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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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tap #387: Pony Express

Tap size: 14"
Rarity: Scarce
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16 anchor bolt

This is a one of the tallest taps I've profiled so far, and it proved difficult to photograph because the sculpted top piece is so dark while the base is bright white. The horse and rider are resin but are painted metallic, giving it an aged dark pewter look. The tap is very rare, as the brewery had a limited distribution area, and parts of the horse and rider are very fragile and prone to breaking. In fact, the only other one I've seen was broken. I believe that the tap dates back to the co-op ownership days.

Click through to read more about the sad tale of Pony Express and see more photos of the tap...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tap Handle #386: Left Coast - Trestles IPA

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

This is an usual tap for the simple fact that it is both bas relief and three dimensional. In fact, it is a good 1.5" to 2" thick, where most bas relief taps are .5" thick or less. The majority of the tap is shaped like a surfboard, with a scenic picture of a pier, beach and ocean. The colors are subtle and beautiful, and the front and back are identical...the two sides match each other as well. The rarity is equivalent to the Left Coast Voo Doo tap that was recently profiled.

Click through to read more about Left Coast's Trestles IPA and to see more photos of the tap...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tap Handle #385: Terrapin - Tree Hugger

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Terrapin Brewing has become very popular very rapidly, and their tap handles are no exception. With bold bright colors and lots of little details, this Tree Hugger tap is a beauty. Starting at the top, a turtle splashes through water in a three dimensional representation of the Terrapin logo. The shaft looks like a tree stump and has two sets of silver bands encircling it. As I mentioned above, it's the little details that set this tap apart...you can see the rings of the tree sculpted into the top of the shaft...the words "TERRAPIN BEER CO ATHENS, GA" are sculpted and raised from the shaft...the silver band at the bottom features the logo...the Tree Hugger label over the silver medallion is gorgeous. I've seen some other labels on this tap that are more plain, and the Tree Hugger label definitely is superior. The tap is identical front and back.

Click through to read more about Terrapin Brewing, their Tree Hugger beer, and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tap Handle #384: Left Coast - Voo Doo American Stout

Tap size:  12.25"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Standing over a foot tall, the Voo Doo American Stout tap from Left Coast is striking and impressive. The detail is incredible and the purple color really sets the tap off. This is a tap that people really love to see in person. It commands a pretty high price due to its rarity.

Click through to read more about Left Coast's Voo Doo American Stout and to see more photos of this awesome tap...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tap Handle #383: Big Rock - Life of Chai

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I'm following up the Big Rock McNally's Reserve with another Big Rock tap: Life of Chai. This beautiful tap has bold, bright colors and amazing details, from the blanket and cap on the elephant to its gold painted toenails. Once again you may recognize the rooster symbol of Big Rock on the side of the barrel the elephant is standing on. And like the McNally's, this tap is no longer produced, making it quite rare.

Click through to read more about the Life of Chai brew and to see more photos of this outstanding tap...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tap Handle #382: Big Rock - McNally's Reserve


Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The McNally's Reserve castle tower from Big Rock is no longer in production and as a result is very rare. It's an awesome tap with excellent detail. The banner at the top features a rooster, which is Big Rock's symbol and a common feature found on many of their taps. The tap is identical on the front and back.

Click through to read more about Big Rock's McNally's Reserve and see more photos of this amazing tap...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tap Handle #381: Cellar Rats - Piper IPA

Tap Size:  12.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is an amazing tap featuring lots of great details. The three rats at the top have very distinctive features (maybe they are supposed to look like someone real?), which are also duplicated on the label. The rats are leaning against a tank and they are all holding mugs of beer. There are two sets of steps pressed into the base that run from the rats down to the bottom of the tap. The really interesting part is that the top piece is on a flat base and unscrews from the handle. I'm not sure what the purpose is...maybe a different top was planned for different beers. This is a very rare tap...I've not seen another like it.

Click through to read more about Cellar Rats, their Piper IPA, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Updated Photos For Taps #350-355

I have updated the photos for tap entries #350-355, which includes the follow taps:

Reverend Mudbones
Chi Town Pier Pale
Creemore Springs Hops and Bolts
Dogfish Head Uber Shark
Crispin Original Super Premium Cider
Bridgeport Kingpin

If you really like these taps, you may want to take another look...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tap Handle #380: Cisco - Grey Lady

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The making of a tap handle is largely a mystery. For beer drinkers, an order of beer is often influenced by the creativity or appeal of a tap, while for many collectors, it's important to own a tap handle based on desirability or rarity. What's often overlooked is the story behind the tap. Who came up with the idea? How did the design come about? Were there early versions of the tap that looked different? How many were made? Usually only the brewery and the tap handle manufacturer know the answers to these questions. That's what makes the Grey Lady mermaid tap handle from Cisco Brewing different from others.

Click through to read more about the story behind the Grey Lady tap, as well as the brewery and its Grey Lady beer...

And Now For Something Completely Different

The format of the next entry is going to look a little different than what you are used to seeing. The Cisco Brewery in Nantucket asked if I would print them a copy of my review of their Grey Lady tap so that they could hang it on the wall of the brewery. To accommodate this request, I decided to write the post in "article" format, as if I were a media publication writing about their tap and brewery, to give it a more professional look.

The write-up  is now complete and I'm working on the photos. I'm excited that one of my entries will actually be hanging up in a brewery! If you ever decide to take in the beauty of Nantucket Island (and I highly recommend you do so), make it a point to stop at the brewery, sample their beer, and have a look around. You just might see a blog post hanging on the wall...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tap Handle #379: Snowshoe - Yosemite Falls Pale Ale

Tap size: 10.5"
Rarity: Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This beautiful tap reminds me of the Rainier tap picturing the outdoors. There's some really excellent detail, especially of Yosemite Falls itself, and the color scheme is gorgeous. This is the only one I've ever seen, and Yosemite Falls has been renamed to Thompson's Pale Ale, so this tap is now quite rare.

Click through to read more about Snowshoe Brewing, Yosemite Falls/Thompson's Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this tap...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tap Handle #378: Anheuser-Busch - Natural Light

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

This is a pretty nice tap featuring a lighthouse, although it's a little on the small side. Because A-B does not devote a lot of advertising dollars to Natural Light, there are fewer of these taps than you would expect for a larger name brand. That, combined with a high demand, keeps the prices for this tap on the high side, although bargains can occasionally be found.

Click through to read more about the Natural Light brand, and see more photos of this tap...