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.

Tap Handle Blog Simple Search

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tap Handle #5: Michelob - Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale

This is a fun tap, nicely detailed and whimsical. Michelob made thousands of them, despite the fact that it's seasonal. Jack's Pumpkin Spice is an ale with a blend of pumpkins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.66 out of 5.

I'll go into more detail on Michelob in another post.

Michelob's Jack's Pumpkin Spice Webpage

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tap Handle #4: Wychwood - Hobgoblin English Ale Hobgoblin

There are two versions of the Hobgoblin tap. The older version has a straight handle and is heavy; the newer tap has curved ends on the sword crosspiece and is much lighter. This is the older version.

Click through to read more about Wychwood Brewery and their Hobgoblin English Ale...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tap Handle #3: Woodpecker Cider - Bird on side of Log

This is a neat little tap, with a woodpecker chipping away at a log. I'm not sure why there is a black mark between the words Woodpecker and Cider, but it is supposed to be there. Mine is well-used, with the decal of the apple slightly curling.

Woodpecker Cider is an alcoholic drink originally made in 1894 by Percy Bulmer in Herefordshire, England, and today it is still brewed by H.P. Bulmer. Woodpecker is noted for having a lower percentage of alcohol than most other ciders, as well as its sweet taste. The use of the English bittersweet apple provides Woodpecker with its distinctiveness: a crisp semi-dry finish, amber hue with a lightly sparking appearance, sweet fruity aroma and a slight toffee-apple note. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.4 out of 5.

Woodpecker's Official Website

Tap Handle #2: Molson Ice - Polar Bear

This is quite the fearsome tap handle...unlike the Alaskan Ale Polar Bear, this one looks a little angry!

Click through to read more about Molson Brewery and their Molson Ice beer...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tap Handle #1: Coors Light - Beer Wolf with Cap

As I mentioned in my first post, this is the tap that started it all for me. It's a smallish tap, about 6" tall. A "bierwolf" (beerwolf) is also known by its more common name of werewolf. Back in the 80's, Coors was looking to expand its market and settled on Halloween as an adult marketing idea with potential. With Coors already known as "The Silver Bullet" due to its can, everyone knows that silver bullets and werewolves go hand in hand. Thus the Beerwolf was born. He never sold much beer, and was retired in 1992. He was, however, highly marketable (like his competition Spuds MacKenzie), and all manner of toys, shirts, caps, and bar collectibles reflect the popular mascot. At the time that this tap was manufactured, many taps were plain, made of wood or lucite, with a company logo. The Beerwolf tap was truly ahead of its time.

Adolph Coors began as a 14 year old apprentice at the Henry Wenker Brewery in Dortmund, Germany, in 1861, but when his parents died at an early age,the apprenticeship became a means of survival. Adolph continued to work in the brewing industry until he was 21, when war and unrest in his country caused him to seek opportunity in America. Stowing away on a ship, Adolph arrived in the United States - probably New York - in 1868 with no money and no job. The young immigrant earned his living along the way as a bricklayer, stonecutter and laborer before hiring on as the foreman at the Stenger Brewery in Naperville, Illinois, in late 1869. After a two and one half year stay, he continued westward. He settled in Denver and purchased a bottling company, where Schueler was one of his customers. Coors Brewing began in 1873 in Golden, Colorado, when Adolf Coors partnered with Jacob Schueler and the two men produced their first barrel of Schueler-Coors beer. In 1880, Coors bought out his partner and by 1893, the company’s beer was honored at the Chicago World’s Fair. In 1916, the Prohibition came to Colorado three years before the rest of the country, and the company had to halt its beer production. It survived those years by focusing on its successful porcelain business and producing malted milk and near beer. With the end of Prohibition in 1933, the company resumed its beer production and by 1939, Coors was distributing in 10 Western states. When the war broke out in 1941, Coors had to receive permission from the government to buy supplies. Its request was approved under one condition:  half of the beer it produced had to be reserved for the military. As they returned from overseas, the troops created such a demand for Coors, availability became scarce, and a mystique was born. In 1960, tragedy struck the company, when Adolph Coors, grandson of the founder, was kidnapped, held for ransom, and eventually shot to death.

By the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, Coors’ distribution was still limited to Western states and its cult status exploded. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford even loaded Air Force One with cases of Coors to take back to Washington, and the beer was also used as "smuggled goods" in the plot of the popular movie "Smokey and the Bandit". During the 1970s, the market was rapidly changing as mergers and acquisitions created mega-breweries. Coors realized they needed to change in order to survive. In 1981, distribution of Coors finally crossed the Mississippi, and the company expanded rapidly.  By 1990, Coors had grown into the third-largest brewer in America. In 2005 Coors merged with Molson to create Molson Coors; then in 2007, Miller bought a majority stake to form the MillerCoors partnership, Molson Coors Brewing is currently the 5th largest brewer in the world. Some other well-known labels under the Coors name include Killian's, Zima, and Blue Moon.

Coors Light is a light American pale lager. It has a ratebeer.com score of 1.31 out of 5, and is listed as one of the 50 worst beers on that site.

MillerCoors Official Website

Source Data:
MillerCoors Who We Are Page
Wikipedia
Alabev.com
History.com

The Magical Mystery Tap Handle Tour Begins!

Are you ready to start the tour?

Each tap entry will be numbered. This number does not represent the order in which I bought the taps, or the order from most favorite to least favorite; rather, it's the order in which I entered them into my database. If a tap needs repair, it may be some time before it appears on the site. 

Accompanying each entry is a height measurement (and a depth measurement for deeper than normal taps), a rarity scale, information on how the tap is composed for mounting purposes, and a description of the tap, including my impressions. If the tap references a subject I may expand on that subject. I'll also present any history I can find out about the brewery, provide a link to their website, list their address, and talk about the beer featured on the tap.

In addition, there will be a photos in each entry; these photos are your visual guide, and all pictures have been taken against the same background, which proves that I actually own the tap and that I haven't simply copied images off the internet. As more information becomes available I'll try to update posts.

Now that I've laid out the blueprints, let the tour begin!