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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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tap Handle #178: Haacht - Rince Cochon

My friend Kelly's parents, Barney and Diane, wanted to buy me a tap for my birthday this year. This is the one I selected. Rince Cochon means "Rinsed Pig" in French. It's a beauty, isn't it?

The Haacht brewery traces its origins back to 1898, when Eugène De Ro brewed his first top-fermented beer. Four years later he also ventured into brewing bottom-fermented beer. This type of beer was so successful that the "Brouwerij en Melkerij van Haecht" was at the top of the Belgian brewing world in 1913. In 1929 the brewery expanded production into other types of beer: Bock, Export, Pilsner and Stout Ale. 1937 was a record year for the brewery, selling over 50 million litres of beer. In 1951, De Ro's son-in-law Alfred van der Kelen took over management of the brewery. Haacht Brewery began buying out smaller breweries to expand production and distribution.

Alfred van der Kelen died unexpectedly in 1968 and was succeeded by his son Frédéric. Between the 1970s and the 1990s Frédéric dramatically expanded the company's property portfolio. In 1990 the company started updating all of their production equipment. Today Haacht Brewery is the largest subsidiary of the public limited company Brouwerij Handelsmaatschappij nv (the third-largest brewer in Belgium), with its headquarters in Brussels and its administrative headquarters in Boortmeerbeek. Frédéric van der Kelen is still at the helm.

Rince Cochon is a Belgian Strong Ale that was previously contract brewed for French distributor Difcom at the Roman, Huyghe and SBA (Annoeullin) breweries, but is now brewed at Haacht under contract, though Haacht does not list the beer on its website.

Haacht Brewery Official English Website

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tap Handle #177: Spoetzl - Shiner Bock Ram's Head

The ram head tap handle is very iconic for Shiner. Like many taps, I think a matte finish would have been beautiful, but it is still outstanding and I'm happy to have it in the collection. There is a second, newer version of the tap with a different sculpting of the ram head.

Shiner Bock is an American dark lager with a smooth taste and no bitter aftertaste. Weighted average on ratebeer.com is 2.57 out of 5.

For more on Spoetzl and Shiner, see this post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tap Handle #176: Coors Light - Cattle Skull on Fence Post

Back in this post I was bummed out when I received the cattle skull tap with a broken horn. Fortunately, I was able to obtain another at a great price. This is one of my favorite taps, with great detail like the barbed wire wrapped around the post.

For more about Coors Light, see this post.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tap Handle #175: Coors Light - "Prism" Beer Bottle

I initially obtained this tap with several other taps, but I eventually decided to sell it. I didn't remove it this post as it would mess up my numbering system.

Tap Handle #174: Coors Light - Lucite Cactus

This tap has some wow factor when used with lighting effects, since the clear acrylic on the outside allows light to penetrate and refract off of the foil on the inside. The effect is quite striking, especially when using colored light.

For more about Coors and Coors Light, see this post.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tap Handle #173: Coors Light - Baseball and Bat

There's another version of this tap that is identical except for a Colorado Rockies symbol on it. And the Colorado Rockies just happen to play at Coors Field.

For more about Coors Light, see this post.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tap Handle #172: Coors Light - Shock Absorber

I had my eye on this tap for awhile before I finally obtained one. It's pretty rare, although I believe it was used at some Nascar racing events.

For more about Coors Light, see this post.

Tap Handle #171: Killian's - Copper Horsehead on Green Base

This is a pretty tap, with a copper colored horse head inside of a ring, on top of a resin base with green marbling.

For more about Killian's irish Red, see this post.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tap Handle #170: Killian's - Red Horsehead on White Base

I think this tap is quite nice, featuring a red horse head on resin and wood base.

For more about Killian's Irish Red, see this post.

Tap Handle #169: Coors Light - Cowboy & Bronco Pewter Topper

This tap features a small sculpting of a cowboy on a bucking bronco. What's unique about this tap is the wooden pull...most Coors taps are silver-colored, in keeping with the "Silver Bullet" theme. They deviated from that silver color, to a wooden handle on this tap, which helps to keep more of a western theme.

For more about Coors Light, see this post.

Tap Handle #168: Coors Light - Bobblehead Football Helmet

This is an official NFL licensed tap handle. The bobblehead feature is an interesting choice...Coors did several of these, including the bobblehead bull I listed back on Tap Handle entry #101.

For more about Coors Light, see this post.

Tap Handle #167: Moosehead - Camp Moosehead Totem Pole

Long had I sought the Camp Moosehead tap - it debuted on my original wishlist in the #2 slot - until good fortune smiled upon me and dropped it in my lap. The detail is excellent, with a whimsical theme and bright colors. An excellent tap, and one of my favorites.

For more about Moosehead, see this post.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lunch at MacTarnahan's Taproom

On Tuesday I had the good fortune of visiting MacTarnahan's Taproom as part of a business lunch. I've been at the Taproom twice before, long before I started this blog. For more about the history of the Portland Brewery and MacTarnahan's label, see this post.



The building (pictured left) is a beautiful old building in Northwest Portland. This area in general is highly industrialized, being part of the Port of Portland and close to the Willamette River. However, the neighborhood where the Taproom sits is a transition point from industrial to housing (and beyond that, Forest Park). Parking is limited and can be a challenge, but we were fortunate to find an empty spot in the lot.




The inside of the Taproom is open and spacious. One of the first things you notice when you walk in are the giant copper kettles (pictured right). Polished and gleaming with large arched windows letting the light pour in, they were quite beautiful.





Turning 180 from the gleaming copper,  the first thing you notice is the bar (pictured left). A chalkboard displays limited releases, old MacTarnahan standbys, year-round brews, and taproom exclusives. The ceramic tap dispensers are quite pretty, but one can't help but notice that the majority of the taps are Pyramid varieties. There's a fair-sized indoor eating area, and we had made reservations, but still found ourselves out on the covered patio. Not a bad option on a warm, sunny day...there were some small flies buzzing around from time to time but they didn't ruin the meal.


The lunch menu is typical pub fare: salads, sandwiches, burgers, and the like. I had the fish and chips, and they were good, especially the beer batter and tartar sauce, though I would have preferred halibut instead of cod. My co-workers said the Reuben was not bad, and high marks were given to the buffalo chicken sandwich.



I made the mistake of briefly glancing at the drink menu instead of studying it, and because I wanted to try a limited release, I quickly selected the Ink Blot Baltic Porter (pictured right). Only later did I see the Red Fig Wheat (which I've never tried) and Pyramid Apricot Ale (which I really like), and probably would have chosen one of them instead. The Baltic Porter was not bad, with roasted malt and chocolate notes, but seemed a little bitter, and was very heavy and thick, a curious choice for a summertime limited release. Ink Blot is an appropriate name. Not quite up to the standards of some other top-shelf Porters I've sampled, but not terrible either.




The service was good, and the wait staff was attentive and friendly. None had outrageous personalities, which can either make service fun or miserable, depending on the person's charm. Overall it was a good time and I'd definitely return to try the Red Fig Wheat and tour the brewery.