the most page views on the site. I've divided the rankings based on the year that I profiled the tap, so I've listed the 20 taps with the most views for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, and Year 5. The number in parenthesis is the previous year's ranking if different; "NR" means the tap was not on the list last year. The first tap on the list has the most views, and the other taps follow in descending order.

For the most part the lists stay the same except for 1-3 new entries per year, and some shuffling of ranking order. Year 4 did not have as much of a shakeup as I would have expected. It will be interesting to see how much the Year 5 rankings change next year.

Click through to see the lists..

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Museum Turns 5 Years Old, Part 2: Site Statistics

I love charts and graphs. So let's see how I did this year on the various statistics I track for the site...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Museum Turns 5 Years Old, Part 1: "State of the Blog"

Instead of leading with a post about statistics this year, I'm going to talk about the state of the Museum and what happened over the past year, with a hazy look at future activity.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tap Handle #637: Granville Island - Ginja Ninja Ginger Beer

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, seasonal, beer retired
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Ginja Ninja tap has quickly staked a claim on my favorites list. I love the concept of the female ninja dressed in subtle, earth-tones colors contrasted by the her bright red hair. The sculpting detail is outstanding - especially the wicker basket at the bottom, the bamboo pole behind the ninja, the detail in her eyes, and her ninja weapons that she is holding in her hands. Next to the bamboo pole is a large piece of parchment bearing a decal of the beer name and the yin and yang symbol. The ninja has popped out of the wicker basket, and on the front of that basket is a sign with the brewery's name on it. Due to the reflective nature of the sign, I had trouble getting photos of it without my light source washing it out. This tap is very rare; very few of these figural versions were ever produced; the more common tap was plain and flat, and featured a 2-D decal of this 3-D image. Also, as a seasonal, the beer itself was not produced and distributed in great quantities. And since the beer has been discontinued, these taps will not be produced again. Thanks to this scarcity and the beauty of the tap, it commands hefty prices on the secondary market - and I would be amazed if even a few more appear there at all.

Click through to read more about Granville Island Brewing, their Ginja Ninja Ginger Beer, and to see more photos of this beautiful yet deadly tap...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tap Handle #636: Greenbrier Valley - Wild Trail Pale Ale

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Talk about your creepy taps! Greenbrier Valley has two of them, and this is the first one profiled. It is, I believe, supposed to be Sasquatch's foot on a bike pedal. The brewery's artwork for the beer label features Sasquatch riding a mountain bike, so that does appear to tie the tap to the artwork. However, I would have preferred a tap that had a full figure of Sasquatch on the bike that matched the label since the artwork is very cool. There isn't a lot of detail on the tap except for all the hair sculpted on the foot, and the individual toes and toenails. The base is three-sided, with each side bearing a decal featuring the brewery's name and the name of the beer. The tap doesn't appear on the secondary market very often, but when it does, the price is not too expensive.

Click through to read more about Greenbrier Valley Brewing, their Wild Trail Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this unusual tap...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tap Handle #635: Fiddlehead IPA

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

There's nothing extravagant about this tap - its beauty and elegance lie in clean simplicity. There is a mountain scene within the round area at the top of the tap, and the shaft is made to look like wood. Stretching up from the base is a Fiddlehead Fern, and on the sides of the shaft "IPA" is sculpted in raised letters. Since the brewery is fairly small, that may explain why so few of these have been seen on the secondary market. The price, however, is fairly reasonable. There is a second, more rare version than this one that I am still on the hunt for.

Fiddleheads or fiddlehead greens are the furled fronds of a young fern, harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond. Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fiber. Certain varieties of fiddleheads have been shown to be carcinogenic. The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a violin. It is also called a crozier, after the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd's crook. Fiddleheads have been part of traditional diets in much of Northern France since the beginning of the Middle Ages, across Asia, and also among Native Americans for centuries. They are also part of the diet in the Russian Far East where they are often picked in the wild in autumn, preserved in salt over winter, and then consumed in spring.

Click through to read more about Fiddlehead Brewing, their flagship IPA, and to see more photos of this unfurling tap...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Tap Handle #634: Goliad - Roustabout Stout

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This great looking tap comes to the museum courtesy of reader Manny. It is styled after the flintlock pistols used at the Battle of the Alamo and Battle of Goliad in the 1800s. A decal bearing the phrase "Remember Goliad" appears on each side of the pistol's handle; that phrase was the rallying cry during the war of Texas independence from Santa Ana during the Battle of Jacinto. The decals feature the symbol of a Texan banner, which was unfurled December 20, 1835 at the signing of the declaration of independence of Texas from Santa Anna’s regime. These decals appear on the base of the pistol's handle and also on each side of the handle. Under the barrel on each side of the pistol is a place for a beer variety label. I have both Roustabout Stout and Golden Ale, but I have chosen to profile the Roustabout Stout. It's a very nice tap that hasn't been seen much on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Goliad Brewing, their Roustabout Stout, and to see more photos of this historic tap...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tap Giveaway #8 Results - UPDATE

Graham claimed his prize on time, I just haven't been able to post it. The contest is officially over. Thanks again to everyone for your patience during this difficult time for me.

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Sorry for the delay in this announcement, I've had a very long day.

I'd like to thank each of the 12 people who entered this month's giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Graham B.

Graham has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. October is right around the corner, so if you've been trying to win don't give up! The next tap will be one that I haven't given away before, so make sure you check back for the chance to win a free tap!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tap Handle #633: Ohana

Tap size:  8.5"
Rarity:  readily available
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The first Ohana tiki tap appeared on the site back in profile #425. Although this tap is smaller than the first one I profiled, it has far more weight and a solid feel, and gives the impression that it has been carved from a heavy, aged wood (it is of course resin). It was designed by Jeremy Costello, a noted tiki artist in the Los Angeles area. Costello went on to design a second (and even smaller) tap for Ohana of a tiki holding a surfboard that has appeared is several different colors. Costello's blog address actually appears on the bottom of the back of the tap. Like the first tap, there is no label for the beer variety. The brewery actually sells these directly on the secondary market, and they are fairly easy to find.

For more about Ohana Brewing, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this substantial tap...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tap Giveaway #8 Announcement and Details

It's time to give away another tap handle. This will be the eighth contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)
#7 - Leinenkugal IPL - won by John P (out of 12 entries received)


For this contest I'm giving away a tap that I posted about back in profile #390: Shiner Smokehaus. This is great, industrial-looking tap with some gorgeous airbrushing that gives it a weathered metal effect. Lots of little rivets add a higher level of detail. The tap is new and unused. I do have the original box but it has seen some wear, though this does not affect the tap itself in any way. The beer and tap were discontinued in 2012 so this is a great chance to get your hands on a rare tap. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on Tuesday, September 20th, so you have until Monday, September 19th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tap Handle #632: Witch's Hat

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap combines some unique elements that make up Witch's Hat Brewing's origins. First is the witch hat on top of the tap, named for a feature on the train depot in town (that is now a museum and events center) and is over 100 years old (see photo to right). Here, however, the connotation has been given the fantasy element of a hat you might see depicted on an actual witch. The second element is the railroad lantern, which of course fits with the train depot theme nicely. The "patina" on the lantern looks really nice, and although the "glass" is really clear resin, it has been colored slightly to resemble the purplish tint you sometimes see in aged glass. I've only seen two others, which means the tap is very hard to find. I don't see a place for a label, so I suspect the tap is used for all varieties...I'm going to profile their flagship beer, Trainhopper IPA.

Click through to read more about Witch's Hat Brewing, their Trainhopper IPA, and to see more photos of their illuminating tap...

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tap Handle #631: Dogfish Head - Firefly Ale

Tap size:  13"
Rarity:  Special Event/Seasonal
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I was infatuated with this tap when I saw that it lights up. Upon receiving it, I was a little disappointed in the execution. The lights are motion activated, so if you are using the tap on a kegerator, when you pour your beer, the tap illuminates for about 15 seconds and looks beautiful. However, if you are displaying the tap on a fixed base on a shelf, you'll be disappointed by the fact that it will be impossible to light up the tap since it can only be illuminated through the motion sensor. I'm tempted to tear it apart to remove the motion sensor and put a switch in. The tap is solidly made...the base of the handle is steel and houses the battery compartment behind a magnetic plate. The shark and back piece are both made from acrylic, so the leds underneath cycle through shades of green and blue and illuminate the acrylic. I took the first set of photos with the tap unlit; the second set of photos are darker in an attempt to display the illumination feature. The last photo shows the battery compartment and special battery holder that fits into the compartment. Although the tap is limited due to its seasonal status, enough have been produced to make them readily available. This is the second Firefly Ale tap produced; the first featured a jar with fireflies inside, but did not light up and has been out of production for a few years now.

For more about Dogfish Head Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Dogfish Head's Firefly Ale and to see more photos of this illuminating tap...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tap Handle #630: Pabst - Kegatron

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  readily available
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Pabst has really been on a roll lately, cranking out tap handle designs as if they've finally discovered that collectors want them, but yet they still don't sell taps as merchandise! It's a puzzler for sure. Fortunately there are other means to obtain them, and I waited for a price drop before buying mine. Inspired by artwork from MälVy Clark Westbrook (see photo to right), there are lots of amazing details on this tap. Kegatron, as it is called, is transforming out of a Pabst beer keg. If you look closely, the top of the keg is the "neck" of Kegatron. Pabst decals appear in multiple places on the tap as well. They are easily found on the secondary market and although the initial price was high, it has since stabilized to a more reasonable level, more along the lines of the Pabst unicorn than the Octopabst.


Click through to see more photos of this transformative tap...


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tap Handle #629: Belfast Bay - Stone Crab IPA

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  50 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

It's been a long time since I profiled Belfast Bay's first tap, Lobster Ale...in fact you have to go all the way back to March of 2012 and profile #108! The previous tap featured a lobster claw, but this tap features the claw of a stone crab. It's a real beauty, too, with black pincers and orange-colored, segmented legs. The brewery name is a decal applied near the top of the claw, but the beer name is actually sculpted as raised lettering under the decal. Although it's a little on the small side, it is still very impressive. While the Lobster Ale tap continues to be produced, this tap was only available for a limited time and is now out of production and hard to find. It's been at least several months since I've seen one.

For more about Belfast Bay, see this post.

A stone crab, also known as a Florida stone crab, is definitely an unusual creature. With its Popeye-sized claws and tiny body, this six-inch crustacean folds up into a football in repose and bristles out into an irritable, spiky tank when its blood is up, like any other crab. But that’s not what’s special about it. The Florida stone crab a uniquely sustainable food animal. Found from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico, Florida stone crabs can only be legally harvested from October 15 to May 15. Fishermen go out in sturdy 45-foot boats with crews of three or four, and set down hundreds or thousands of traps on the rocky seabed 35 to 70 miles off of the coast, leaving shore before the sun rises and returning as it dips below the horizon, rain or shine. The traps, which are usually baited with pig’s feet, are smaller and more cube-like than lobster traps, and they’re made of milk-crate plastic instead of wood - natural predators, like octopuses, sea turtles, and big fish, will target trapped crabs, and can easily chew or claw through wood.

After a certain period, they return to the traps and haul them out. And that’s where the critical step takes place that makes the stone-crab industry uniquely sustainable. The key is popping off the claw while keeping the crab alive - the crab evolved the ability to regenerate its limbs over and over again so that it could sacrifice an extremity or two to escape from its enemies. The claws are then graded according to size, taken back to the docks, and boiled in a big vat, which turns the claws bright orange. By law it can't be shipped fresh, because it spoils too fast, so it is always first cooked and then chilled so that the meat will not stick to the shell; it can't be frozen, because the meat will be dry and stringy when defrosted. The crabs, meanwhile, take about a year to grow their claws back.

Click through to read more about Belfast Bay's Stone Crab IPA and to see more photos of this gripping tap...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tap Handle #628: Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery - Honeymoon Wheat Ale

Tap size:  13" tall by 4.25" deep
Rarity:  10 or less seen, beer retired, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I laughed out loud when I first saw photos of this tap. A bee wearing a pilot's cap and flying goggles is "mooning" a large, silver crescent moon while standing on one end of it. The moon has been given facial features, and is actually rolling its eyes at the juvenile action that the bee is performing. The color and detail of the tap are excellent. The size of the tap is impressive as well, standing at 13" tall and having a depth of 4.25". It has instantly become one of my favorite taps in the collection, especially since it is so rare - Blue Corn Cafe ordered very few of these, and it has been out of production for a long time. I've only seen two others, and they were both expensive at over $200 each.

For more about Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery, see this post.

Click through to read more about Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery's Honeymoon Wheat Ale and to see more photos of this revealing tap...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tap Handle #627: Guns & Oil - Maverick Lager

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, small scale, hand-made
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap from Guns & Oil Brewing is shaped like an oil derrick, and though it seems simple, an incredible amount of work went into making it. Each piece of metal must be cut, shaped, and welded in place. Then the top piece, which bears a label with the brewery's name and beer on it, is attached. Finally the base is attached and a hole is drilled in the bottom so that the mounting nut can be welded on. The overall effect is an incredible piece of metal artwork. Since the front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, I have reduced the number of photos taken. The tap has only appeared on the secondary market twice that I can recall.

Click through to read more about Guns & Oil Brewing, their Maverick Lager, and to see more photos of this elaborate tap...

Tap Handle Giveaway #7 Results - UPDATE

John has claimed his prize, so Tap Giveaway #7 is a wrap.
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I'd like to thank each of the 12 people who entered this month's giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

John P.

John has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. September is right around the corner, so if you've been trying to win don't give up! The tap in the next contest, like the Leinenkugal IPL in this month's contest, will be one that I haven't given away before, so make sure you check back for the chance to win a free tap!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tap Handle #626: Oasis - Tut Brown Ale

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, small scale
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Okay, I'll admit that of the many things I have professed to love in tap designs, Egyptian influence is one that has not previously come up. This obelisk from Oasis is the first to make the list based on its shape and the hieroglyphics on each side. In stark contrast to the hieroglyphics, the name of the brewery and beer, which appear on the sides, evoke more of an art deco look that you might find in a club in the 1920's and 30's. With the tap being made of ceramic rather than resin, all the lettering and images are decals that have been fired on. Since the front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, I reduced the number of photos taken. The tap dates back to the late 1990's period of the brewery, making it extremely hard to find despite Oasis being one of the largest brewpubs in the country during that time. These ceramic taps chipped easily and were often thrown away as a result. I've never seen another.

Click through to read more about Oasis Brewing, their Tut Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this iconic tap...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tap Giveaway #7 Announcement and Details

It's time to give away another tap handle. This will be the seventh contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)

This time I'm giving away a tap that you will not see profiled on the site for quite some time yet: Leinenkugal IPL. This is great, rustic-looking tap with signs nailed to a log (see photo to left). The tap is new and unused. I do have the original box but it has seen some wear, and the styrofoam inside the box has really taken a beating, though this does not affect the tap itself in any way. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on July 15th, so you have until August 14th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tap Handle #625: Maumee Bay - Major Oliver's Golden Lager

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, beer retired, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This was a tap that I missed out on the first time I saw it before I finally got my hands on one. It features a bust of Major William Oliver sitting on a pedestal. The brewery's name does not appear on the tap, but in their early days the Major Oliver's brand was associated with them since they were located in the historic Oliver House. There were a few different varieties of Major Oliver's beer, which is indicated by an area on the front of the tap where a label is applied. Since their Major Oliver's brand has been retired for a long time and little information is available on it, I have chosen to focus part of my write up on the legendary Buckeye Beer, which Maumee Bay produces. This tap is quite scarce - I've only seen two others and they both were close to $100.

Major William Oliver was an officer who fought at Fort Meigs during the War of 1812. Quite some time later, he commissioned Isaiah Rogers to design a hotel building with a main front overlooking a beautiful park with shade trees and private rooms that offered a view of the Maumee River, in an area known as the Middlegrounds. Famous for his palace hotel designs, Rogers also gained national recognition as Chief of the Bureau of Construction in the U.S. Treasury Department, a position appointed to him by President Lincoln. The grand opening dazzled citizens with its million and a quarter bricks that went into the construction and the 171 rooms each with its own fireplace, running water, and gas lighting. Beautiful furnishings such as rosewood chairs, a carved piano, and lace curtains decorated the interior of the Oliver House. Guests enjoyed all the finest luxuries, including an omnibus that transported travelers from the railroad station to the hotel. The menu was only of superior quality.

Unfortunately, by 1894 hotels began to move closer to the downtown area, while manufacturing began to move into the Middlegrounds. The economic and social pressures from industries surrounding the hotel eventually forced the Oliver House to be reduced to a common rooming house. In 1919, Edward N. Riddle bought the Oliver House and converted it into an industrial plant for the Riddle Co., manufacturers of lighting fixtures. The new plant required that the interior be totally gutted. The only remnants of the grand hotel were two ornamental marble mantels, some wallpaper, and a black walnut and ash floor in the lobby area. However, the company did not survive the Great Depression, and during that time it is said to have been used as a flophouse. In 1947 the Oliver House changed owners again. Used for industrial purposes once more, it housed an axle manufacturer called Toledo Wheel & Rim. Twenty years later, in 1967, Successful Sales Co. purchased the Oliver House, for show and storage of novelty items that the company sold, and the building was also occupied by various small businesses until its purchase by James and Patricia Appold. The Oliver House stands as the only remaining hotel designed by Isaiah Rogers.

The Oliver House served as a medical center for the wounded during the Spanish-American War and this historic hotel has a haunted reputation. Numerous apparitions have appeared to guests and diners over the years. The most common, is that of a soldier who has come to be known as “The Captain.” He is said to show up most frequently dressed in full uniform. Paranormal investigations and strange sightings there are common.

Click through to read more about Maumee Bay Brewing Company and to see more photos of this historic tap...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tap Handle Giveaway #6 Results - UPDATE

Bill has claimed his prize, so tap giveaway #6 is officially over.

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I'd like to thank each of the 13 people who entered this month's giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Bill S.

Bill has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. August is almost here, so another giveaway will be happening as soon as next week. The tap in the next contest, like the Seedy Blonde in this month's contest, will be one that I have not given away before, so make sure you check back soon for the chance to win!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tap Handle #624: Belching Beaver - Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  readily available
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The Belching Beaver tap amounts to a toy on a stick, but the beaver mascot at the top of the tap is such a goofy character, I'm willing to overlook any downside. Emerging from a round section of the tap that is surrounded by a white ring with the brewery's name in raised letters, this fuzzy fellow looks like he is unleashing the mother of all beaver belches. For added zaniness, his tail sticks straight up through the top of the tap. The rest of the tap is fairly nondescript, except for an oval area halfway down the base that allows the label of the beer variety to be placed. What's really unusual about my version is the two different labels, front and back, that are for the same beer but look different from each other. Otherwise, the tap is a mirror image front and back, so I reduced the number of photos taken. Over the past year, this tap has moved from being hard to find and expensive, to easy to find and affordable.

Click through to read more about Belching Beaver Brewery, their Peanut Butter Milk Stout, and to see more photos of this comical tap...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tap Handle Giveaway #6 Announcement and Details

I'll be back to posting regularly soon, thanks for your patience. In the meantime, it's time to give away another tap handle. This will be the sixth contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)

This time I'm giving away a tap that you will see profiled in a month or two: Redhook Seedy Blonde Apple Ale. This is really cool tap with a tree trunk carved into a feminine figure (see photo to left). A couple of apples and a Redhook sign have been strategically placed, and the initials "RH" (for Redhook) are "carved" into the trunk. This tap comes new in the box. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on July 30th, so you have until July 29th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tap Handle #623: Southern Star - Bombshell Blonde

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  50 or less seen
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Bomb-themed taps are becoming quite popular, with Rivertown's Hop Bomber and Sierra Nevada's Torpedo already appearing on the site. This is the third "bomb" to appear here, and it's a beauty, with a highly reflective silver paint job and a great "nose art" decal that features a woman riding a bomb, along with the name of the brewery and the beer variety. The ferrule is painted silver to match the rest of the tap. The Southern Star Bombshell Blonde tap is actually based on an earlier design produced by the brewery (see photo to right) which was made of metal; the brewery told me they discontinued the earlier version due to the high production costs involved. The front and back of the newer tap are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. This tap is very reasonably priced and easy to find.

Click through to read more about Southern Star Brewing, their Bombshell Blonde Ale, and to see more photos of this explosive tap...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tap Handle #622: Leinenkugel - Canoe Paddler

Tap size:  14.75"
Rarity:  seasonal
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Coming in at a whopping 14.75" tall, the Canoe Paddler is one of the tallest taps in the collection. Featuring the familiar Leinenkugel canoe design, at the top of the tap is a figure in fishing/outdoor gear holding a paddle. This figure has no facial details and is roughly shaped, giving the impression that it is made of carved wood. The canoe is white with thin, dark marks across the surface that resembles birch wood. This is probably my favorite Leinenkugel tap. Even though the beer was a seasonal offering that appears to be available only in bottles now, the tap is still easy to find and very affordable.

For more about Leinenkugel, see this post.

Click through to read more about Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler and to see more photos of this adventurous tap...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Tap Handle #621: Applebee's (Leinenkugel) - Brawlin' Badger Lager

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  10 or less, small scale, beer retired, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I would say this tap qualifies as a "toy on a stick", but it's still a great tap. The badger head is mounted to the front surface like a game room trophy, and with the detailed fur and teeth sculpting, as well as the beady little black eyes, it is realistic, intriguing, and creepy all at the same time. One curious features is the name of the beer on the handle...instead of displaying "Brawling", it is instead a "B.", which is very strange. The full name of the beer does appear above the badger's head. Below the badger's head are the words "Wisconsin's Genuine". The tap is identical front and back, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. Brawlin' Badger was brewed under contract by Leinenkugel as a house beer for Applebee's restaurants in Wisconsin, and is an obvious tie-in to the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Since this was only brewed for a brief time in a limited distribution area, and not many were produced, the tap is very hard to find - I have only seen one other.

Click through to read more about Applebee's Brawlin Badger Lager and to see more photos of this ferocious tap...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Taking a Break

Hi everyone!

I'd just like to announce I'm taking a break for a few weeks in order to attend to some personal business. I may find time to post here and there, but for the most part I need to focus on other things. When I return I'll ramp up the profiles to pre-hiatus levels and announce another tap giveaway.

Have a good 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tap Handle #620: Anheuser-Busch - Shock Top Spiced Banana Wheat

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  limited release
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is the eighth Shock Top tap to appear on the site, and it's one of the best to date. The Shock Top character sports the familiar striped mohawk, but in this case it sits on a head that is a peeled banana. Sliced pieces of banana sit around stalks of wheat, while bunches of whole bananas make up the base of the tap. It's a very creative and great-looking tap. Although Spiced Banana Wheat a limited release, the tap isn't too rare - you can usually find one on the secondary market - but this is probably one the most expensive Shock Top taps (behind the End of the World Midnight Wheat and the Pretzel Wheat).

For more about Shock Top, see this post.

Click through to read more about Shock Top Spiced Banana Wheat and to see more photos of this revealing tap...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tap Handle #619: Titletown - Sno-Cap Root Beer

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  custom blue anodized ferrule

The awesome people at Titletown Brewing have helped bring Clyde the Penguin to the Museum. Titletown makes Sno-Cap Root Beer, and this is the tap that is used for Sno-Cap, which features Clyde at the top. Clyde is the mascot for Titletown's root beer. Named after Grandma Gladys' husband, Clyde, this cheerful penguin represents the cool, fresh, flavor sensation that you will experience when you drink Sno-Cap Root Beer. This tap is so colorful and amazingly detailed that it has instantly become one of my favorites. Clyde, wrapped in a red scarf and holding a mug that presumably contains Sno-Cap Root Beer, stands on a ice-covered barrel that has the name of the root beer prominently displayed on the sign. One of the bands of the barrel says "Made in Green Bay". The barrel sits on a column of ice that appears to have had some airbrushing, which delivers a vivid spectrum of purple, white, and light blue hues. The dark blue metallic ferrule is a beautiful compliment to the purple and light blue colors above it. I've only seen one other Sno-Cap tap beside this one, and it sold for a very expensive price on the secondary market.

For more about Titletown Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Grandma Gladys and Sno-Cap Root Beer, and to see more photos of this cool tap...