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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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reviews For The Sweet Tooth Quick Hits: Sonoma Cider, Johnny Appleseed Cider, Ciderboys Cider, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Pelican Kiwanda Cream Ale, Square Mile Cider

Happy New Year everyone! While I was waiting for a friend doing Christmas shopping in World Market a couple of weeks ago, I noticed they had a special "build your own six pack" deal, with an extra 20% off at the register. So I thought, why not? I picked out Sonoma Cider's "The Anvil" Bourbon Hard Cider, a Pelican Brewing Kiwanda Cream Ale (which I picked up the tap handle for a couple days later!), Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale, Johnny Appleseed Hard Cider, Ciderboys "Mad Bark" Cinnamon Hard Cider, and a Scuttlebutt Amber Ale. Okay, that last one I bought because I liked the label and ended up giving it to my dad on Christmas Day. Then my dad presented me with a six pack of Square Mile Hard Cider! The following is a quick summary of what I thought of each one...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tap Handle #457: Zuma - Cancun Pilsner

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The first thing you notice about the Zuma Cancun tap is the beautiful deep blue color of the lizard hanging on the side. Its tail is wrapped around the base of the tap. At the very bottom appears the words "Atlanta, GA". On the back is a mark we have seen on other taps profiled on this site like Rock Creek Nuttrageous and Drop Kick: an S inside of a C, followed by an '05, dating the tap to the height of Zuma Brewing's success, when their beers were winning regional competitions. I really wanted this tap for the beautiful lizard and also because the brewery is closed and the tap is scarce...I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Zuma Brewing, their Cancun Pilsner, and to see more photos of this vibrant tap...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tap Handle #456: Widmer - Green and Gold Kolsch

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap was a very generous gift from a gentleman who used to work for a tap manufacturing company. I thought it was a great acquisition due to the fact that it's a brewery local to me (Portland) and was made for the Portland Timbers soccer team's fan base, which is known as the Timbers Army and is legendary in its rabid following of the team. The tap is made to look like a cut log, which is appropriate since the Timbers are associated with the slowly declining (but still prominent) timber industry in Oregon. The front and back of the tap are identical, but the top pieces can rotate to create a different look if desired. It was created for a Timbers Army homebrew competition winning entry and had a limited distribution, so the tap is very scarce...I've never seen another.

For more about Widmer Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Widmer's Green and Gold Kolsch and to see more photos of this manly tap...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tap Handle #455: Morgan Street - Golden Pilsner

Tap size:  9"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

For quite some time I resisted acquiring this tap, because I thought the chubby, smiling bear with red eyes was too funny-looking, but when I had the chance to purchase one at a decent price I couldn't resist. The bear is standing on cut rock and holding a sign with the Morgan Street Brewery logo on it. Around the base is a label with the name of the variety of beer. The large ferrule is always a nice touch. The tap used to be easier to find, but seems to be in less supply. If one is patient, however, they can be had at a good price.

Click through to read more about Morgan Street Brewery, their award-winning Golden Pilsner, and to see more photos of the tap...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tap Handle #454: Mellow Mushroom (Red Brick) - Bogart Ale

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is the first of two taps I'll be profiling that feature an Alice in Wonderland theme. Alice in Wonderland was a book written by Lewis Carroll in 1865 that has since been featured in print, illustrations, paintings, cartoons, TV shows and movies. The Mellow Mushroom tap is gorgeous - the colors are bold and bright, but it's the detailed sculpting that really sets it apart from other taps. Featuring a caterpillar and Alice on top of a mushroom, the caterpillar has 6 arms (which are all holding bottles of beer) and 2 legs, with the word "Bogart" on its belly indicating the name of the beer. And check the pupils in Alice's eyes - it shows that a lot of attention to detail was placed in the tap's design and production. The tap is very hard to find...although there are many Mellow Mushroom locations, Bogart Ale was only offered locally in the Atlanta area. The beer has been out of production for many years, and these taps are prone to damage thanks to all of the caterpillar's arms and the fragile mushroom that got beat up (since there is no ferrule). If you see one you should grab it, because I've only ever seen 5 that weren't damaged. However, the skyrocketing price of this tap, along with its scarcity, might make acquiring one very difficult.

Click through to read more about Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurants and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tap Handle #453: Lone Star - Pistol

Tap size:  9" tall x 5" deep
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I had wanted this tap for quite some time and missed out several times before acquiring it. It is the most rare and desirable of all the Lone Star taps, which makes it the most expensive and the hardest to obtain. It is definitely coveted by mancave owners since it depicts a revolver. If it wasn't for the trigger being filled in, it would actually look quite real. Mine has a little paint peeling but is in otherwise great condition. I listed the depth in the tap size because it is so wide that I had to move it away from the backdrop at certain angles in order to photograph it. There is a Lone Star Light version of the same tap, with the exception of  blue lettering on the handle instead of red.

For more about Lone Star, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this coveted tap...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tap Handle #452: Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery - High Altitude Pale Ale

Tap size: 11"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap was a bit difficult to photograph properly, as the internal nut was not mounted squarely, making the tap tilt to one side. This "tilt" is commonly found on many older taps. Although this tap is mostly flat, it is only partially bas relief style - the bighorn sheep is fully three-dimensional. The sheep stands on top of a snowy peak with a patch of clouds hanging behind the mountains, and his cartoonish features make him quite a character. Since the Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery is a relatively small outfit, and this beer has been discontinued for some time, this tap is extremely rare - I've never seen another like it.

Click through to read more about Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery, their retired High Altitude Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this lofty tap...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tap Handle #451: Williams Orchards (Sunshine Imports) - Excalibur Hard Apple Cider

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

When I first obtained this tap, I mistakenly thought it was from England. It was only after I did the research for this post that I discovered it was used to dispense Williams Hard Cider in the Southern California area. However, the majority of the imported cider goes into a canning line, so very few of these taps were made. Featuring the legendary sword of Arthurian legend, it depicts Excalibur in its most famous state - stuck in a stone, waiting to be pulled out by King Arthur. The banner wrapped around the sword is a nice touch, as is the apple symbol on the hilt. The rarity of the tap, when combined with the loss of some taps due to breakage, makes this one quite rare indeed, and the high secondary market price reflects that.

Click through to read more about Williams Hard Cider and Sunshine Imports, their Excalibur brand, and to see more photos of this legendary tap...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tap Handle #450: Fat Head's - Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Tap size:  9"
Rarity: Uncommon
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

With Fat Head's Brewery's opening of a new brewpub near me in Portland last month, you can expect a post next year since I plan to visit there. For now, however, I'll settle for profiling their tap and brewery history. This tap looks amazingly like the chubby guy on the label. He's quite the character, bald and potbellied, wearing nothing but sunglasses and a barrel, and holding a frothing mug of beer. There's a label attached to both the front and back that indicates the variety of beer. The detail is excellent, and the Spooky Tooth label (which seems to be a pretty rare one) depicts the Fat Head guy as a vampire. Thanks to the soaring popularity of the brewery, these taps are plentiful and easy to find on the secondary market, and are reasonably priced.

Click through to read more about Fat Head's Saloon & Brewery, their Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and to see more photos of this hilarious tap...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tap Handle #449: Choc Beer Company (Krebs Brewing) - Basement Batch

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule

When you first look at this tap, you might think it's just a pair of handcuffs and not understand how it connects to the brewery. All of the Choc's core beers are called "Story" beers. Founder Joe Prichard's grandfather, Pete Prichard, is the subject of the "Story" beers, with each beer (and tap handle design) representing a significant event in Pete's life. Basement Batch represents the period of Pete's life from Prohibition through the 1960s, when Pete brewed choc beer illegally in his basement and was eventually incarcerated for doing so. The handcuffs on the tap handle are associated with that incarceration, giving the tap a symbolic meaning that goes far beyond the average tap. So although the tap isn't as elaborate as others, its "Story" is a perfect fit in my museum. The oversized black ferrule is quite unique too. The Basement Batch tap is very rare - I've only seen one other.

Click through to read more about Choc Beer Company, Pete Prichard (who paved the way for the brewery), their Basement Batch beer, and to see more photos of this storied tap...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tap Handle #448: Rock Creek - Nuttrageous Brown

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I have seen 3 taps from the defunct Rock Creek Brewery, and this tap is the rarest of the 3. It features a man dressed in renaissance clothes, holding a tankard of beer in one hand and a pipe in the other, while leaning on a half-barrel. The name of the variety and the brewery appear below. All of the Rock creek taps use the same tapered white base. On the back of the white base is an "S" and a "C", along with a date of 1999, meaning it was produced when Rock Creek started up their new brewery in Raleigh, North Carolina. That same mark appears on the Weston Drop Kick Ale Tap, so both taps were manufactured by the same person or company. Like many older taps, the paint is starting to crack, especially on the back, but so far there is no peeling. This tap is very rare - I've never seen another, so its value is hard to determine.

Click through to read more about Rock Creek Brewery, their Nuttrageous Brown Ale, and to see more photos of the tap...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tap Handle #447: Buzzards Bay

Tap size:  9"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This whimsical tap features a cartoonish-looking buzzard on top of a pier. There's also some coils of rope around the top of the pier, and a sign that says "IN SEASON". The detail on the buzzard isn't as good as it could be, but the rest of the tap is nicely done...the rope is actually grooved to resemble rope, and the pier has lines carved into it to make look like wood, and the coloring is well done. Mine has some paint peeling on the right side of the buzzard's head, but otherwise it's in good condition. The tap was used for all varieties, with no place for a label to indicate a variety. This tap is pretty rare, I've only seen about 3 others.

Click through to read more about Buzzards Bay and to see more photos of the tap...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tap Handle #446: Big Rock - Canvasback Ale

Tap size:  8.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting: ???

Back on November 5th I wrote a post about the "Cream of the Crop", the taps that I would have trouble replacing due to price and rarity...this is one of the taps that made the list and was hinted at in the post. Though it's a little on the small side, it's very well done, featuring a duck floating among reeds and grasses. Many taps have a solid paint color slapped on them, but this tap features shadowing and highlights in the painting that show attention to detail and a lot of work. The mounting is a bit of a mystery - there is a deep hole in the bottom that is not threaded, and a 5/16" anchor bolt wasn't large enough to screw into it. This tap is very rare - I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Big Rock's Canvasback Ale and to see more photos of this outstanding tap...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tap Handle #445: Chesapeake Bay Brewing - Chesbay Pilsner

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Like Florida Beer's Hurricane Reef tap and the Big Rock Fowl Mouth tap, this tap exemplifies a bas relief art style. Depicting an image of a great blue heron amid wetlands (which Chesapeake Bay is known for), the tap is from the second incarnation of the Chesapeake Bay Brewery (2001 - 2003) rather than the original brewery (1984-1990s). The flat back shows signs of the paint cracking, but so far there is no peeling, although some of the lettering has small spots of paint loss. This tap is extremely rare - I've never seen another.

Click through to read more about Chesapeake Bay Brewing Company, their Chesbay Pilsner, and to see more photos of this elegant tap...

Display Cabinets Still Available

I'm giving this post a "bump" to let everyone know that the display cabinets listed on the blog back in October are still for sale. The original post is as follows:

A blog reader in Delaware is selling some tap handle display cabinets. There are a total of 4 cabinets. Two cabinets are 55" x 3' which hold about 35 large taps and 35 smaller knobs; the other two cabinets are 55" x 4' which hold about 45 of each. So altogether the cabinets will hold about 160 large taps and 160 small taps/ball taps. They are made from white oak and plexiglass, and they do not come apart. The seller is asking $350 for each cabinet, or $1200 for all four.

Please note that no taps are included - this is only for the cabinets. Shipping these would probably be difficult, but if you live within driving distance of Delaware you should think about checking them out, as cabinets specifically for tap displays are very difficult to find, and not all of us are competent woodworkers.

If you are interested, please contact me using the "Contact Me" gadget over in the sidebar and I'll put you in touch with the seller. Here are some photos of the cabinets:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tap Handle #444 - Captain Lawrence - Brown Ale

Tap size:  12.75"
Rarity:  Common
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap's beauty lies in its simplicity and color scheme. By now you know I have a soft spot for several tap handle features...steampunk, mermaids and pretty women, hard ciders, and medieval themes...and barrels also belong on that list. The green, brown, and gold colors really pop and work well together. The base has three sides, presenting different looks depending on which side is facing the viewer, and different varieties have a different name on the sides of the base. The barrel has gold-colored bands, and on each end the initials "CL" are embossed in cursive script. Also on each end of the barrel, a green banner lies on underneath with the name of the brewery appearing on it in white lettering. The overall effect is quite pleasing. These taps were made in great numbers and are very inexpensive.

Click through to read more about Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, their Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this elegant tap...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tap Handle #443: Stevens Point - Ciderboys First Press Traditional Hard Cider

Tap size:  11.5"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This bright and boldly colored tap is simply gorgeous, and being a hard cider I had to have it, especially since I'll be reviewing the Mad Bark variety in an upcoming post. It features a giant apple on top of a "wood" base, with small apples underneath the large one, and also at the bottom. The apples are so glossy that it was impossible to take a photo without some reflection. The front and back are identical to each other, except the way the stem tilts on the large apple, and the two sides are also the same as each other. The tap is easy to find and very affordable.

Click through to read more about Ciderboys, the historic Stevens Point Brewery, and to see more photos of this lucious tap...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tap Handle #442: Titletown - Canadeo Gold Kolsch

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting: large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I love taps that represent actual structures, like the Boulevard Smokestack I profiled in Profile# 205 or the Cheboygan Lighthouse in Profile# 309. This one resembles the clock tower of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Depot, which Titletown purchased and turned into their brewery. On one side there is a little owl at the top, but I'm not sure what it represents, although I can find lots of images of toy owls dressed in Green Bay Packers gear. The tap is not rare and is pretty affordable.

Click through to read more about Titletown Brewing, their Canadeo Gold Kolsch, and to see more photos of this iconic tap...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tap Handle #441: Wells & Young's - Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Tap size:  7.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Though a little on the small side, thanks to a golden metallic paint that has been polished to a bright sheen, this tap is a real beauty. It is made to appear as a dark glass of beer inside of a chocolate candy bar wrapper. The front and back are mirror images to each other, and the sides appear to be identical to each other. The words "Pure Luxury" appear above the name of the brewery and the beer. Although it appears now and then on the secondary market, it's desirability and foreign scarcity make it sought after and expensive.

Click through to read more about Young's Brewing, their Double Chocolate Stout, and to see more photos of this brilliant tap...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tap Handle #440: Beermann's Beerwerks - Rip Roarin' Red

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting: standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

It's always a great feeling to obtain a scarce tap representing a brewery that has closed, as the chance of finding another one becomes incredibly difficult (and more expensive) as time passes. Although this tap is showing some wear - the labels are lifting at the ends a little bit, and the paint is starting to flake off of the base and crackle on the man's face and clothes - it's not bad enough to warrant a restoration attempt and just adds a little character. The top is interchangeable, where the "Beermann" had different colored shirts depending on the beer variety, and he can be unscrewed from the anchor bolt holding him in place. The labels on the beautiful pedestal base also indicate the variety. The front and back of the pedestal base are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other. This tap is very rare, I have only seen one other.

Click through to read more about Beermann's Beerwerks, their signature Rip Roarin' Red Ale, and to see more photos of this elusive tap...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tap Handle #439: Brewery Van Steenberge - Bornem Double Abbey

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

Stylistically, the Bornem tap handle feels right at home next to Brewery Van Steenberge's other taps like Augustijn and Piraat. Featuring a monk holding a stein while he pulls the barrel tap to dispense beer into another monk's stein, it's really quite beautiful, particularly the bright blue "banner" on the front that is made to look like a tapestry hanging from a rod. At the bottom of the tap, partially obscured by the tapestry, is a door with steps leading up to it. The barrel face and grey bricks are a nice touch, and there's even a rough-looking cat on the back. Cats were popular in old European breweries as a way to control rodents from getting into the grain used for brewing. This tap rarely appeared on the secondary market, but lately the supply seems to have dwindled even further and as a result the price has skyrocketed.

Click through to read more about Brewery Van Steenberge's Bornem Double Abbey and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tap Giveaway Contest Results

Congratulations to contest winner Denis!

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the contest! Until next month...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tap Giveaway Contest Begins NOW!

Here are your questions:

  1. Which brewery was originally named Hart Brewery?
  2. Which brewery's owners had a local TV show called "Beer Talk"?
  3. Which brewery set up in an old egg processing plant?
  4. What brewery was originally known as The Trout Brook Brewhouse?
  5. Who was a fermentation engineer working at a dairy before turning to brewing?
  6. Which brewery has a tasting room referred to as "Dirty Jack's"?
  7. Which brewery moved into a former tire factory?
  8. What brewery was owned by someone named Kosmos?
  9. Who was an oceanographer that turned to brewing due to seasickness?
  10. Which brewery was acquired by an agricultural co-op?
  11. What is the oldest brewery in North America and where is it located?
  12. Who once worked as a photographer and belly dancer while holding two Masters Degrees before becoming a brewer?
  13. What was the original name of the brewery that once brewed a Purple Yam Porter and had to change its name due to copyright issues?
  14. What brand of beer was promoted during the 1950s and 1960s by two puppet characters, Schultz and Dooley, voiced by Jonathan Winters?
  15. Which brewery used specially refurbished chicken sheds?
  16. Which brewery's name is derived from a variety of oyster?
  17. Which brewery was originally known as Lind Brewing Company?
  18. In their mission statement, what one thing was East Coast Taps created to sell?
  19. Regarding the tap I'm giving away: what does it resemble and what does it showcase?
  20. On average, roughly how long does it takes an amateur drinker to decide which beer fits them that night?

Tap Handle Giveaway Contest Begins Soon

Please take a moment to read the following before starting the contest:

In a few minutes I will post 20 trivia-style questions. The answers to the first 17 can be found here on the blog in the various profile posts; the last 3 questions can be found either on the East Coast Taps website or their Facebook page. Since you may not be completely familiar with the East Coast Taps sites, I recommend going through them carefully to find the correct answers (you will not need to look through their Facebook timeline to find answers).

As previously stated, the contest will be over when the first 10 completed responses are received, or by 6 pm Sunday, whichever comes first. Responses should be sent through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or if you already have my email address you can email the answers to me directly.

I've received a lot of interest so there may be a lot of competition for the tap. If you don't win, don't feel too bad, I only have 1 tap...but you can try again next month when I will be giving away a different tap. Good luck!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tap Handle #438: Yards - The Franklin

Tap Size:  13"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut
Manufacturer:  East Coast Taps

Obtaining this tap has become the pinnacle of my collecting experience, and it is a true museum piece. It is one of only three in existence, and the story behind it is quite unique. As part of the 2013 DesignPhilly Festival, Yards Brewing Company held a tap design contest. The goal was to conceptualize and create a real-life prototype of a new tap handle, with the winning design getting manufactured and used in bars around the city to draft Yards beers. "The Franklin" was the contest entry from East Coast Taps. A gala event was held to choose the winner, during which the taps were put through their paces. According to Audra Quintin, co-owner and Head of Operations of East Coast Taps:

"The vote was supposed to be tabulated from the popular vote from Pinterest, popular vote at the event, and ease of manufacturing. The Franklin won popular vote on Pinterest and had the most likes."

However, The Franklin was not chosen as the winner. It seems inconceivable to me that a tap this beautiful didn't win the contest, but for one night, at least, The Franklin was used to draft Yards Brewing's beer. ECT sold one of the taps to a private collector, and a second tap was sold to a pub owner. I now have the third tap. It's full of amazing little details: the cracked Liberty Bell, the kite and key with actual wire going through it, the eyes and glasses of Ben Franklin, the worn knees of his breeches, his pot belly...East Coast Taps really hit this one out of the park. This tap has been added to my "Cream of the Crop" list that I posted last week. For more about East Coast taps, visit their website, or see my interview with Audra Quintin.

Click through to read more about Yards Brewing and to see more photos of this one-of-a-kind tap...

Tap Giveaway Contest Confirmed

My internet service is back in business, so the tap giveaway contest will proceed as planned on Saturday, No. 14th at 6 pm PST, 9 pm EST. Tune in at that time when I will post instructions...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Update: Tap Contest Postponed

I'm postponing the tap giveaway contest until Saturday at 6 pm PST. I lost power 4 times last night and kept my computer off to prevent a hard drive crash. Plus staying warm was my first concern! With 3-4 inches of snow & freezing rain in the forecast for my area tomorrow, I would be unable to review submissions and give results if the power outages continue. Hopefully the weather will calm down by Saturday, I'll keep you updated as best I can and thank you for your patience...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tap Contest: Win A Tap Handle From East Coast Taps

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday the 12th, at 6 pm PST (9 pm EST), I will be hosting a contest to give away a tap handle produced by East Coast Taps. It is their signature tap and bears the name of their company on the front. This is the first of what I hope to make a recurring feature of the blog: tap giveaways. In a blog post on Saturday, I will provide a list of questions; the first 10 people to submit the correct answers to me through the "Contact Me" form in the sidebar will be the finalists, with 1 of the 10 finalists chosen at random as the winner. The contest will end either Thursday at 6 pm PST (9 pm EST) or when I get 10 submissions, whichever comes first. If I get less than 10 entries by the Thursday deadline, I will draw the winner from those entries I have received. Check in tomorrow at the time listed above to participate...

The tap is about 11" and is very lightweight, with an internal 3/8" nut for mounting and some great details in the design. Many thanks to East Coast Taps for hooking me up with this first giveaway tap. Here are some images of this beautiful tap I'll be giving away:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tap Manufacturer Profile: An Interview With East Coast Taps

In the first entry of a new blog feature, I've reached out to tap manufacturer East Coast Taps (ECT), whose tap designs are generating a lot of buzz right now. I struck a deal with ECT and will be giving away one of their mancave taps in a contest that will start on Wednesday - look for an official announcement regarding the contest on Tuesday.

Audra Quintin of ECT was gracious enough to agree to an interview and I hope you find it an enjoyable read. Providing ample amounts of savvy, passion and humor, she is a pleasure to talk to and makes for a great interview.

I'll be talking more about ECT during the rest of this week. You can visit their website here (which will be getting a major update in a couple of weeks) and their Facebook page here.

Click through to read the interview...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Museum Turns 3 years Old, Part 4: The "Cream of the Crop"

Reader Gene once asked me about doing a top 20 list of my favorite tap handles, the "creme de la creme" of the collection, although he stated that "I guess it would be like naming your favorite children." And how right he is. With well over 500 tap handles in the collection, how could I possibly pick out 20 of my favorites? I scrapped the idea, but it has always remained in the back of my mind, a seed of thought that Gene planted that just won't go away. Thanks alot, Gene!

As the anniversary of the Museum drew closer and I was thinking about what kind of posts to write, the topic of the "favorite taps" came to mind once more. As I mulled it over, I found that if I approached the subject a little differently, I could make it work. Basically it boils down to this: if I had to start collecting all over again, but in doing so I could keep any 20 of my taps, which 20 would I keep? This is of course a fantasy exercise, as I have no intention of giving up my taps. But to satisfy Gene's curiosity as well as my own, and perhaps yours, I thought I'd at least make an attempt. There are many taps I've missed out on over the years that I'd like another shot at, but the scope of this post is to simply cover the taps in my own collection.

Click through to read more about "The Cream of the Crop"...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Museum Turns 3 Years Old, Part 3: Goals and Features

Last year I posted a list of goals I wanted to accomplish and features I wanted to add to the site. Click through to read about how I did in meeting those goals and features, and what I've got planned for the next year...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Museum Turns 3 Years Old, Part 2: Individual Tap Statistics

I thought I'd add something new this year: statistics on individual tap handles. Basically I'm allowing you to see what I see: which taps generate the most page views on the site. It's not a ranking of the "best" taps, it only indicates which taps/profiles are the most popular among readers...I'm sure the reasons are many and varied. I've divided the rankings based on the year that I profiled the tap, so I've listed the 20 taps for the most views for Year 1, then Year 2, and finally Year 3. It's possible that next year these might look different, especially for Year 3 where some of the newer taps profiled haven't been up long enough to generate the hits needed to make the list, so over time that would change. The first tap on the list has the most views, and the other taps follow in descending order. Click through to see the lists...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Museum Turns 3 Years Old, Part 1: SIte Statistics

Another year has passed in my blogging world, and what a year it has been. Site traffic is way up, I've met some great new people, and the blog has become what many say is the best tap handle resource on the Internet. While I wish I could devote more time to the Museum and post more often, I'm still pleased with how it has evolved. As I did in the first two years, I'd like to present some statistics that show the current state of the site. This is the first part in a week-long series of events centered around the third anniversary of the Museum's creation.

Click through to see the numbers...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tap Handle #437: Downeast Cider House

Tap size:  9"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

While some people don't like small taps, when having multiple rows of taps on a shelf it's nice to have one row of smaller taps in front of the large ones, so as to not block the view of the larger taps. And this tap, despite it's small stature, deserves to be right up front. I apologize for the photos, because there is a small white spot in each one. Since the bottle is made of clear resin, it is highly reflective and picked up my light source. But this is also its greatest feature, as the ship and waves inside the bottle are a sight to behold. This tap was difficult to make, requiring a multiple-molding process. Much detail was also applied to the label, with the Downeast lettering appearing pitted (like cork or rust) and shadowed so that at certain angles it has a three-dimensional appearance. The cork on the top is resin and not actual cork. I'm very impressed with this tap, which is very rare.

Click through to read more about Downeast Cider House, their various brews, and to see more photos of this captivating tap...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Strongbow Honey & Apple Hard Cider

Whenever I'm out at a bar or restaurant, I order Angry has become my "go-to" drink. It's found everywhere and it tastes pretty darn good, and it's not too strong, so I can drive after having one. I've tried a few other brands of hard cider - Portland Cider Company, Woodchuck, and Original Sin come to mind - but my taste buds insist that none of these other brands have displaced Angry Orchard.

So as I walked through the grocery store last night, the bold, colorful packaging of Strongbow Hard Cider caught my eye. Of the two varieties present, Gold Apple and Honey & Apple, I chose the latter as it seemed like a great "Reviews for the Sweet Tooth" candidate.

Click through to

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tap Handle #436: Carton - Red Rye Returning

Tap size:  13.5"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I like this tap. The blocks that form the base look like the alphabet blocks a lot of us played with as kids. Above that is a space for the label, an open box carton, and a 3-D representation of New Jersey, home of Carton Brewing. My tap has a few spots that show usage, but that just gives it a little more character. Although this tap is pretty rare, it is quite affordable.

Click through to read more about Carton Brewing, their Red Rye Returning beer, and to see more photos of this stately tap...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tap Handle #435: Conquest - Medusa Stout

Tap size:  13.5"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  3/8" threaded rod

The Conquest tap handle has some unusual features. First, it is very tall at a whopping 13.5 inches. I was forced to use a long bolt and use a ferrule as a spacer to photograph it, as the sword tip on the front of the tap is longer than the base. Secondly, despite being metal, a magnetic label won't work since it appears that the tap is made out of a non-magnetic metal, probably aluminum. Third, the manufacturing process is unique, as Conquest purchases real metal daggers and gives them to a local metal worker, who uses a laser to punch holes in the daggers and then laser cut the shields. After the Conquest logo is etched into the metal, the shield is fastened on. Finally, the label is derived from paintings hanging on the walls of the taproom, which were painted by a local artist named Chuck Maier to represent each of their beers. Some of the artwork  was created based on the beer names, like Sacred Heart and Medusa Head, while others were painted without knowledge of the beer and then used to represent the beer, like The Finisher. Since my tap didn't come with a label, I made myself one in Photoshop from an image I found, then enhanced the label text to give it more of an embossed look. I really like the way it turned out. Despite the amount of hand-crafted work that goes into each tap and their rarity, the price of the tap is very affordable.

Click through to read more about Conquest Brewing, their Medusa Stout, and to see more photos of this epic tap...