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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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Museum Turns 7 Years Old, Part 3: Top 10 Taps Acquired This Year

Although my number of acquisitions were at an all-time low for the Museum this year, I loved the quality of the taps I acquired, and I thought it would be great to share these taps with my readers when you wouldn't see them otherwise for years. I've already profiled many great new acquisitions this past year, such as River Mile 38, Down the Road, Narrows, Sterling Pig, Swilled Dog, Eastern Shore, Snake Bite, Outer Light, Queen City, Andrews, Next Level, and multiple Parallel 49 taps. Since those taps have already appeared on the site, in this post I'm going to focus on taps that have not been profiled yet. Click through to see the taps, which have been presented in no particular order...

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Museum Turns 7 Years Old, Part 2: 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, Year 5, and Year 7. Since fewer taps were profiled in Year 6, only the top 10 will be ranked for that year. 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 this go-around, there was quite a bit of movement, even for the early years, that I found surprising, although some taps are only separated by 2-3 page views. Also, one of the top taps from a previous year, Mellow Mushroom's Bogart, lost its spot, which was very surprising given that the collector's club recently selected that tap as their choice for the #1 tap.

Click through to see the lists..

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Museum Turns 7 Years Old, Part 1: Summary and Statistics

At this time time of year, every year, I like to write anniversary posts to celebrate the founding of the Museum and this blog. This first post takes a brief look at the past year and what I hope to accomplish over the next year, plus site statistics.

Click through to

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Tap Handle #706: Manrock

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity: less than 10 seen, fragile, small scale
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Manrock Brewing's tap is cool yet creepy, featuring the Grim Reaper wielding a scythe in one hand, while the other reaches around a tombstone to hold a frosty mug of beer. It's almost as if he's saying "Don't fear the reaper, because he likes beer too!" (Sorry, I couldn't resist throwing the Blue Oyster Cult reference in there.) At the top of the headstone is the "RIP" abbreviation, while at the bottom is the name of the brewery. The Grim Reaper undercurrent is thanks to owner Mike Hiebner's heritage...the inspiration came in part from a scythe hanging in his dad’s wood shop, and Mike's family has had a longtime, playful fascination with the character, which shows up on some of the label’s packaging and especially in many of the beer names. I've chosen to profile their Apocalyptic Double IPA. Due to several sharp corners and edges, this tap is subject to damage along those edges. It is also quite rare, with very few appearing on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Manrock Brewing Company, their Apocalyptic Double IPA, and to see more photos of this foreboding tap...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tap Handle #705: Next Level

Tap size:  12.5"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting: small 3/8" ferrule with set screw

I was excited when the wonderful people at Next Level Brewing hooked up the Museum with one of their taps, despite being located halfway around the world from me. They describe this tap as "a curious pirate kraken that symbolizes their focus on independent taste off the mainstream." It's fair to say this absolutely gorgeous tap is also one of the most colorful I've ever seen. The colors transition from a light blue to purple then red, in what looks like an airbrush effect. Even the one good eye shows a great attention to detail. The brewery's name is on the bottom, and there's room to place a label or write the name of a beer variety. I have chosen to profile their award-winning Lemon Thyme Gose.

Click through to read more about Next Level Brewing, their Lemon Thyme Gose, and to see more photos of this spirited tap...

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tap Handle #704: Parallel 49 - Filthy Dirty

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Filthy Dirty is the final entry in the series of posts I have done this past week spotlighting the incredible taps of Parallel 49 Brewing. It features a pig dressed in gear that appears to cement his self-made status as a "playa", from the cap and vest, rolled up pant legs and bands on the wrists, to the gold chain with Parallel 49 medallion around the character's neck. As with the other Parallel 49 taps, this one has rarely appeared on the secondary markey and commands a very high price when it does.

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49 Brewing's Filthy Dirty IPA and to see more photos of this barnyard tap...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Tap Handle #703: Parallel 49 - Jerkface 9000

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Jerkface 9000 is full of disagreeable character and is kind of creepy looking with his clown-like red hair, bulging eyes, grinning teeth, suspenders and bowtie, with his left thumb pointing at his chest. It is probably my third favorite Parallel 49 tap behind Schadenfreude and Gypsy Tears. I had to know where the name Jerkface 9000 came from, and what the inspiration for this crazy character was. As I did with the Schadenfreude tap, I turned to Steve Kitchen of Combination 13, who is the artist and designer of all of Parallel 49's labels, characters and taps. Steve provided the following response to my questions:

"Jerkface 9000 was derived from insults thrown around the brewery circa 2013...any insult with ‘9000' added was deemed too powerful to retort to, just so much extra. For the Jerkface artwork I tried to draw the most obnoxious looking guy I could think of."

In that context, there is nothing that can top a Jerkface when it is a Jerkface 9000! Many thanks to Steve for graciously answering my questions.

Like other Parallel 49 taps, this has rarely hit the secondary market and has commanded prices of $300+ when it does. I never thought I'd own one, and I'm incredibly thrilled to add it to the Museum's collection.

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49's Jerkface 9000 Northwest Wheat Ale and to see more photos of this insufferable tap...

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Tap Handle #702: Parallel 49 - Seedspitter

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Parallel 49 Seedspitter character is pretty strange. Water melon seed spitting contests happen across the U.S., and there's even a national event in New Orleans. That, however, involves spitting single seeds. This guy has an entire watermelon slice in his mouth and to me, he kind of invokes images of a freak show at a circus. I'm not sure why he has the whole slice in his mouth, but based on previous feedback from Steve Kitchen's designs, it's likely just a feature to make the character look more goofy. With his collared red shirt, black vest, and cowlick, this guy does look like a professional seed spitter. Similar to other Parallel 49 taps, this has rarely hit the secondary market and has commanded prices of $300+ when it does. It's yet another Parallel 49 tap that I'm excited to have and display.

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49 Brewing's Seedspitter Watermelon Wit and to see more photos of this freakish tap...

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tap Handle #701: Parallel 49 - Ugly Sweater

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Ugly Sweater features a homely looking guy wearing what the brewery describes as "a sweater only Grandma would love." He is giving a thumbs up with his right hand, and his left hand is behind his back with his fingers crossed. It is the first Parallel 49 tap that had me guessing about what some of the design features mean. To help satiate my thirst for solving the mystery, the brewery directed me to Steve Kitchen of Combination 13, who is the artist and designer of all of Parallel 49's labels, characters and taps. Mainly I wanted to know why the character's fingers are crossed and what exactly the white figure on the front of the sweater is. Steve's response was:

"Originally when I drew the Ugly Sweater character for the label, I put his hand behind his back and thought nothing more of it. When it came to the tap handle designs later, I decided to cross his fingers just to generate more ’character’ and keep people really doesn’t have any meaning beyond that and emphasizing his goofiness. On the front of the sweater it’s an ugly design of a Sasquatch in a snowy forest."

Many thanks to Steve for providing this insight behind the tap design!

Like other Parallel 49 taps, this has rarely hit the secondary market and has commanded prices of $300+ when it does. It's another Parallel 49 tap that I'm excited to have & display.

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49's Ugly Sweater Milk Stout and to see more photos of this fool-headed tap...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tap Handle #700: Parallel 49 - Schadenfreude

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

For tap profile #700, I wanted to present something special as I have in the past for tap profiles #600, #500, etc., as those numbers represent a significant milestone. Of all the Parallel 49 taps produced to date, this one is by far my favorite. Many thanks to my club members and the folks at Parallel 49 for helping me get the complete series of the brewery's taps into the Museum. Schadenfreude is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. Perhaps this fellow, chosen for his association with fall (since the beer is a fall seasonal), is grinning at my troubles or failures? If he is, I can live with that, because this tap is simply amazing. It features a pumpkin head scarecrow with glowing orange eyes, lederhosen and Oktoberfest cap, and even has a little owl perched next to him. The pumpkin head reminds me a little of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas movie. The scarecrow is attached to a wood post; in fact, there is a nail head on the back of the post that gives the impression that he has been nailed to it. The colors and sculpting of the tap are truly outstanding, and the beer it represents sounds delicious. Historically this tap has sold on the secondary market in limited numbers and for huge sums - typically over $300. I'm thrilled to have one!

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49 Brewing's Schadenfreude and to see more photos of this frightfully beautiful tap...

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tap Handle #699: Andrews Brewing Company

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I love this tap because of the nostalgic feel it has. The lettering of the name of the brewery, along with the color, reminds me of old motel signs or diner signs with that distinctive 1950s-1960s look that you can still find in many towns across America. The woman at the top, with her hair pulled back and wearing a one piece brown bathing suit, also evokes that feeling of nostalgia. The tap does not have labels but instead is used for all of the brewery's beer varieties, so I have chosen to profile their Leatherwood Red. As a nanobrewery with little to no distribution, these taps were not made in great numbers so they are not easy to find unless you know where to look. The price has been fairly inexpensive on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Andrews Brewing and to see more photos of this classic tap...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tap Handle #698: Queen City Brewing of Cincinnati

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

This tap first appeared on this site back in July as Ohio Tap #4, posted by Associate Editor Shawn. The brewery agreed to sell me a tap of my own in exchange for a more detailed write up, and I couldn't refuse since I really wanted one. As Shawn pointed out, the tap is modeled after the Tyler Davidson Fountain, found in Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The iconic statue is a symbol that is often used to represent the city, as Shawn also points out. The tap itself features "The Genius of Water", a female of heroic size, while the base is modeled loosely after the fountain's pedestal, with its interlaced vines and foliage. The front and back of the tap are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. In a curious bit of marketing, the brewery's name does not appear on the tap, and there are no labels for the base. When I asked the brewery about this, they said they they simply write the name of the beers on the base in chalk. I suspect that the tap is iconic enough that they were free of any worry about its association with their brand. The tap can be found inexpensively if you know where to look, which is a good thing, because on the secondary market it was selling for well over $100.

The Tyler Davidson Fountain is one of Cincinnati's most-visited attractions. After the death of his brother-in-law and business partner Tyler Davidson, Cincinnati businessman Henry Probasco went to Munich, Germany in search of a suitable memorial to him. Many years before, artist August von Kreling had designed a fountain to rival the great fountains of Europe but which would glorify mankind rather than fanciful creatures and mythic deities. When Miller could find no patron to sponsor the fountain, the designs languished until Probasco came to him with an interest in a similar theme. Probasco requested the addition of four figures with animals that would act as drinking fountains, which Miller's sons Ferdinand and Fritz designed. The fountain was cast in separate sections at the foundry and shipped to Cincinnati for assembly. Miller traveled to Cincinnati for the dedication ceremony, which took place on October 6, 1871, and it is estimated that 20,000 people were present. The 43-foot-tall fountain is cast in bronze and sits on a green granite base, on which appears the inscription "To the People of Cincinnati". The pedestal is square with bas reliefs of four principal uses of water: steam, power, navigation, and fisheries. Around the pedestal are interlaced vines and foliage and four figural scenes: a workman on a burning roof; a farmer standing in a field during a drought; a young girl offering water to an old man with crutches; and a mother leading her boy to the bath. Four outer figures with animals are actual drinking fountains and represent the pleasures of water using the figures of boys: one riding a dolphin, another playing with ducks, a third struggling with a snake and the fourth on the back of a turtle. The fountain square is surrounded by stores, hotels, restaurants and offices. The fountain itself is turned off during winter and turned on again in spring. It originally faced east, toward Europe, where much of Cincinnati's population originated, but when Fountain Square was redone in the late 1960s, the fountain was realigned to face west. Additional repairs and another refurbishing project was undertaken in 1999. In 2005, as part of Fountain Square's revitalization, the city decided to move the entire fountain to the center of the square. It is most familiar to non-residents for being featured in the opening credits of the television series WKRP in Cincinnati. It can also be seen in the opening narration for the paranormal investigation series Ghost Adventures.

Click through to read more about Queen City Brewing of Cincinnati and to see more photos of their inspired tap...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tap Handle #697: Outer Light - SUBduction IPA

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

Submarine taps make excellent tap handles...they just fit in the palm perfectly when pouring beer. This submarine tap from Outer Light doesn't have a lot of detail, but it doesn't need it - it's just a very solid tap with a profile that is unmistakably a submarine. The brewery's name appears on both sides of the tap as well as the bottom, while the beer name (a play on words between a submarine and a geological subduction) is featured on the two sides. It's kind of cool that if you hold the tap right side up, the beer name appears upside down. The blue and green color scheme is a new design; a previous version of the tap, which will appear here in the museum at a later date, features a red and black color scheme. This newer design seems to be scarce at the time of this entry, as I have not seen another.

Subduction is a geological process that takes place at convergent boundaries of tectonic plates where one plate moves under another and is forced or sinks due to gravity into the mantle. Regions where this process occurs are known as subduction zones. Rates of subduction are typically in centimeters per year, with the average rate of convergence being approximately two to eight centimeters per year along most plate boundaries. Subduction zones are sites that usually have a high rate of volcanism and earthquakes.

Click through to read more about Outer Light Brewing Company, their SUBduction IPA, and to see more photos of this slick tap...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tap Handle #696: W.G. Barr Beverage Company - T.W. Pitchers' Snake Bite

Size:  11.75"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

My camera has been fixed and I'm excited to present this Snake Bite tap that's been waiting to be profiled for quite awhile now. This has to be one of the best snake-themed taps ever produced. The detail on the snake is amazing. It is wrapped around a branch that has an apple on top, which represents the fact that Snake Bite has apple cider blended with lager. And check out the fang marks on the apple! A large gear-shaped sign has the name T.W. Pitchers', as well as the name "Snake Bite" and the words "a refreshing blend of lager & crisp apple cider".  This tap doesn't appear on the secondary market very often, and when it does it commands a high price.

Click through to read more about T.W. Pitchers' and W.G. Barr Beverage Company, their Snake Bite brew, and to see more photos of this wicked tap...

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ohio Tap #5 - 2 Tones Brewing

2 Tones Brewing

2 Tones Brewing tap handle uses elements of the brewing process - barley and hops - as the main focal point of the tap handle. The diamond shape centerpiece allows for the handle to be interchangeable among the various beers the brewery distributes. This particular handle sticker is for the Round Town Pumpkin Ale - which has ties back to the brewery owners. 

Click through to read more about 2 Tones Brewing and Round Town Pumpkin Ale... 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Update 7-22-18

There should be more museum posts in about a week or two. After a long, long vacation, I'm ready to get back to work, but my camera lens died and I've ordered another, which should be here on Monday. Apparently one of the chips in the old lens malfunctioned - I didn't know they could do that!

So stay tuned for some great upcoming posts featuring T.W. Pitchers Snake Bite, Outer Limit Subduction, and other great taps, plus more posts from Associate Editor Shawn...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Ohio Tap #4 - Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati

Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati Tap Handle
Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati started pouring craft beer in 2016, but their tap handle is a replica of the city of Cincinnati's most iconic symbol, which has been around since 1871. 

Click through to read more about Queen City Brewery and the fountain it is modeled after...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tap Handle #695: Eastern Shore Brewing

Tap size: 11"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This nautical themed tap was acquired thanks to a club member's efforts. There is a crab at the top of the tap sitting on top of hops and wheat stalks, while another crab at the bottom reaches up to grab a hanging hop. More hops and wheat stalks appear in other places on the tap. In the center is a place for a round label; I received multiple labels and have chosen to profile Eastern Shore's Situation Critical IPA. The front and back of the tap are reverse images of each other, lending a slightly different look to when viewed from each side, so I have taken a full amount of photos. A few of these taps have appeared on the secondary market, but the supply has been dwindling, and the price has been close to or over $100 in each case.

Click through to read more about Eastern Shore Brewing and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tap Handle #694: Swilled Dog Hard Cider

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

One of my collector's club members helped me acquire this tap. I had a great conversation with Brooke Glover, Swilled Dog's Director of Sales the Marketing, about the design of the tap. There are many great features to be found on this tap, with the most prominent being the border collie laying under the apple tree which forms the main basis of the tap. The border collie's name is Lucy Pickles, and she is the cidery's mascot, representing the other dogs that the Glovers have, as well as their support of pet shelters. As the owner of two Australian Shepherds, I absolutely love this aspect of the tap. Below Lucy Pickles is a place for a round label (or a place to write a variety), and at the bottom is an apple core. Looking closely you can spot that the seeds are shaped like the state of West Virginia. At the top of the tap is the cidery's name on a big sign among the apples on the tree. It's a beautiful tap and I loved adding it to the collection.

Click through to read more about Swilled Dog Hard Cider and to see more photos of this sweet tap...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tap Handle #693: Tyranena - Bitter Woman

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

There's not much to say about this "toy on a stick" tap. It features a very detailed head of a bitter old woman, who appears to have just finished sucking on a lemon. Below that is a label with the brewery's name and location, as well as the words "Legendary Wisconsin Beer". On the shaft, both front and back, is the name of the beer, while the sides have a decal with the name of the brewery. Price was a factor in my acquisition of this tap, because I usually don't go for toy on a stick types; however, not many of these are found on the secondary market and the price is very high for this style of tap.

For more about Tyranena Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Tyranena's Bitter Woman IPA and to see more photos of this indignant tap...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tap Handle #692: Iron City - I.C. Light Pittsburgh Pirates

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  less than 50 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I don't normally acquire and profile sports taps, but this Iron City Light Pirate tap is fantastic and I couldn't pass it up for a very affordable price. Since Iron City Brewing was based in Pittsburgh, it only makes sense that they would create a few taps representing the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, and this is my favorite of all the taps they have produced to date. The pirate head at the top, sporting a bandanna, eye patch, gold earring, and two bats behind it representing crossbones, is modeled after the team's alternate logo (see image at upper right). The pirate head sits on top of a round black base with the name of the beer on it; that base rests on a baseball with the team's primary logo on it, and in turn the baseball is on top of a bat. The beer name appears once again, this time on the shaft of the bat. Although the tap is a little on the small side, the detail is still very impressive. The price of this tap fluctuates wildly on the secondary market, with prices occasionally hitting well over $100.

For more about Iron City Brewing, see this post.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The Pirates play their home games at PNC Park; the team previously played at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium. Founded on October 15, 1881 as Allegheny, the franchise has won five World Series championships. The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or the "Buccos" (derived from buccaneer, a synonym for pirate).

The franchise was competitive from its early years, winning three NL titles from 1901 to 1903, playing in the inaugural World Series in 1903 and winning their first World Series in 1909 behind Honus Wagner. The Pirates have had many ups and downs during their long history, most famously winning the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees on a game-winning walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski, the only time that Game 7 of the World Series has ever ended with a home run. They also won the 1971 World Series, led by the talent of Roberto Clemente, and the 1979 World Series under the slogan "We Are Family", led by "Pops" Willie Stargell.

After a run of regular-season success in the early 1990s (winning three straight East Division titles), the Pirates struggled mightily over the following 20 years, with 20 consecutive losing seasons from 1993 to 2012—the longest such streak in North American professional sports history. Despite having some notable fans including former part-owner Bing Crosby, Michael Keaton, Regis Philbin and Kermit The Frog, the Pirates are considered by most to be a distant third in Pittsburgh behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins in popularity among Pittsburgh's three major professional sports teams.

Pittsburgh Pirate information and logo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Click through to read more about I.C. Light and to see more photos of this implacable tap...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Tap Handle #691: Florida Beer Company - Key West Sunset Ale

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

There is very little documentation to be found, at least on the Internet, about the Key West Brewing Company. Acquired by Ybor City Brewery a few years before they in turn were acquired by Florida Beer Company, Key West Brewing remains an enigma. The earliest I recall seeing this tap on the secondary market is 2007, which places its production firmly a couple of years after Florida Beer acquired Ybor City, and that means the tap itself has no direct tie to the original brewery. Yet this Sunset Ale, as well as Southernmost Wheat (the tap of which will be profiled here in the Museum in the distant future), are two Key West brews still being produced today, which is why you can still easily find and acquire this tap. It features a conch shell on top of a pier footing, with rope and metal bands wrapped around the top and bottom of the tap, though it is not real rope or metal. The former brewery's name, now a brand, appears as raised letters along the footing. At the top is a place for a label. I have seen several different colored Sunset Ale labels, and one version of the tap actually has the beer name sculpted in raised letters in place of a label. As I stated above, this is a fairly easy tap to find, and it is inexpensive, but it is hard to find them without damage...especially the points of the conch shell, which are fragile and prone to breaking off. Fun fact: Key West is also known as the "Conch Republic", which explains why a conch shell is found on the top of the tap.

For more about Florida Beer Company, see this post.

Click through to read more about Florida Beer Company's Sunset Ale and to see more photos of this vibrant tap...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tap Handle #690 - Sterling Pig

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

I had once seen a photo of the Sterling Pig tap and thought it was very unique, and then I didn't see another...until now. Imagine my surprise when a Museum Collector's Club member talked the brewery into donating one to the Museum! It turns out Sterling Pig was very enthusiastic about getting their tap and brewery profiled, and I was happy to oblige them. The tap itself is absolutely gorgeous, featuring the image of a pig with either polished metal or plated chrome used to create a sterling silver look and feel. The tap has a solid weight to it and reflects light brightly. A chalkboard strip down the front allows the beer name to be written on it, and the brewery's name and logo appear as a sign on the front and back of the the tap near the bottom. As I mentioned above, I have only seen 1 or 2 of these taps on the secondary market, and they commanded a fairly high price. If you do manage to acquire one, make sure you wipe it down very well before displaying it, as the sodium on your hands and fingers will leave prints and tarnish (and possibly corrode) the metal over time.

Click through to read more about Sterling Pig Brewing, their The Snuffler IPA, and to see more photos of this "sterling" tap...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tap Handle #689: Narrows Brewing

Tap size: 13"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Original Narrows Tap
I was able to track this tap down thanks to a lead from one of the Museum's club members. The old Narrows tap (see photo to right) was made of metal and produced by a local machine shop. This newer tap is very similar, except it is made of resin and features a Giant Pacific octopus taking over the bridge. The octopus is a brilliant feature and shows how just a little extra creativity can make a tap a real conversation piece that draws attention. According to local legend, a 600 pound octopus lives under the Narrows Bridge, providing inspiration for the tap design. Although "King Octopus" is an urban legend, divers often do see large ones that rest in the rapid tides below the Narrows. At the top of the tap is a hexagon shape that features a sticker with the initials NB (for Narrows Brewing). This sticker is highly reflective and was difficult to photograph. Below the octopus is a small, flat area where a beer variety label can be attached. I've chosen to profile the brewery's Giant Pacific Octopus IPA, as it seems very appropriate for this tap. On each side of the tap are raised letters with the brewery's name, although they are partially obscured by octopus arms. Grooves and tiny rivets, along with texturing of the bridge surface, are other fine details found on the tap. The octopus itself is quite detailed, with eyes, a bulbous head, and arms with suckers. For now I'll classify this tap as scarce since I haven't seen one on the secondary market.

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a pair of twin suspension bridges that span the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound in Pierce County, Washington. The bridges connect the city of Tacoma with the Kitsap Peninsula. The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on July 1, 1940 and was nicknamed "Galloping Gertie" because of the vertical movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy conditions. The bridge became known for its pitching deck, and collapsed into Puget Sound the morning of November 7, 1940, under high wind conditions (see video above). Engineering issues, as well as the United States' involvement in World War II, postponed plans to replace the bridge for several years; the replacement bridge was opened on October 14, 1950. By 1990, population growth and development on the Kitsap Peninsula caused traffic on the bridge to exceed its design capacity; as a result, in 1998 Washington voters approved a measure to support building a parallel bridge. The new bridge opened to carry eastbound traffic on July 15, 2007, while the 1950 bridge was reconfigured to carry westbound traffic. At the time of their construction, both the 1940 and 1950 bridges were the third-longest suspension bridges in the world in terms of main span length, behind the Golden Gate Bridge and George Washington Bridge. Currently the 1950 and 2007 bridges are the fifth-longest suspension bridge spans in the United States and the 43rd-longest in the world.

View of the Narrows Bridge from the brewery

The Giant Pacific octopus is a large marine cephalopod. It lives in the coastal North Pacific, along California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, Russia, northern Japan, and Korea. It can be found down to 6,600 feet. It is arguably the largest octopus species, based on a record 156 pound individual. The octopus has eight arms, each of which has two rows of suckers. Many of the suckers are lined with hooks for adhesion. The web between the arms can be expanded to form a parachute-like structure to capture prey. In the center of the arms is a mouth, containing beak and radula (toothed-tongue). Using a siphon, they are able to eject water to reach speeds up to 25 mph. They tend to use their arms as legs, and slowly crawl along the bottom. The siphon is also used to expel ink for escaping predators. The entire body of the octopus is compressible, so they are able to fit through any opening slightly bigger than the size of their beaks. Octopuses are cool-blooded, and have three hearts and blue, copper-based blood. An octopus can change the color of its skin and alter its skin texture, giving it the ability to blend into the environment. It preys upon shrimp, crabs, scallop, abalone, clams, lobsters, and fish, while marine mammals such as harbor seals, sea otters, and sperm whales depend upon the Giant Pacific octopus as a source of food. It is considered to be long-lived compared to other species, with lifespans typically 3-5 years in the wild. Octopuses are ranked as the most intelligent invertebrates, and can recognize humans that they frequently come in contact with. They have the ability to solve simple puzzles, open childproof bottles, and have been known to open tank valves and disassemble expensive equipment in aquariums.

Narrows Bridge and Giant Pacific octopus info courtesy of Wikipedia.

Click through to read more about Narrows Brewing, their Giant Pacific Octopus IPA, and to see more photos of this wondrous tap...

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tap Handle #688: Down The Road Beer Company

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I really love the whimsical design of this tap. It reminds me a lot of the Parallel 49 taps, as well as the Mellow Mushroom Bogart tap and some of the North Country taps. A couple of fantasy-inspired characters, one of which is almost certainly a Pukwudgie (the middle character), and also a blond girl, can be found amidst the pile of hops that stretch from top to bottom. At the top is the name of the brewery, and at the bottom, on top of a mushroom-like base, is a place to put a label for the beer variety. I've chosen to profile Down The Road's Pukwudgie American Pale Ale, since it was their first beer brewed and the character can be found in the tap design. The tap is gorgeously detailed, and to my knowledge, I've not seen one on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Down The Road Beer Company, their Pukwudgie American Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this fantastic tap...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tap Handle #687: Fox River - Electric Streetcar Oatmeal Stout

Tap size:  12.75"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" inch ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

In the early days of the Museum, this tap was high on my wishlist. I was elated when I got my hands on this one. It features a fox standing on its hind legs in some ice on top of a keg. In one foreleg the fox is holding a beer with the words "Fox River" on it. On the keg is a decal with the brewery's name, as well as the beer name. The tap dates to the late 1990s or early 2000s, and one reason I was excited to grab this particular one is the name of the beer. Electric Streetcar Oatmeal Stout was an early beer that was renamed to Trolleycar Stout. The name pays homage to Appleton, Wisconsin, which was the first community in the nation to utilize electric streetcars in 1886. The tap does not appear on the secondary market very often, and when it does it commands a very steep price.

Click through to read more about Fox River Brewing, their Electric Streetcar Oatmeal Stout, and to see more photos of this majestic tap...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Visit to River Mile 38

After discovering the River Mile 38 tap from another collector, and finding out that the brewery was less than 2 hours away, I decided to pay the brewery a visit and to see if I could obtain more taps for some of the Museum's club members. After an uneventful drive in decent weather (for winter), Museum artist Kelly, his girlfriend Lori, and myself arrived at the brewery. I had spoken on the phone with Richard, one of the founding partners, and let him know ahead of time that we were coming. Despite the fact that we arrived 30 minutes before opening time on Saturday, Richard invited us in to talk about the brewery and its history.

As we talked about the history of the brewery, Richard gave me a tour inside. The bar sits to the left as you walk through the door. Ahead is a wall full of merchandise. Past the bar are several tables, with a large roll up door on the right and the brewing equipment on the left. On the wall behind the brewing equipment is a final piece of memorabilia that reflects the brewery's previous incarnation as Drop Anchor Brewing. Behind the bar is the cash register, canning machine, and the taps and tap list. Next to that is the cold storage room.

In my profile post about River Mile 38, I talked about the brewery's expansion that occurred not long after opening. Richard showed me the outdoor seating area that was built during the expansion. On a warm day the roll up door is raised and the outdoor seating area is utilized, offering a beautiful view of the nearby marina.

We moved to the bar once the brewery officially opened and Richard said I needed to try one of each of their beers. So they delivered flights to the three of us to try. My personal favorite was the Scarlet Peach Ale, named after the brewery's iconic mermaid. Light with a hint of peaches, this is an easy drinking beer perfect for a sunny day on the water or just enjoying the view. The Drop Dead Irish Red was probably my choice for runner up. The Scotch Ale, Foglifter, was also great and had me convinced that I needed to bring my dad to the brewery, as Scotch ales are one of his favorites. Hard Over Hefeweizen and Broken Hose Amber continued the run of excellent beers. I am not the biggest porter fan but the Provocative Porter had a nice smoky flavor. The Barleywine was unusual as it used an IPA instead of a stout. I finished with a taste of Tieton Ciderworks Hard Cherry Cider, which was tart and delicious. The brewery keeps the cider on tap as they are a fellow client of River Mile 38's distributor. Although I didn't try any, Kelly said the brewery's Rolly's Root Beer was excellent.

As I began to set up the purchase of taps, Richard asked if I wanted to take some beer home. It turns out the brewery has a canning tool that allows them to can tall boys and attach a label to them. I ordered 2 cans of the Scarlet Peach and 1 can of Capsize Imperial IPA for a friend. I watched as Richard demonstrated the canning process. Two Scarlets to take home!

I greatly enjoyed my visit to the brewery. Richard was a gracious host, and Marissa and Kaelee did a great job serving up drinks and taking care of us. I'm looking forward to making a return trip soon just to try their Blood Orange Wheat Beer called "PEELED", featuring a special blend of hops (Palisade, Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra and Loral) and served with a blood orange slice.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Tap Handle #686: River Mile 38 - Broken Hose Amber

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

It's no secret that I like mermaids. This is the sixth mermaid tap to enter the museum, and there are a couple more waiting in the wings. What makes this one special is that I actually visited the brewery and met the great people that run it (which will be the subject of an upcoming post). The fine people at River Mile 38 (RM38) have named their mermaid Scarlet, and this red-headed mermaid sits atop sculpted waves, holding a beer with one outstretched hand. RM38 appears on the base just under Scarlet, and below that on both the front and the back is a large signage area where a label can be placed. Photos don't do this tap justice...Scarlet is a real beauty. RM38 is a small brewery with a limited distribution area, so these taps are pretty scarce, and I've never seen one on the secondary market.

According to brewery legend, Scarlet's story is as follows:

“If we’re to believe local folklore, mermaids once inhabited the cool, clear water of the Columbia River in the 1700’s. Captain Ankor Drag was sailing his Norse herring boat up the Columbia from the Pacific and was almost over-turned by a storm of epic proportions. He ordered to drop anchor in the sheltered area that is now known to be Wahkiakum Country Marina. After 9 hours of raging winds, driving rain, and 5 foot swells the storm passed and Captain Drag ordered “UP ANCHOR!”

As his shipmen were struggling to pull up the anchor they noticed a colorful shiny glow. As the anchor broke water, attached to it, was an alluring, bewitching mer-maiden, who told the tale of protecting their vessel all night.

The sailors were so grateful, they left her with a barrel of grog – and a smile on her beautiful face – as they raised their glasses and returned to the open water…”

Click through to read more about River Mile 38 Brewing, their Broken Hose Amber, and to see more photos of this alluring tap...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tap Handle #685: Cerveza Pacifico Clara - Guy Harvey

Tap Size:  12.25"
Rarity:  limited edition tap, fragile
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Pacifico's Guy Harvey tap has to be one of the most beautiful taps ever made. It is ceramic, meaning all the paint colors have been fired on, along with the finish, so they won't peel or flake off. Featuring the familiar Pacifico life preserver at the top, below that a small green-gold fish and 2 marlins swim within blue and white waves that make up the shaft. At the bottom and on the sides, a yellow base extends down, with a Guy Harvey sign attached to the front and back, and Pacifico decals placed on the sides. Since it is ceramic, it is quite fragile, and many of these taps exhibit cracks or broken marlin snouts due to heavy use or carelessness. The front and back are reverse images of each other, so I have taken a full set of photos. Produced for a limited time in 2015 when Pacifico made a donation to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation for each purchase of Pacifico on draft, it is now hard to find, and sells for well over $100 on the secondary market.

Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. His childhood passion for the ocean and its living creatures not only inspired him to draw, but fueled a burning interest that prompted a formal education in marine science. Guy has continued his relentless pursuit to unravel the mysteries of the sea, traveling the world to better understand the habits and habitats of the marine wildlife he paints. For more information and to shop all the products and art that he has to offer, visit

For more about Pacifico, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this absolutely gorgeous tap...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tap Handle #684: Woodstock Inn - Summer Ale

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  seasonal, less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Woodstock Inn taps are known for their fun and whimsical themes. This Summer Ale tap captures that essence nicely, featuring a guy on an inner tube that is about to plunge over a waterfall, while carrying a can of beer in each hand. There is a small scene behind him that looks like another waterfall. The name of the brewery appears above this scene in sculpted and raised letters, while the name of the beer is also done in sculpted and raised letters down the face of the waterfall. Frothy white water appears at the base of the tap. The front and back are identical, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. Due to its seasonal status, it doesn't appear on the secondary market very often, so it can vary wildly in price.

For more about Woodstock Inn, see this post.

Click through to read more about Woodstock Inn's Summer Ale and to see more photos of this entertaining tap...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tap Handle #683: Newcastle - Vikings Amber Ale

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  beer and tap both no longer produced
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Newcastle had this tap made to commemorate the third season of the acclaimed series Vikings on the History Channel. It began circulating in late 2014 and by mid 2015 it was no longer being produced. Featuring a ship's prow carved in the shape of a wooden dragon, it also contains shields (including one with the History Channel logo) and a pile of spears. A large sign at the bottom in the shape of a "V" bears the Vikings television show logo, while at the top another sign has the name of the brewery and beer, as well as the same Vikings logo found at the bottom. The front and back of the tap are identical to each other, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. Although they only occasionally appear on the secondary market, they generally sell for a reasonable price.

The History Channel's Vikings features the adventures of a Ragnar Lothbrok: the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the saga of Ragnar's band of Viking brothers and his family as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods: legend has it that he was a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors. Vikings is currently in its fifth season.

For more about Newcastle, see this post.

Click through to read more about Newcastle's Viking Amber Ale and to see more photos of this epic tap...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tap Handle #682: Uinta - Anniversary Barley Wine

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

There's something appealing in the simplicity of this tap. A bundle of wheat stalks form the shaft; near the bottom of the shaft are hop vines, while on top sits a barrel with the words "Barley Wine" at each end. The barrel signifies the aging process of the Barley Wine. At the base is an area with a label with the name of the beer and the brewery, and a faint, sepia image of a man cutting wheat. The tap was not formed perfectly straight - it tilts a bit towards one side. The front and back of the tap are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I have reduced the number of photos taken. If you've never seen this tap before, that's understandable. In Utah, anything over 4% ABV cannot be sold on draft. Coming in at a whopping 10.4% ABV, Uinta's Anniversary Barley Wine can only be sold in bottles, and since Anniversary Barley Wine is a limited beer, it would be rare to see it on draft except perhaps at special events outside the state of Utah. I've only ever seen one other besides mine.

Click through to read more about Uinta Brewing, their Anniversary Barley Wine, and to see more photos of this understated tap...

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tap Handle #681: Belmond Charleston Place Thoroughbred Club - Thoroughbred XXX

Tap size:  7.5"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, small scale
Mounting:  large gold 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I've had this tap for a few years, but had no idea what brewery it was associated with. My efforts to find any information about it yielded nothing. I thought it might perhaps be a distillery tap, but nothing turned up there, either. Fortunately the Amazing Tap Handles Collectors Club came through. Club Member Graham shared his all-knowing wisdom and revealed that the tap belongs to the Thoroughbred Club, a lounge within Belmond Charleston Place, a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. To the upper right you can see a photo of the tap (along with taps for Thoroughbred IPA and Pilsner) within the bar, taken from the Thoroughbred Club's Facebook page. It's a very elegant tap, painted as one solid color and very detailed. It reminds me a little bit of the Budweiser Clydesdale Heritage tap. Since this tap is small, there was no reason to take extra photos with a higher zoom. As an exclusive to the Thoroughbred Club, the quantity of this tap would have to be extremely limited, and I've never seen another except for the bar's own photos.

Click through to read more about Belmond Charleston Place and its Thoroughbred Club, and to see more photos of this elegant tap...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ohio Tap #3 - Land-Grant Brewing Tap Handle & Process Video

One could argue the Land-Grant Brewing tap handle should not be among the elaborate figural tap handles featured in the Tap Handle Museum. But sometimes we need to look beyond the tap pictured and appreciate both the process and the beauty of the variations that exist within a brewery's lineup. Do they hold up to the rigor of being used at bars? Do they fit on a tap system next to other handles without issue? 

Land-Grant has a great partnership with the Idea Foundry, a business located adjacent to the brewery. Click through to check out the video showing the tap handle process! 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tap Handle #680: Cidrerie Loïc Raison - Celt Thirsty Warrior Cider

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  import
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

In my previous post I indicated that I would be profiling two taps back to back that had appeared on this site previously as Tap Giveaway prizes. This is the second of those two taps, Celt Thirsty Warrior, featured in Tap Giveaway #11 back in April 2017. It is probably the coolest tap I ever gave away. The details and colors are fantastic - note the scar on the warrior's face, the ornate shield and helmet, the wrist band, the leather armor over the blue tunic, the red cape, the drooping mustache, and the grass around the warrior's feet. There are so many outstanding features and bright colors! The name of the brand appears in recessed lettering at the base of the tap. Although the cider it represents is an import from France, the tap can be found on the secondary one time it sold for over $100 but the price has since dropped under that.

A Celt generally refers to the people in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, also known as the Celtic nations or Celtic Crescent. They existed primarily in the Iron Age and Medieval Europe and spoke Celtic languages and had cultural similarities. Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Celtic Britons (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. In addition to a ruling king, they typically had three caste levels: warriors, learned professionals (minstrels, priests, scribes) and everyone else.

Click through to read more about Cidrerie Loïc Raison, their Celt Thirsty Warrior Cider, and to see more photos of this proud tap...

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tap Handle #679: Redhook - Seedy Blonde

Tap size:  12.5"
Rarity:  beer retired, tap no longer produced
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Seedy Blonde is the first of two taps I'm profiling back-to-back that have appeared on this site previously...however, those appearances were as prizes in giveaway contests. Seedy Blonde was the prize for Tap Giveaway #6 back in July of 2016. It is a very imaginative tap, and as I mentioned in my contest, it features a tree trunk carved into a feminine figure, with a couple of apples and a Redhook sign strategically placed, and the initials "RH" (for Redhook) are "carved" into the trunk on the right "leg". On the left side is a strange symbol "burned in", that looks like a human-shaped figure who appears to be holding a large apple in one upraised hand. The figure can be seen better on the label, wearing a Sherlock Holmes style cap and holding the same two apples that appear as "breasts" on the tree. Very strange! At the top of the tap is a sign with the name of the beer on it. Another interesting detail on the back of the tap, just above the sign covering the "butt" of the tree trunk, are two marks that resemble apple seeds pressed into the tree, but also give an impression of "evil eyes". There's a lot of mystery waiting to be solved behind this tap's design. Since the beer and the tap are both out of production, it is getting a little harder to find. It does appear on the secondary market at a price right around historic values.

For more about Redhook, see this post.

Click through to read more about Redhook's Seedy Blonde Apple Ale and to see more photos of this mysterious and suggestive tap...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tap Handle #678: Saltwater Brewery - Raspberry Reef Ale

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  readily available, fragile
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This is a really beautiful, nautical-themed tap. Saltwater Brewery is all about the South Florida coast lifestyle and that is reflected in their tap, which was designed by part owner and graphic artist Peter Agardy. It is made to resemble a buoy but has a lot of other small details that make it amazing - note the barnacles and waves at the bottom of the tap and the small red bead at the top that resembles a warning light. A medallion on the front features the brewery's logo, also designed by Agardy. At the top is a large square sign where a label featuring the beer variety is placed. I particularly wanted the Raspberry Reef label, not just because the beer sounds tasty (and is out of production), but also because this label features an aquatic scene, taken from Guy Harvey-style artwork that hangs on the wall of the brewery. The front and back of the tap are identical to each other, but a different label on the backside lists the ale's characteristics. The tap is easy to find on the secondary market and very affordable, but watch out for damage - these are particularly fragile taps, especially the medallions which are prone to having pieces break off.

Click through to read more about the Saltwater Brewery, their Raspberry Reef Ale, and to see more photos of this buoyant tap...