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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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tap Handle #34: Bad Frog - Middle Finger

This is a hilarious tap. Although some might be offended by it, most think it's funny. The curious thing is that the frog only has four fingers, so there is really no middle finger. It's a tribute to the artist and our own subconscious that we can attribute it as such.

Click through to read more about Bad Frog...

Tap Handle #33: Michelob - Sun Dog (Hop Hound) Amber Wheat

A whimsical tap that seems more like summer than spring due to the sunglasses and shorts. I guess I'm just used to cold Northwest springs.

Introduced in 2008 by Michelob for Anheuser-Busch, Sun Dog replaced Spring Heat Spiced Wheat, which went to year-round status. Brewed in Anheuser-Busch's Fort Collins, Colorado brewery, Sun Dog is an American amber wheat. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.49 out of 5, and more than one reviewer refers to the smell as "puked-up bananas." Yummy.

Note: Sun Dog has been renamed to Hop Hound Amber Wheat. The taps are identical except for the name on the label. In fact, I sold my Sun Dog, which was a little beat up, because I received a brand new Hop Hound.

Michelob's Hop Hound Webpage

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tap Handle #32: Alaskan Winter Ale - Eagle on Tree

Though not my favorite tap by Alaskan Brewing (that would be the polar bear), this is a close second. I love the way the tree bends under the weight of the eagle.

Click through to read more about Alaskan Brewery and their Winter Ale...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tap Handle #31: Sprecher Special Amber - Griffon

Although the Sprecher taps look like a firebird or phoenix, they are actually griffons. Each variety gets a different label and color; for instance, the light ale tap is identical to this one except it's blue, and the Mai Bock is a jade green. This one of two Sprecher taps I own, and my second tap is incredibly rare and valuable - but that's a story for another post. As a lover of mythological creatures, I really like this tap.

Click through to read more about Sprecher Brewery and their Special Amber...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tap Handle #30: Eel River Ravens Eye Stout - Raven

This is an incredibly rare tap. Ravens Eye is a beautiful tap with a colorful label. Although the raven isn't very detailed and has a high-gloss finish, it's still quite nice. One of the more treasured taps in my collection.

Click through to read more about Eel River Brewery and their Ravens Eye Stout...

Tap Handle #29: Rogue - Dead Guy Ale

This is a very prized tap handle, as the "Dead Guy" has been a popular advertising icon for Rogue. Everyone loves this tap!

Click through to read more about Rogue Brewery and their Dead Guy Ale...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tap Handle #28: Sly Fox Oktoberfest Lager - Fox Tail

This is a very creative tap, I love the fox tail concept. Sly Fox uses the same tap design for all their beers. This is an inexpensive way to go, because all you need to do to change the tap over to a different beer is to put a different sticker on it, and this is a fairly common practice for smaller breweries with tight budgets.

Click through to read more about Sly Fox Brewery and their Oktoberfest Lager...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tap Handle #27: Anheuser-Busch - Tarpon Spoon

The Tarpon Spoon tap is a beautiful rendition of a tarpon, a Florida fish that survives in both salt and fresh water, brackish water, varying pH levels, and even low oxygen levels. They can get up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 280 pounds. This tap is quite rare. The Spoon refers to the silvery part of the lure that the fish bites at.

Tarpon Spoon is a Bohemian pilsner created by Anheuser-Busch's Jacksonville, Florida brewery in 2007. This makes it a local brew and unlikely to be found across the country and explains the rarity of the tap. In fact, I couldn't find any page or other information on Anheuser-Busch's website, other than a press release. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.43 out of 5.

Tap Handle #26: Michelob - Beach Bum Blonde Ale

A surfer dude is a curious choice for a tap, even for Beach Bum. I think a surfboard probably would have been sufficient and more appealing; however, there are a lot of surfboard taps on the market, so adding the surfer make it distinctive in that respect. This tap has very nice detail, and was produced in large quantities.

Beach Bum is a seasonal summer brew that was created by Michelob in 2007 (under Anheuser-Busch). It's a golden ale in which dry hops are added to the brew kettle and the aging tank, giving it a hefty hop aroma. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.24 out of 5.

Beach Bum Official Webpage

Tap Handle #25: Pete's - Wicked Strawberry Blonde Victory Pose

The "Victory Pose" is probably the nicest of the Pete's tap handles. It has a gorgeous art deco feel to it, almost a piece of art, that reminds one of statues or hood ornaments from the 1920s and 1930s. Most other Pete's tap handles are plain compared to this one.

Click through to read more about Pete's Brewery and their Wicked Strawberry Blonde...

Tap Handle #24: Schlitz Light - Blue Globe

This is an older tap, most likely from the 1960s or 1970s. It is smaller than a normal tap at 8" long, and is made of plastic rather than resin. The gold and metallic blue paint job is well done and attractive. Because it is made of plastic, it was cheap to produce and many were made, but they also broke easily, so at this time they can be considered uncommon. The tap features the famous "belted globe" that had a model of the earth circled with a band bearing the name of Schlitz.

Weighted average on ratebeer.com for Schlitz Light is 1.96 out of 5.

For more about Schlitz, see this post.

Tap Handle #23: Lowenbrau - Lion on Barrel

This is a gorgeous and fun tap...who doesn't like a lion guzzling beer while sitting on a barrel? The lion is just as iconic for Lowenbrau as the bull is for Schlitz.

Click through to read more about Lowenbrau Brewery...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tap Handle #22: Anheuser-Busch - Bare Knuckle Stout

This is a nice tap that has an old-time feel to it, from the bronze bare-knuckled boxer to the old-fashioned label.

Created by Anheuser-Busch in 2008, Bare Knuckle Stout was their attempt to try to take some market share away from Guinness. While many reviewers say such efforts from the big breweries are to be encouraged, most of their reviews found Bare Knuckle Stout to be a poor imitation of Guinness. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.58 out of 5.

 I'll have a more detailed post about Anheuser-Busch in a later post. 

Anheuser-Busch Official Website

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tap Handle #21: Northern Plains (Stroh) - Red River Valley Bison

This tap is a real beauty. I have another tap from Big Hole that is almost identical, except for some very subtle sculpting and paint highlights (and of course the sign above the bison).

Click through to read more about Northern Plains and their Red River Valley Select Red Lager...

Tap Handle #20: Schlitz Malt Liquor - Bull

This is the iconic Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. The tap is from the 1970s and is highly prized by collectors, especially if it's new in the box. It's smaller than most taps at about 8-9" in length.

Click through to read more about Schlitz Brewery...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tap Handle #19: Samuel Adams Octoberfest - Mug

This one is very similar to the Boston Lager mug, except the color is gold instead of platinum and the label says "Octoberfest." There are other, newer Octoberfest taps, but this is by far my favorite version. One of the few breweries that refers to this variety by spelling Octoberfest with a "c" instead of a "k" in the name.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest is a golden-red amber beer blending five roasts of barley and having toffee and caramel flavors, and is a seasonal (fall) brew. It's meant to go well with sausage, hence the Octoberfest moniker. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.23 out of 5.

For more information on Samuel Adams, see this post.

Tap Handle #18: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat - Cherries with Wheat Stalks

This tap from Sam Adams is a beauty. The cherries are colorful and the base has sculpted wheat stalks. There is an updated version of this tap with a red base containing lettering instead of the wheat stalks. Personally I prefer this one.

Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is described as a sweet, fruity beer that was introduced in 1995 as a seasonal summer brew but was popular enough to become year-round. The cherries are added during two different points of the brewing process: once during the mash and then again during finishing. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.78 out of 5.

For more on Samuel Adams, see this post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tap Handle #17: Red Wolf - Prowling Wolf

Many taps are comical or artistic; this tap has kind of an eerie feel to it. I don't know if it's the fact that the red wolf is on the prowl - or perhaps it might be the logo with the crescent moon. It has a certain mystique about it, that's for sure. It's often referred to as "Prestige". I have a second red wolf tap that will be featured in an upcoming post.

Click through to read more about Red Wolf...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tap Handle #16: Spoetzl - Shiner Summer Stock Horned Toad on Cactus

This is an awesome tap, and a favorite of people who see the collection. The detail is excellent. I think it would look better with a matte finish instead of the high gloss - it would make it more natural-looking - but that's nitpicking. I love this tap.

Click through to read more about Spoetzl Brewery and their Shiner Summer Stock...

Shiner Summer Stock is produced by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Spoetzl was founded in 1909, originally as Shiner Brewing. In 1914, a German immigrant named Kosmos Spoetzl moved to San Antonio and bought the brewery. Spoetzl survived Prohibition by selling near-beer and ice. Later, Spoetzl could not compete with the likes of Annheiser-Busch and instead catered to a small niche market. As the craft beer market started booming in the 1990s, business improved greatly; as of 2010, Spoetzl was the 10th largest brewer in the U.S. and boasted such celebrity fans as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey, and Lance Armstrong. Shiner Summer Stock is a Kolsch-style beer. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.63 out of 5.

Shiner's Official Website

Tap Handle #15: Samuel Adams Boston Lager - Mug

This Sam Adams mug has been replaced by the brewery with a couple of different taps, including a popular "copper ribbon" tap. This is one of 2 Sam Adams mug taps that I own. I especially like the foam spilling over the side of the mug.

Click through to read more about Samuel Adams Brewery and their Boston Lager...

Tap Handle #14: Killian's Irish Red - Dagger

One of my favorite taps. More ornate than the MacTarnahan's dagger.

Click through to read more about Killian's Irish Red...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tap Handle #13: Original Sin Hard Cider

This is such a great tap, although mine could use a repainting. The detail is excellent!

Original Sin was founded by Giden Cole in 1997 in New York. He started brewing in an upstate winery and then took samples to bars in New York City. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.8 out of 5.

Original Sin's Official Website

Tap Handle #12: Michelob - Brass Eagle

This is a great tap featuring the iconic eagle used by Michelob in their marketing. Most of Michelob's taps are rather dull and uninspired (not counting their seasonals), but the eagle is popular. This tap is a little small at 9"; most taps are about 11-12" in length.

Michelob is a division of Annheiser-Busch. The pale lager was developed by Adolphus Busch in 1896 as a "draught beer for connoisseurs". It was named after Michelob Michelob, a Bohemian brewmaster from Saaz. In 1961 it was pasteurized which allowed it to be legally shipped across state lines. Michelob has a whole family of beers in addition to its pale lager: Michelob Light, Classic Dark, Honey Lager, Pale Ale, Marzen, Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale, Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale, Bavarian Wheat, Porter, and Amberbock. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.94 out of 5.

Michelob's Official Website

Tap Handle #11: Kirin - Ichiban Sumo on Bottlecap

This is a fun and unique tap that always gets a chuckle from those who see it. There is another version that features the Sumo hugging a post with "Special Reserve" on the sticker.

Click through to read more about Kirin Brewery...

Tap Handle #10: Woodpecker Cider - Bird on top of Log & Apple

I like my other Woodpecker tap better, but this one is also nice. There is a third tap that features two birds on a log, but I'm good with the two that I have.

You can find my previous entry on Woodpecker Cider here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tap Handle #9: Blue Point Toasted Lager - Lighthouse on White (round) Base

This is an updated version of the Toasted Lager tap using a floating lighthouse instead of a buoy. Due to the additional detail and styling, it is more valued.

For more on Blue Point Brewing, see  the previous post found here.

Tap Handle #8: Blue Point Toasted Lager - Red Buoy on White (edged) Base

Blue Point makes some really nice taps, and this is one of the oldest. Although I have other Blue Point taps that are more attractive, this one was a bargain and hard to pass up. It's pretty beat up, with paint missing in several places...that just means it was well-used. The only difference among the varieties is the color of the buoy and the small band near the bottom.

Click through to read more about Blue Point Brewery...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tap Handle #7: Moosehead Beer Backpack

I love the detail on this tap: the strap that hangs over the branch stump, the rolled-up sleeping bag, the boots down at the bottom that not only have laces, but eyelets too...this is a high quality tap. If it wasn't for the Totem Pole tap, this would be Moosehead's best.

Click through to read more about Moosehead Brewery...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tap Handle #6: Tetley's Pub Ale Rider

It's pretty rare to see people displayed on taps...usually you see items or signage, and when a person is depicted on a tap, it's usually a woman or mermaid. This gentleman is an exception, dressed in his dapper English riding outfit.

Tetley's Pub Ale was part of a line of ales manufactured by Tetley's Brewing. The original brewery was built in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1822 - this date can actually be seen under the words "Tetley's Pub Ale" on the tap. The brewery was closed by its owners, Carlsberg, in June of 2011. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.85 out of 5.