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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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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tap Handle #325: Lead Feather - Hodag Premium Honey Wheat Ale

I've got a Chupacabra tap, a Loch Ness Monster tap, and a couple of Bigfoot footprint taps, so it's only natural for me to pursue another cryptid tap - in this case, the Hodag. I absolutely love this tap! The Hodag is a mythical creature centered around the city of Rhinelander in northern Wisconsin. In 1896 a Hodag was "captured" and displayed at the Oneida County Fair, but was exposed to be a hoax. Still, the legend stuck, and the Hodag became the mascot of the local high school. This tap is extremely rare, since Lead Feather was not in business long...I have never seen another.

Lead Feather was founded in Janesville, Wisconsin in 2009 by three business partners. It was formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and created its first brew, Hodag Premium Honey Wheat Ale, which was contract brewed through the O'so Brewery. They struck a deal with the Wisconsin Hospitality Group to have their beer distributed exclusively to their Applebee's Restaurants. It seemed like a win-win: Lead Feather would get to increase brand awareness without having to spend on advertising, while Applebee's would increase customers through microbrew offerings.

The company tried to raise capital from private investors to support building a brewery, and establish the brand as well as sales and distribution networks. They even announced 4 more beers they would produce, all named after oxymorons: Dark Star (a brown ale), Crash Landing (a pale ale), Pretty Ugly (an India pale ale), and True Blarney (an Irish stout). But Lead Feather was unable to raise the capital, and with no advertising or marketing, combined with disappointing sales at Applebee's, the company closed in 2012.

Hodag was a honey wheat ale made with pure Wisconsin clover honey and a light wheat flavor with a slightly sweet finish. Although reviews were lukewarm, multiple reviewers commented on the awesomeness of the tap handle while it was being served at Applebee's. Weighted average on is 2.68 out of 5.

Lead Feather is out of business so there is no website to link to.


  1. Man I've been looking for one! Where did you find this one at?

  2. Manny, I got lucky and outbid several other bidders on eBay. I expected there would be more out there since they were used in Applebee's...on the other hand, the brewery was pressed for funds, so who knows how many were made? Also, maybe they broke easily...

  3. Yea that's the story with lot of taps there like fine china that's a great tap to have in any collecting! I just got my hands on last years PBR tap the octo PBR tap got a steal on that and a sweet water tap as well

  4. Nice! I'd love to have that Octopabst tap! The price is pretty high right now on eBay, though...

  5. Yea it's way up there along with the game of thorns tap. Lucky for me I was able to get one of the last ones from the ommegang brewery at cost so I got a hell of a deal!