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, May 29, 2014

Tap Handle #404: Vancouver Island - Islander Lager

Tap size:  11" (4.5" deep due to the back fin)
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

In the last post I presented the new style of tap handle by Vancouver Island. In this post I have the old style of Vancouver Island's tap. It was a little bit of a challenge to photograph since the back fin makes it wider than most taps, forcing me to move the backdrop further back. The base is airbrushed, but the orca is an intricately applied decal. It's a beautiful tap that seems like a perfect fit for the brewery...the problem is, it looks so close in style to Alaskan Brewery's Amber Ale orca tap, it could lead to confusing the two brands. So it's a great move by Vancouver Island to switch to a unique and distinctive style. As a result, this tap, which was once easier to find at a good price, could now become more rare.

Click through to read more about Vancouver Island's Islander Lager and to see more photos of this great looking tap...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tap Handle #403: Vancouver Island - Sea Dog Amber Ale

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

With the help of my dad, his friend, and his friend's friend, I was able to get my hands on this tap, and it was worth the effort. What a beauty! This is Vancouver Island Brewery's new style of tap handle, as their old style has been retired. The colors are vibrant and the styling is superb. A row of planks forming a pier leads upward from a pile of wrapped rope at the base of the tap, to the orca splashing out of the water at the top. On each side is a cascade of water with the name "Vancouver Island Brewery" on it. The variety of the beer is a decal on a plank attached to the pier...notice the "thumbprint" that suggests this is where your thumb should go when you pour. There are some small intricate details like nails in the planks and faux wood grain carved into the surface of the planks. The only thing I'd change is the finish - usually I'm harping about the use of glossy finishes, but in this case it's reversed - I think the water should be glossy or semi-gloss like the orca. Otherwise it's a brilliant tap. Due to the difficulty I had in obtaining it, I'm fairly certain it's very difficult to find.

Click through to read more about Vancouver Island Brewery, their Sea Dog Amber Ale, and to see more photos of this gorgeous tap...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tap Handle #402: Martin House - There Will Be Stout/The Imperial Texan

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Since this tap bears two different labels, I've decided to profile both beer varieties. The tap itself looks like wood, but is actually made of resin...it's likely that the original was cut from wood with a scroll saw, then a mold was made and resin was poured in the mold to create the tap. Though it is not colorful or detailed, it's still got a great profile, featuring purple martins in flight stacked on top of each other. I've only seen a few appear and I haven't seen any since, although the price was very reasonable thanks to its simplicity.

Click through to read more about Martin House, the brewery's The Imperial Texan and There Will Be Stout beers, and to see more photos of the tap...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tap Handle #401: Peckerhead - Koltzh Ale

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" hanger bolt

What a great name for a brewery! It's refreshing to see a brewery name that challenges conventional sensibilities and actually offends people who decide what is proper and what isn't for everybody else. Unfortunately, a name does not a brewery make, and all too often these breweries that dare to be different crash and burn. Peckerhead certainly fits that mold. The tap features a colorful and animated woodpecker character perched on a tree limb, next to a barrel of beer that he has pecked a hole in. Although the top banner implies that Peckerhead is two words, every reference I can find shows it as one word. On the back of that top banner is what appears to be the artist's initials - it looks like a "C" but is difficult to tell - and I can definitely make out a copyright symbol and a '01 (but it is so faint that it can't be seen in the photos). It's a fun tap that is also extremely rare and expensive. This particular tap is the only one I've seen with a beer name on it - the Koltzh Ale sign is actually screwed into the banner with tiny screws.

Click through to read more about Peckerhead Brewing, their Koltzh Ale, and to see more photos of this fantastic tap...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tap Handle #400: Labatt - Canadian Ale

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Well, here we are at another milestone: tap handle #400. Nearly a year ago this past July, I made a post about tap handle #300, saying I planned to keep going because I had acquired 350 taps. The pace of acquisitions has nearly doubled, as I'm now at tap handle #400 and I've acquired 500 taps, so there will be at least another 100 posts for you to look forward to. Though acquisitions have slowed recently, I plan to continue since I've eclipsed my goals for a personal collection and I'm now focused on acquisitions with a museum firmly in my future plans.

Tap handle #300 was a landmark post that was used to tie into a personal connection. Unfortunately I don't have any taps with a similar connection, so instead I'll present a tap for a company that sprang from one of the oldest breweries in North America: Labatt. The Labatt hatchet is a great tap, used only for the Canadian Ale variety, that I had always thought was small...only to be surprised that it is nearly the same size as similar taps like the Morning Wood ax and the Hook and Ladder ax. Most Labatt figural taps are hockey-themed, making this one fairly unique. They are rare but do appear occasionally and can be had for a decent price when they do.

Click through to read more about Labatt, their Canadian Ale, and to see more photos of this classic tap...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tap Handle #399: Bud Light - Rain Stick

Tap size:  14.75"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" hanger bolt

From my understanding, these rain stick tap handles were produced by Anheuser-Busch for the Outback restaurant chain. I can't verify whether or not that's true, but either way it's a pretty cool tap. Coming in at a whopping 14.75" tall, it's full of lots of great details featuring aboriginal-style art along the length of the tap. Even though it has the feel of a light Balsam wood, it's made of hollowed-out resin, which helps keep the tap lightweight. The front and back of the tap are exactly the same, as are the two sides to each other. It's not extremely rare as they do pop up for sale from time to time, but demand helps to keep prices high.

For more on Bud Light, see this post.

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tap Handle #398: Wild Onion - Paddy Pale Ale

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" hanger bolt

The Wild Onion tap features quite a character as the star of its tap. Part cartoon, part creepy-looking vegetable, it's a funny mascot that has been an advertising icon of the brewery for years. These taps are hard to find in good shape because there are many fragile edges prone to chipping, especially the green stalks at the top - often the tips of these will be broken off. The tap does appear every now and then, but having one in good shape is truly a rarity.

Click through to read more about Wild Onion brewing, their Paddy Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tap Handle #397: Sonoran - Burning Bird Pale Ale

Tap size:  7"
Rarity: Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This colorful tap from the Sonoran Brewing Company is a little on the small side, but it makes up for that in style, especially with its gorgeous label featuring the "burning bird", otherwise known as a Phoenix...which is appropriate due to the brewery's proximity to Phoenix, Arizona. The front and backsides are reverse images of each other, but the sides present a slightly different profile so I took photos of both sides. This is a very rare tap, I haven't seen another like it.

Click through to read more about Sonoran Brewing, their Burning Bird Pale Ale, and to see more photos of the tap...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tap Handle #396: Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma - Dos Equis Ambar

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

I had initially associated this tap with Mardi Gras, but it was actually created in 2013 as part of a Halloween promotion that included a contest to win a trip to Miami and be in the Dos Equis Ultimate Masquerade Party. The promo ran from September 1st to October 31st, 2013. As a result, this tap, and its companion green tap for the lager, were limited and are hard to come by. I didn't take a lot of photos because the front and back are simply reverse images of each other, as are the sides to each other. The painting and decals are really quite beautiful...the mottled paint was hard to capture on camera.

Click through to read more about the Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma brewery, their Dos Equis brand, and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...