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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.

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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.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tap Handle #39: Brewery Van Steenberge - Gulden Draak Ale

I've stated before that I love medieval creatures and weapons, and this tap is no exception. There is a strange look to it, with the white dots that make it look like riveted metal and the giant white teeth with the large tongue sticking out. Strange, yes, but still awesome - when you read the history of the Gulden Draak below, you'll understand why the tap appears the way it does.

Click through to read more about Brewery Van Steenberge and their Gulden Draak Ale...

Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) is brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge in Ertvelde, East Flanders. The brewery has a rich history dating back to 1784, when Jean Baptiste de Bruin opened the first commercial brewery in Belgium. The brewery passed to his wife's nephew, and then to the nephew's daughter, who married Paul Van Steenberge. Steenberge was a microbiologist and politician who worked with a student of Louis Pasteur to develop several innovations in brewing. During World War II, the brewery fell on hard times and Steenberge was forced to join a co-op and share his knowledge with other brewers to cut costs and survive. His son Joseph took control of the brewery in 1962 and he re-oriented the brewery to producing top-quality beer, even through periods when other breweries were reducing quality by cutting costs. Joseph's son Paul took over the brewery in the 1990s. It is now run by Jef Verseles, Paul's nephew and the 7th generation of family brewers.

Gulden Draak is named after the golden dragon at the top of the belfry in Ghent. According to legend, the golden dragon once adorned the prow of the ship belonging to the Norse king Sigrid Magnusson in 1111, who donated it to the emperor of Constantinople to be placed in the dome of the Hagia Sophia. After a Flemish count obtained it and brought it home, it was captured as booty during the battle of Beaver Wood Field in 1382 by the citizens of Ghent, who placed it on the Belfry as a protector and symbol of freedom and power of the city. The tap is modeled after the original, which was made to look fearsome to Norse enemies and victims.

The beer itself is a Belgian dark with hints of caramel, roasted malt, coffee, cherries, and hazelnut cream. It is meant to go well with Belgian stews, red meat sauces, and dark chocolate desserts. In 1998 Gulden Draak was crowned the best-tasting beer in the world by the American Tasting Institute. Weighted average on is 3.79 out of 5.

Use Google Translate to navigate the Belgian language on the Brewery Steenberge Official Website.


  1. Where can you buy this tap handle?

  2. Message me using the "Contact Me" feature over in the sidebar and I'll give you some guidance...