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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Monday, February 27, 2012

Tap Handle #101: Coors Light - Bull Kicking Through Fence

Another unique and rare tap with lots of great detail - plus the head bobbles! PRCA is an acronym for the Profession Rodeo Cowboys Association, whose members compete in rodeos, and also who sponsors rodeo events. Since the PRCA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, it makes sense that Coors would sponsor them. These taps apparently were distributed to country-western themed bars in certain parts of the country (bars such as Saddle Ridge and Cadillac Ranch) as part of the Coors sponsorship. There's no telling how many of the taps exist, but it's probably on the same level as a small microbrewery, which would make them pretty rare.

For more about Coors, see this post.

Tap Handle #100: Sprecher - Black Bavarian

Wow, we've made it to tap handle #100 in just two months...that first Beer Wolf tap post seems like ages ago! For tap #100, I have something special to present. As far as I know, this is an extremely rare collector's item. Most Sprecher taps look similar to the one I posted about in Tap Handle #31, with the wings spread up. This tap has the wings pulled back, which hide a clever on/off switch. Turning the switch on lights up the LEDs in the eyes, as I've demonstrated in my photo. The wings actually come off to allow access to the battery compartment.

Sprecher Black Bavarian is an intensely dark Schwarzbier of the Kulmbacher style, with the distinctive flavor and aroma of caramel, chocolate, and coffee (like a porter but not as sweet). Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.72 out of 5.

For more about Sprecher, see this post.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tap Handle #99: Baltimore-Washington Beer Works - Raven Special Lager

What can I say about this tap that you can't feast upon with your own eyes? The superlatives just roll off the tongue...awesome, fantastic, great, etc. One of my favorite taps.

Baltimore-Washington Beer Works was founded by Stephen Demczuk, who was a partner in Europe's first beer-of-the-month club, Beer Around the World.  He, along with Baltimorean Jim Seay, German beer importer Wolfgang Stark, and master brewer Hans-Martin Walz of Anker Brewery, crafted The Raven, a beer brewed in the honor of Baltimore's literary genius, Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven is produced in the Black Forest region of Baden-Württemberg. The small town of Nagold is where the Anker Brewery can be found. After brewing for a year in Europe, they began selling in the Baltimore area in 1998 and now distribute to five states and Washington D.C. Raven Special Lager is a German-style amber balancing malt and hops. Recommended food pairings are any spicy foods. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.81 out of 5.

Baltimore-Washington Beer Works Official Website

Tap Handle #98: Blue Point - Old Howling Bastard

There are a couple of other beers that have a very similar (or even identical)  tap (Jessie James, for one).

Old Howling Bastard is a winter seasonal named after an infamous character local to the Blue Point Brewery's location. It is a barley wine with a 10% alcohol content and strong malty caramel flavors balanced by lots and lots of hops. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.41 out of 5.

For more about Blue Point, see this post.

Tap Handle #97: Carolina Beer/Foothills Brewing - Carolina Blonde

I like nautical collectibles like lobster traps and glass floats, so when I saw this lighthouse from Carolina Beer, I had to have it. I like it better than the Miller Lite lighthouse - it must be the black and white stripes.

Carolina Beer and Beverage was formed in 1997 by J. Michael Smith and John Stritch, brewing a dozen beers including the popular Carolina Blonde. In 2001 the company began to do contract packaging services, and evolved into a world-class packaging producer for both national and international brands of malted beverages, distilled spirits, energy drinks, and other beverages. The packaging service proved to be so lucrative that in 2011 Carolina Beer Company sold their beer division to Foothills Brewing Company, including all brands, brewing equipment, and trademarks.

Foothills Brewing, located in Winston-Salem, was founded in 2005 by Jaime Bartholomaus and the owners of Blue Ridge Brewery in Greenville. Bartholomaus was an anthropology student at the University of Georgia who volunteered at Blind Man Ales. After graduating with an anthropology degree, he did some archaeology before getting back into brewing. The brewery building was originally a car dealership and dates back to 1928. A couple of nightclubs had existed prior to the brewery and the building had to be extensively remodeled. At one point Bartholomaus was the only brewer, creating beers he had developed while home brewing during college. The company originally had seven core beers and at least one seasonal. In 2011, Foothills purchased Carolina Beer and also the Cottonwood Brewery, and in 2012 they built a new facility across town to brew and bottle the Carolina Beer and Cottonwood brands.

Carolina Blonde is a blond ale brewed with blond malts and a blend of special hops. Weighted average on ratebeer.com  is 2.47 out of 5.

Foothills Brewing Official Website

Tap Handle #96: Black Sheep - Monty Python's Holy Grail

If you are a fan of Monty Python, you'll think this tap is awesome. If your not a fan or have no idea what that is, you'll probably be puzzled. Based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this tap captures the nonsense and buffoonery that makes the movie popular.

Black Sheep Brewing was established in 1991 in Masham, North Yorkshire, England by Paul Theakston. Theakston's family had been in the brewing business since 1827, and when the family business was taken over by Scottish and Newcastle, Theakston started his own brewery. An old maltings building, once part of Lightfoot's Brewery, on the banks of the Ure River, became the new brewery. Theakston criss-crossed England for equipment, sometimes barely obtaining unused pieces before they became scrap. They put a lot of effort into renovating the old malting building. But before Theakton could resurrect the name Lightfoot, or even the town of Masham's name, Scottish and Newcastle made claim to the names. Therefore the brewery became Black Sheep, named for the area's association with sheep. The first beer sold was Black Sheep Best Bitter. Over the years Black Sheep survived when many traditional breweries failed, thanks in part to local support. In 2006 Black Sheep completed a major development that included an extra brewhouse and new fermenting, conditioning, and racking equipment, which increased brewing capacity by 65%. Theakston's sons, sixth generation, are now involved in the business.

Holy Grail Ale was created on the 30th anniversary of the movie, in 1999. A premium bitter golden ale, fruitiness is balanced with biscuity malt to create a crisp bitter finish. It is Black Sheep's most popular beer in the U.S. and Canada. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.89 out of 5.

Black Sheep Brewery Official Website

Tap Handle #95: Florida Ice & Farm Co. - Rock Ice Amber Lager

This nice tap is similar to the Rhino Chasers Rhino Horn tap, but is supposed to be a mammoth tusk. I got mine new in the box.

Florida Ice & Farm Co. (also known as Cerveceria Costa Rica or Fifco) has been around since 1908 and is the only brewery in Costa Rica. It was started in Siquirres, Limon, Costa Rica, by four Jamaican brothers, who bought an old brewery.  They began diversifying into bottled water, juice and other beverages. The Rock Ice brand was started in 1995 and consists of 3 varieties.

Rock Ice is an pale lager brewed using ice brewing methods like those of Icehouse or Bud Ice. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.85 out of 5.

Florida Ice & Farm Official Website  (Note: use Google to translate or brush up on your Spanish...)

Tap Handle #94: Dragonmead - Final Absolution

As I've stated before, I love medieval creatures and weaponry, and this tap fulfills that by featuring a dragon climbing a tower. The detail and coloring are excellent, although this is another tap that would look better with some drybrushing and a matte finish instead of high gloss.

Dragonmead Brewery was founded in Warren, Michigan in 1997 by Earl Scherbarth, Larry Channel, and Bill Wrobel. All three founding members worked in the automotive industry for Chrysler and Ford, until Scherbarth received a home brewing kit for his birthday. After several long hours of work, experimentaion, and discussion, the three friends finally opened Dragonmead. The brewery currently has 47 beers on tap and 77 grains from 7 different countries. The brewpub's interior is of a traditional English pub with a medieval theme.

Final Absolution is Dragonmead's signature product, a Belgian-style abbey tripel, with a banana and clove aroma thanks to the Belgian yeast strain and Belgian Candi Sugar. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.54 out of 5.

Dragonmead Official Website

Tap Handle #93: Dark Horse- Shotgun

This is an awesome tap...everyone who sees it is amazed. Dark Horse does not brand the tap for a specific brand of beer - the tap is meant to be used with all their beers.

Click through to read more about Dark Horse Brewing...

Tap Handle #92: Redhook - Sunrye (Sunburst)

This is a neat tap that should have been entered back around tap #54, but for some reason I didn't have a photo. I've now gone back and grabbed a photo of it. There is a new Sunrye tap out that is a hose and nozzle...I greatly prefer this classic tap which matches the Winterhook that I'll be profiling soon.

Sunrye is summer seasonal unfiltered blond ale made with six barley malts and a touch of rye. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.67 out of 5.

For more about Redhook, see this post.

Tap Handle #91: Anheuser-Busch - Aruba Red

A very scarce tap (since it belongs to a restaurant chain). It's pretty awesome - who doesn't like pirate stuff?

Aruba Red is an amber ale that was created exclusive by Anheuser-Busch's Specialty Group in St. Louis in 2002 for the Darden restaurant chain Bahama Breeze (Darden also owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Smokey Bones restaurants). Aruba Red is still served there today. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.48 out of 5.

I've eaten at Bahama Breeze but never tried the Aruba Red.

Bahama Breeze Official Website  (Note: you won't find much info on Aruba Red there)

Tap Handle #90: Blue Point - Winter Ale

Another great tap from Blue Point, who have some of the greatest tap designs in the business. Excellent detail (notice the crow on the wizard's shoulder!) make this one highly collectible.

Winter Ale is a seasonal amber ale brewed with pale, Vienna, crystal, and chocolate malts. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.11 out of 5.

For more information on Blue Point Brewing, see this post.

Tap Handle #89: Otter Creek - Copper Ale

An extremely rare and beautiful tap. Otter Creek is still around, but they have switched to a cheaper style of taps and haven't produced this one in quite some time.

Click through to read more about Otter Creek Brewing and their Copper Ale...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tap Handle #88: Kona - Pipeline Porter

Another great Kona tap of a bag filled with coffee beans. Maybe not quite as visually appealing as the Fire Rock, but still very nice.

Pipeline Porter is a seasonal beer, smooth and dark, with roasted malt and roasted coffee giving it a distinct aroma and flavor. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.5 out of 5.

For more on Kona, see this post.

Tap Handle #87: Alaskan Brewing - Alaskan White Ale

This is a great-looking tap that has sentimental value to me. Over a year and a half ago, I met my birth father, Guy, for the first time. It has been a wonderful experience, and a piece of me that was missing now felt complete. The idea for this blog was his, but he has contributed to the tap collection in other ways, too. This tap was his first birthday present to me, and I couldn't ask for a better one. This is simply another quality tap handle from Alaskan Brewing, and one of my favorite taps.

Alaskan White Ale is a Belgian White brewed with coriander, bitter orange peel, and malted wheat. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.01 out of 5.

For more information on Alaskan Brewing, see this post.

Tap Handle #86: Bluetongue Brewery

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap is stunning, in every way. The colors are bold and beautiful, and the detail is excellent, especially the marble-colored base and even inside the mouth! All Bluetongue taps are the same - none of them list a specific brand of beer, only the name of the brewery. Considering that the taps had to be imported from Australia, they were rare to start with, but now that the brewery is out of business, they are sure to become very rare and expensive.

Click through to read more about Bluetongue and to see more photos of this gorgeous tap...

Tap Handle #85: Budweiser - Bronze Football Player

Another tap in the Budweiser Heritage Collection, this football player invokes images of Red Grange and the Heisman Trophy.

For more about Budweiser, see this post.

Tap Handle #84: Island Brewing - Island Weiss

Most of the versions of this tap that I spot are usually missing the base that identifies the brand. It's not very detailed, but I like it anyway.

Click through to read more about Island Brewing and their Island Weiss Ale...

Tap Handle #83: Genesee - Dundee Honey Brown

It's not truly a figural tap, but it does have some three-dimensional sculpting that sets it apart from other Dundee taps. I mainly obtained it because of that sculpting, and also because it arrived with the Dundee Pale Bock.

Dundee Honey Brown (formerly known as J.W. Dundee's original Honey Brown Lager) is a gold-colored American Dark Lager with a hint of honey. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.55 out of 5.

For more on Genesee and Dundee, see this post.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tap Handle #82: Genesee - Dundee Pale Bock, Pale Ale, Festive Ale

Although these taps aren't very rare, nor are they figural, I just love the artwork. Unlike some other taps that use magnets (like Catamount), these taps can switch varieties by unscrewing and removing old plates and screwing new plates back on. I originally obtained the Pale Bock, and this post only covered that tap. Later I added the Festive Ale tap, and then bought the Pale Ale plates. There's also a set of Oktoberfest plates I'd like to have, that feature a scarecrow on the label. These taps are very similar in style to the Dundee Honey Brown tap featured here.

Dundee Pale Bock is a traditional German Maibock with a deep golden color, sweet malty aroma, and clean finish. It won a gold medal in the 2006 World Beer Cup. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.58 out of 5.

Dundee Official Website

Tap Handle #81: William & Scott - Rhino Chasers American Ale

There are multiple versions of this tap. My tap is the older version, called American Amber Ale, and there is also a newer one that is simply Amber Ale. The only difference between the two is the appearance of the label. A great tap and very heavy! It looks like a real rhino horn.

Click through to read more about William & Scott Brewing and their Rhino Chasers American Ale...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tap Handle #80: Charleston Lagerhead Lager

Another very rare Charleston tap, it's likely this is the same artist as the other tap, so the excellent detail and color is present here as well.

Lagerhead Lager is a golden Helles-style lager crafted according to the German purity law of 1516 and is meant to be a summer seasonal. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.47 out of 5.

For more about Charleston Brewing, see this post.

Tap Handle #79: Charleston Brewing - Albatross

This is about as rare a tap as you will see for reasons you'll see below. This tap was not label specific, although there is another identical version with an East Bay IPA label. Lots of detail and color, featuring an albatross wearing pilot's headgear, a post encrusted with barnacles and coral, and a mermaid figurehead on the backside, make this an incredible tap.

Click through to read more about Charleston Brewing...

Tap Handle #78: Bud Light - Bronze Bull Rider

Another of the Heritage taps I first described here. This is probably my favorite of the Heritage taps. It is also quite rare.

Bud Light was introduced in 1982 in response to the popularity of Miller Lite. Despite Miller Lite having a huge head-start, sales of Bud Light eventually eclipsed Miller Lite due to successful ad campaigns in the 1980s and its association to the Budweiser brand. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.17, bad enough to be included on ratebeer's Worst 100 Beers in the World list.

Bud Light Official Website

Tap Handle #77: Widmer Brothers - Drop Top Amber Ale

Featuring an acrylic dog head, this is the shorter 7" tap, and there is also a taller 12" one. I'm not sure what the dog has to do with the beer. This tap is no longer available - the current incarnation is a simple wood post with a sign mounted on top. This is definitely better.

Click through to read more about Widmer Brewing and their Drop Top Amber Ale...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tap Handle #76: Budweiser with Lobster Topper

There are several variations of this tap. I've seen a solid white post with red lettering and a Bud Light with a translucent blue post and white lettering. Must be for beer sold in Maine?

For more about Budweiser, see this post.

Tap Handle #75: Anheuser-Busch - Shock Top Belgian White

Back in post Tap Handle #35 (found here) I talked about Spring Wheat Iced Heat going from seasonal to year-round, and the name was changed to Shock Top. Well, this is the Shock Top tap, done by the now-familiar Anheuser-Busch artist that is responsible for several taps you've seen here so far. I wasn't too crazy about this tap at first, but I've grown to like it. I have since picked up a beautiful Raspberry Shock Top, but that's a subject for another post...

Recommended food pairings are salads, chicken, and Asian cuisine. The score on ratebeer.com for Shock Top is 2.59 out of 5, the same as Spring Wheat Iced Heat (as expected).

Unlike the Michelob seasonals or Anheuser-Busch regional brews, Shock Top does in fact have its own webpage:

Shock Top Official Website

Tap Handle #74: Horny Goat - Exposed Saison

I love this tap. A lot. It's very humorous, with a naked goat wearing a barrel. The sculpting on the goat, especially his expression, is fantastic.

Click through to read more about Horny Goat Brewing and their Exposed Saison Ale...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tap Handle #73: Kona - Fire Rock Pale Ale

This is a nice tap, inspired by the copper glow of the Kilauea Caldera that pours molten lava into the sea on the big island of Hawaii. Of all the Kona taps I possess, this is probably my favorite variety.

Click through to read more about Kona Brewing and their Fire Rock Pale Ale...

Tap Handle #72: Budweiser - Bronze Bronco Rider

Another of the Heritage Series taps which I originally discussed here, this one features a cowboy riding a bucking bronco. It's pretty rare.

Tap Handle #71: Miller Lite Cactus

This is a pretty cool tap...a beer bottle shaped as a cactus! I'm not sure what it was produced for - maybe some event or regional production in Arizona?

Miller Brewing was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1855 by Frederick J. Miller. He purchased the small Plank-Road Brewery for $2300. Using a unique brewers yeast that he brought over from Germany, he began to develop his recipes, as he was already a renowned brewer in Germany at the age 25 prior to immigrating to the U.S. In 1886 Miller was one of the first breweries to pasteurize its beer. Frederick Miller died of cancer in 1888 and the brewery passed on to his family. In 1903 the beer became known as Miller High Life, and the next year the brewery went fully automated for bottling, and sales skyrocketed. However, Prohibition soon hit and Miller was forced to survive on non-alcoholic products. The company remained in the family until 1966, when W. R. Grace bought a majority stake from Lorraine John Mulberger, Frederick Miller's granddaughter who objected to alcohol. It was sold again in 1969 to Philip Morris for $130 million, who outbid Pepsi to acquire Miller. In 1975 Miller launched Miller Lite, the first nationally-distributed low-calorie beer, which was such a success that in 2 years Miller went from 4th largest brewer to 2nd. Then in 2002 Miller changed hands once again, purchased by South African Breweries (SAB) for $5.6 billion, making it the 2nd largest in the world. In 2007, SABMiller and MolsonCoors join forces to become MillerCoors. Miller owns several recognizable brands such as Sharp's, Mickey's, Olde English 800, Milwaukee's Best, Hamm's, Icehouse, Red Dog, and Southpaw Light.

Miller Lite is a pale lager that was actually created in 1967 by biochemist working for New York's Reingold Brewery. He gave the recipe to one of Miller's competitors, Meister Brau, who dubbed it Meister Brau Light.  When Miller purchased Meister Brau, they converted the light beer to Miller Lite and heavily marketed it. Some of the ad campaigns are considered the best ever, including the "great taste...less filling" spots that were wildly popular. At one point in 1982 Lite had several ingredients not normally found in beer, like seaweed extract, corn syrup, chemically-altered hop extracts, amyloglucosidase, carbon dioxide, papain enzyme, liquid sugar, potassium metabisulfite, and Emka malt (a food coloring). Today Miller Lite is brewed to "exacting standards", and won a gold medal in 2010 at the Great American Beer Festival. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.36 out of 5, and Miller Lite appears on their "50 Worst Beers in the World" list.

Miller Lite Official Website

Tap Handle #70: Anheuser-Busch - Mule Kick Oatmeal Stout

This is a great tap, it brings forth a chuckle or two from those who see it. The label on the barrel shows a mule kicking against a backdrop of a horseshoe and the state of Missouri (read on to find out why Missouri is on there).

Like the other regional beers we covered in previous posts (Tarpon Spoon, Skipjack, Demon's Hop Yard), Mule Kick Oatmeal Stout was the winning selection in an Anheuser-Busch "you choose it, we'll brew it" contest that took place in Missouri. Internet voters chose it over Confluence Amber Wheat and Pilot House Imperial Pils offerings. Thus, Missouri appears on the label, as well as its official mascot, the mule. A-B began brewing it in late 2006 at their flagship St. Louis brewery. Mule Kick is described as a medium-bodied oatmeal stout with notes of caramel, chocolate, and roasted coffee. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.51 out of 5.

Another local offering, another beer without a website...

Tap Handle #69: Budweiser - Bronze Baseball Player

This is somewhat of a rare tap...Budweiser produced a set of taps called the "Heritage Collection" that are all done in faux bronze. I have most of them, and this is the first one I acquired. It's done in the style of a Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb era baseball player.

For more about Budweiser, see this post.

Tap Handle #68: Rattlesnake Mountain - Rattlesnake Pale

Another incredibly rare tap from a small brewery. I was going to take the photo from the side, but then the sign wouldn't have been visible.

Click through to read more about Rattlesnake Mountain Brewing and their Rattlesnake Pale Ale...

Tap Handle #67: Miller - Icehouse Ice Lager

This is a cool tap featuring an old building bearing the Icehouse logo, sitting on top of a glass of beer. It is marked with "Plank Road Brewery" and "1855" on the red ribbon...1855 is when the Plank Road Brewery was built. There are alternate versions of this tap - on some, the building sits on a tall dark blue fountain of water; on others, there is a single dark door instead of the white barn doors, and the words Plank Road Brewery and 1885 appear in large dark letters with no red ribbon.

Back in post Tap Handle #40 (Southpaw Light) I mentioned Miller's Plank Road Brewery division - Icehouse is part of that division. Introduced in 1993, it is brewed at below-freezing temperatures, during which ice crystals bond to proteins, bacteria, and yeast and allowing all to be removed with a filter. Icehouse won gold medals at the 2003 and 2007 Great American Beer Festival, and a gold medal in the 1996 and 1998 World Beer Cup. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.53 out of 5.

Icehouse Official Website (Note: like Mickey's, there's not much there. C'mon, Miller!)

Tap Handle #66: Sea Dog (Shipyard) - Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale

A great-looking tap for lovers of dogs or anything blueberry, with a very nice label. The dog is a Great Pyrenees named Barney, who was the "apprentice brewmaster" and figurehead. Although Great Pyrenees normally don't like water, Barney loved to swim, and was sailing at the age of three months, earning the nickname "Sea Dog".

Click through to read more about Sea Dog Brewing and their Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale...

Tap Handle #65: Anheuser-Busch - Faust Golden Lager

This is simply an awesome tap, the detail is fantastic, inspired by the original Faust label in 1885. The new Faust had a limited run and not many of these taps were made.

In 1995, Anheuser-Busch decided to bring back some old recipes for a limited run...they called this American Originals. The first was called Black and Tan, and the tap featured a lion fighting a bear. The second was Faust. Faust was first brewed in 1885 by Adolphus Busch for his good friend Tony Faust to serve at Faust's renowned St. Louis Oyster House and Restaurant. Initially only sold in Faust's restaurant,  it proved to be so popular that it was later (in 1893, which can be seen on the base of the tap) made on a much wider basis. During Prohibition, A-B ceased beer production, and when it was repealed, Faust was not brought back, as Prohibition and The Great Depression took their toll and only the cheapest beers were made from that point on. There is a Faust Brewing in Germany, and another in Texas, that should not be confused with A-B's Faust beer.

The new Faust was described as an all-malt lager using only the richest, two-row dry-malted barley and a blend of Bohemian and Washington State hops. The beer has been retired due to poor sales and reviews. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.3 out of 5. That score would be bad enough to put the new Faust in ratebeer.com's 50 worst beers of all-time, but there are simply not enough reviews to qualify. At any rate it is highly unlikely that the new Faust recipe resembled the popular original in any way.

Tap handle #64: Mickey's Malt Liquor - Green Hornet

If you thought the Tomboy Steampunk tap from a couple of posts back was very rare, have a look at this one. Since Mickey's Green Hornet is my favorite advertising icon, I had to have this tap, and it's one of my top taps. It's in good shape for it's age, with no real damage, just some areas of missing paint. It's hard to find them because many were tossed out after the wings and antenna were damaged, which happens a lot because they are very fragile. Plus, although Mickey's is still produced, it's safe to say the taps are vintage - when was the last time you heard of a place that had Mickey's on tap? It may even be older than the Coors Beer Wolf tap.

Click through to read more about Mickey's Malt Liquor...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tap Handle #63: Goose Island - Honker's Ale

There are several varieties of this tap, which are distinguished by color such as platinum, black, and gold.

Click through to read more about Goose Island Brewing and their Honker's Ale...

Tap Handle #62: Local Color - Tomboy Red Lager Steampunk

Everyone has going crazy for the Doghead Fish Steampunk tap. This Tomboy tap is the original steampunk tap.

Click through to read more about Local Color Brewing and their Tomboy Red Lager...

Tap Handle #61: Michelob - Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

You've seen the taps for the other Michelob seasonals...Spring Heat/Sun Dog (Spring), Beach Bum (Summer), and Jack's Pumpkin Spice (Fall)...this is the Winter seasonal. It is of course from the same artist as the others, with sunglasses as a recurring theme. The tap was heavily produced and is quite common.

Winter's Bourbon was created in 2005 at Michelob's Fort Collins, Colorado brewery. It is brewed with caramel and barley malts, and aged in bourbon oak casks with vanilla beans. Recommended food pairings are lobster with peppercorn sauce, clam chowder, pork chops and applesauce, goat cheese, and toffee pudding. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.49 out of 5.

Michelob's Winter's Bourbon Webpage

Tap Handle #60: Anheuser-Busch - Demon's Hop Yard IPA

This is a great tap, featuring a demon hand holding a foamy glass of beer. There are also hop leaves wrapped around the base of the hand. Very cool!

Demon's Hop Yard is another one of those local Anheuser-Busch brews like Skipjack and Tarpon Spoon. It is brewed in Merrimack, New Hampshire and is the result of a "you  choose it, we'll brew it" campaign in 2006. New England residents voted online and picked Demon's Hop Yard over Stone Face, a brown ale, and Leaf Peeper Pils, a high-alcohol Pilsner. Demon's Hop Yard is one of the highest-rated brews you'll see from a macrobrewery (that's not saying much), with a grassy, citrus aroma, although some suggest that the use of Northwest hops would make it more flavorful. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.82 out of 5.

Since this is another A-B local brew, there's no website and no listing of it on A-B's website.

Tap Handle #59: Sierra Blanca Brewing - Alien Amber Ale

An extremely rare tap. Mine is a custom paint job to resemble the "My Favorite Martian" TV series, making it one-of-a-kind.

Click through to read more about Sierra Blanca Brewing and their Alien Amber Ale...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tap Handle #58: Coors Light - Beer Wolf with Headband

This tap is a variation of the Coors Light Beer Wolf with Cap featured in my first Visual Tour post. It is the more rare of the two taps.

For more on Coors Light and the Beer Wolf, see this post.

Tap Handle #57: Big Sky Brewing - Trout Slayer Wheat Ale

This is probably one of the most beautiful taps I own...the painting is airbrushed and the detail and color are outstanding. It's very rare.

Click through to read more about Big Sky Brewing and their Trout Slayer Wheat Ale...

Tap Handle #56: Magic Hat - Circus Boy Hefeweizen

I love this tap. It reminds me of Nightcrawler from the X-Men. Lots of great little details like spiders, skull and crossbones, and the rickety ladder. Although it came with a little flag on top, it is very hard to find one with the flag intact. This is the old-style tap...the new tap is not figural.

Click through to read more about Magic Hat and their Circus Boy Hefeweizen...

Tap Handle #55: Anheuser-Busch: Skipjack Amber Lager

I believe this tap was created by the same artist who created the Michelob seasonal taps like Sun Dog and Spring Heat. It appears to be a marlin wearing sunglasses and holding a beer. Mine shows some signs of use but is still in pretty good condition. Not quite as nice as the Tarpon Spoon but still a cool and fun tap.

Like the Tarpon Spoon I profiled back in my Tap Handle #27 entry, Skipjack is an Anheuser-Busch beer created for a local market. Introduced in 2007 and brewed in Anheuser-Busch's Williamsburg, Virginia brewery, Skipjack targets the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., as well as Kentucky and Tennessee. It is named after the skipjack sailboats that sail Chesapeake Bay. It is described as a lager with an amber-red hue and an aroma of caramel and roasted nut. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.75 out of 5.

Like the Tarpoon Spoon, since Skipjack is a local offering, it is not mentioned on the Anheuser-Busch website and has no web page of its own.

Tap Handle #54: Cucapa Cerveza - Chupacabra Pale Ale

I loved this tap so much that I ended up buying a second one for Kelly. Chupacabra means "goat sucker" in Spanish and refers to a creature of legend that drains the blood from goats (an event that continues to this day). One of my absolute favorite taps.

Click through to read more about Cucapa Cerveza's Chupacabra Pale Ale...

Tap Handle #53: Big Hole - Headstrong Pale Ale Buffalo Head

Back in post Tap Handle #21, Red River Valley - Bison, I spoke of a Big Hole tap that was nearly identical to the Red River Valley Bison Head...well, this this tap of which I spoke.

Big Hole Brewing is located in Belgrade, Montana and is somewhat of a mystery. Their website seems to no longer exist (if it ever did), and reviews suggest that the beer is not brewed in Montana, but instead is brewed under contract in New York by Matt Brewing (makers of Saranac). It was also brewed in Ontario Canada and Wisconsin but it sounds like that has ended. I can't find any other information on them. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.2 out of 5.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tap Handle #52: Boulder Beer - Buffalo Gold

This tap is unique in that although I have a few other taps that feature buffalo heads, this one has a fully sculpted body instead of just a head.

Click through to read more about Boulder Beer and their Buffalo Gold...