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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Friday, June 29, 2012

Tap Handle #164: Pangaea - Lilja's Hop Nest Monster IPA

This is the third of my Pangaea taps, and seems to also be pretty rare. It also happens to be one of my favorite taps...the detail is amazing and the colors are so vibrant! And like the Chupacabra tap from Cucapa, it represents a creature of cryptozoology, which I really enjoy. This is one tap that does not suffer from a glossy finish, since it is a "sea-creature" and the gloss gives it a "wet" look. Simply an excellent tap from Pangaea.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster is an IPA bursting with the aroma of the American Amarillo hop. As an all-malt American IPA, over an entire pound per barrel of fragrant and floral Amarillo hops are added to the brew. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.02 out of 5.

For more about Pangaea, see this post.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tap Handle #163: Pangaea - Lilja's Sasquatch Stout

This tap, featuring a cast of a Sasquatch foot, is the second of three Pangaea taps I own. Of the three taps, I've probably seen this one the least, so it might be the most rare.

Sasquatch Stout is an American-style extra stout, with tones of chocolate and coffee. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.52 out of 5.

For more about Pangaea, see this post.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tap Handle #162: Pangaea - Lilja's Heifer Weizen

This is the first of three Pangaea taps I own. It's got great detail, and the cheesehead is removable, as it's held on with flexible string. An outstanding tap.

Pangaea Beer Company was founded in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, in 2004 by Guy Lilja. Lilja brews all of the test batches in a 1/2 barrel test system in his garage. Every aspect of the company, from the recipes to the labels, is done from Lilja’s home. He personally negotiates with distributors, and has gotten the beer into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois. The beer is contract brewed by Sand Creek Brewery, as Lilja has no desire to build his own brewery, and is happy with the results produced by Sand Creek.

Lilja's Heifer Weizen is a German Hefeweizen brewed with 40% malted wheat and 60% Pilsner malt. However, the flavor profile of the Heifer isn’t primarily derived from the malted wheat or hops, but from the special strain of yeast employed during fermentation. The Belgian Ale yeast produces a dry, multi-dimensional, mildly fruity flavor profile that is as refreshing as it is complex. Heifer Weizen won Best-Of-The-Fest at the 2008 Sheboygan Brewfest in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.9 out of 5.

Pangaea Official Website (full of all kinds of cool information)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tap Handle #161: Panther Brewing - Three Stooges Beer

This is the crown jewel of my collection. It's the most costly and rare tap that I own. The detail in the sculpted faces is excellent, and this is a large, heavy tap, probably about 14" in length.

Panther Brewing was founded in 1998 in Westwood, Mass. by Dewey Parsons and Mike Herbert. Parsons, who served as company president, owned a food distribution firm in Foxboro, Mass., for 15 years and operated several liquor stores throughout the Boston area. Lifelong Stooges fans, Parsons and Herbert struck a deal with the company that handled all licensing related to the comedy trio. The beer however, was never brewed in Westwood, and instead was contract brewed at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Later, they switched to a different contract brewer FX Matt in Utica, NY (brewers of Saranac). Ultimately Panther Brewing ceased operations sometime between 2002-2003, mostly due to poor reviews. People bought it for the novelty of the Stooges, and did not repeat purchase.

Three Stooges beer was a pale lager that reviewers described as skunky, tasting of carbonated corn and dirty dishwater. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 1.95 out of 5.

Since Panther Brewing is defunct, there is no web page link.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tap Handle #160: Cerveza Pacifico Clara

This tap reminds me of the Widmer Drifter Pale Ale tap...it must be the life ring. A simple yet solid tap. I see it in a lot of bars and restaurants.


Cerveza Pacífico Clara, better known as Pacífico, was first brewed in 1900 when three Germans opened a brewery called the Cerveceria del Pacífico in Mazatlán. Cerveza Pacífico is named so because the Pacífico brewery is located in the Pacific Ocean port city of Mazatlán, in the state of Sinaloa, México. Its label includes a picture depicting a lifesaver encompassing a hill with the port's lighthouse, known locally as "Cerro del Crestón." The Pacífico brewery was bought by Mexican brewing giant Grupo Modelo in 1954 (they also own Corona). The Belgian Anheuser-Busch InBev company currently owns a 50% stake of Grupo Modelo. Grupo Modelo began exporting it to the western and southern US in 1985, with great results. Pacífico is currently the fifteenth most popular imported brand in the US.

Cerveza Pacífico Clara is a Mexican pilsner-style beer with a refreshing, smooth taste. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.07 out of 5.

Official Grupo Modelo Cerveza Pacifico Web Page (English Version)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tap Handle #159: Opa-Opa - Red Rock Amber Ale

This was originally supposed to be an Opa-Opa Watermelon Ale tap - at least that's what the auction stated, and that's what the label said when I got it. The problem was it was a plain, ugly green label with a cartoon watermelon on it. I noticed another label underneath it and decided to peel off the watermelon label. This revealed a beautiful Red Rock Amber Ale below it, and I am far happier with it now. Besides the label, I love the horseshoe as well.

Opa-Opa was founded in Southampton, Massachusetts, in 2004 by Antonio and Themis Rizos and two other partners. The Rizos brothers grew up a few hours north of Athens, Greece, where they constantly absorbed American culture on TV and at the movies. When they moved to the States, they opened Red Rock Pizza, which has been a Southampton fixture for over 17 years. They felt they could add something more to the culinary landscape, but they didn’t want competition for their pizza, so they decided to make beer. The beer business was so good that Opa Opa opened a sister brewery and brewpub, the Brewmaster's Tavern, in Williamsburg. This site serves as the main plant for Opa Opa's bottled beer, as well as the source for the adjoining tavern. The name Opa-Opa is derived from the Greek expression of joy and celebration.

Red Rock Amber is named after the old Red Rock drive-in in Southampton, and won gold medals at The Great International Beer Festival in 2005 and 2007. It is a blend of German Vienna malt and English Crystal malts that give this beer its great malty and slightly sweet caramel flavor, with hints of fruitiness. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.0 out of 5.

Opa-Opa Official Website

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tap Handle #158: Widmer - Brrr Seasonal Ale

Another Widmer tap that is a victim of cost, it is no longer produced. A tap wearing a hat. What a great idea!

Brrr Seasonal Ale is a red ale available from October to January. Not quite excessively hopped, with pine and citrus notes, a candy sweetness, and a velvety finish thanks to the use of dark chocolate malt. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.48 out of 5.

For more about Widmer Brothers, see this post.

Tap Handle #157: Mission - Blonde Ale

As I mentioned in the Shipwreck post, both that tap and this one acquired together. A nice tap with colors you would associate with a mission, and just like the Shipwreck tap, the bells ring.

Blonde Ale is a crisp and refreshing golden ale modeled after the kolsch-style ales from Cologne (Köln), Germany. It has a clean, lager-like character, and a smooth, balanced bitterness. The authentic kolsch yeast strain provides a subtle fruitiness. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.09 out of 5.

For more about Mission, see this post.

Tap Handle 156: Waimea Brewing - Luau Lager

Tap size:  12.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

When I started the blog, this tap was on my list of 20 taps that I wanted to acquire the most. The colors are bright and beautiful, and there are little details that really make the tap stand out, like the carving of the headdress and the flowers on the sides of the base, and the matte finish is perfect. There are no eyes on the tiki - the headdress covers them. I've seen a few other taps like this one, but they are very hard to find and expensive to boot. I like the hula girl on this label more than the surfer on the Pale Ale version.

Click through to read more about Waimea Brewing, their Luau Lager, and to see more photos of this gorgeous tap...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tap Handle #155: Devil Mountain - Summer Mountain Brew

This is a great tap that was listed at #19 on my wishlist when I started the blog. I was happy to acquire it. Great detail on the steam engine, including a fantastic matte painting job make this a pretty tap. Some of the pieces are small and prone to breaking/chipping, so the tap should be examined closely for this potential flaw.


Devil Mountain was founded in Walnut Creek, California in 1987 by Greg Jones, operating out of an abandoned railroad station at the foot of Mount Diablo, with a 7 barrel brewhouse. The brewery was immediately recognized for its ability to create stellar products, using exotic combinations of ingredients to develop award winning recipes. In their first year of operation, the brewery won three medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Their tremendous early success propelled them to upgrading the brewery to a 23 barrel brewhouse with 7-8 varieties, but lease problems and increased competition forced Devil Mountain to look for a new, more centrally located brewery. They moved to Benicia around 1992, but as luck would have it, a tripling of sewer fees there forced them to close in 1995 and move to Cincinnati OH. For a time Devil Mountain was brewed under contract by Hudepohl-Schoenling (owned by Boston Beer Company) under the direction of its original brewmaster, Jim DeBoer. They must still be in existence in some form, because you can buy home brewing recipes of some of their varieties through Austin Homebrew Supply.

Summer Mountain Brew was a limited release, combining summer wheat malts with citrus and spice for a dry, crisp finish. It was not considered one of their top varieties, but was still enjoyable. There is no entry for Devil Mountain on ratebeer.com.

There is no website link to Devil Mountain that I could find.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tap Handle #154: Widmer Brothers - Drifter Pale Ale

This is a nice tap with nautical elements, mainly the life ring and rope. Like Red Hook, Widmer has gone to a simpler style of tap and this is no longer available. Since both companies are part of the Craft Brew Alliance, I'm thinking that the decision to go to a cheaper tap is a corporate decision.

Drifter Pale Ale is an American pale ale brewed with generous amounts of Summit hops, a variety known for their intense citrus flavors and aromas. Drifter won a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.4 out of 5.

For more about Widmer Brothers, see this post.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tap Handle #153: Lost Coast - Alleycat Amber Ale

The detail on this tap is fantastic, and I love the foam mustache and the eyepatch. What a fantastic tap!

My Dad was returning to Washington from Palm Springs and he stopped at the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka. After sampling one of their brews, he asked about tap handles. He picked out the Alleycat tap handle for me. While he was admiring it, a gentleman at the table behind him spoke up and asked him if he liked the tap. When my Dad replied that he did, the gentleman admitted to being the artist.

"Would you sign it?" asked my Dad.

"I will if you buy me a beer," the gentleman replied.

"What would you like?"

"8 Ball!" came the reply.

So my Dad bought me an Alleycat tap handle, and had it signed by the artist, Duane Flatmo.

Alleycat Amber Ale is made with roasted caramel malt and a sprightly cascade of hops. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 3.26 out of 5.

For more about Lost Coast Brewery, see this post.

For more about artist Duane Flatmo, visit Duane Flatmo's Official Website.