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, 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 Orchard...it 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 read more...

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...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tap Handle Display Cabinets For Sale In Delaware

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:






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creating Multiple Labeling Options For Your Tap Handles

This post comes on the heels of the poll I ran last month to help pick the label which was to appear on my Ironfire tap handle. My dilemma comes from a situation such as this: suppose, like in my case for the Ironfire, that you receive several great-looking labels with your tap...it seems a shame to permanently adhere only one of those labels, ruining it if you try to pull it off, or obscuring it by placing another label on top of it. I'm going to show you an easy way to exchange labels on your tap so that you can change up the look without ruining the label.

Click through to read more about this project...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tap Handle #434: Ironfire - The Devil Within Double IPA

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The label and beer variety profiled for this tap and post are a direct result of the poll I took back on September 18th, when the readers chose The Devil Within Double IPA as the variety that I should profile and photograph. It's a great choice...most of the photos I've seen of this tap feature the 51/50 label, and combined with the fact that this variety is not listed on the brewery website, that makes my photos pretty unique. This tap is, as the brewery would say, bad-ass, with its hat-wearing skull and bands of bullets all over the tap. The front and back are reverse images of each other, as are the two sides. This tap can be found on the secondary market but it is quite expensive. Pay close attention to the bullets, as they chip very easily and most of the taps I've seen have been damaged in this way.

Click through to read more about Ironfire Brewing, their The Devil Within Double IPA, and to see more photos of this killer tap...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tap Handle #433: 4 Paws

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

Dog lovers will enjoy this tap. The dog (as well as much of the brewery's theme) is modeled after Sadie, a pup that 4 Paws owners Matt and Meghan adopted in 2010. Sadie had a really rough start (her owners were wanted by the police and skipped town, leaving her behind in an abandoned house without food) but she recovered well and has been great ever since. The tap is beautifully detailed, with Sadie's likeness, hops and wheat stalks, printing of Chicago skyscrapers, their motto "1st Class Beer for the Second City", and their logo. I've never seen another on the open market, and with the brewery closed, they are very hard to find.

Click through to read more about 4 Paws Brewing, their Bitchin Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this wonderful tap...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Museum Turns 3 Years Old: Announcement of Upcoming Events

With October upon us, that means it's almost time for another Museum anniversary post. It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since I started posting, and a lot has changed over those 3 years. This year's anniversary posting is going be a little different, with some major activities planned that I think you'll enjoy.

Click through to read more about how the third year anniversary celebration is going to be the best yet...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tap Handle #432: Fidelis

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

I was psyched to pick up this tap, it is simply amazing! The detail is incredible, from all the different pieces that make up the armor to the sword and the crest on the shield. And check out the heraldic symbols on the breastplate of the armor, it really adds a nice touch. The front and back sides are identical to each other, as are the sides to each other. The tap makes a great impression on every one I show it to. Brian Magee, the owner of Fidelis, knew about this site and complemented the collection...how cool is that?! If you happen to be in Virginia and find his beer, make sure you give it a try and support a worthy cause. The tap is fairly easy to come by and is very affordable considering the beauty and amount of detail.

Click through to read more about Fidelis and to see more photos of their epic tap...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tap Handle #431: Tioga-Sequoia - 99 Golden Ale

Tap size:  8.75"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Tioga-Sequoia has really hit a home run with this tap handle. The skeleton bandit looks great in his sombrero, vest, and ammo belts, and the mustache and goatee are a great touch too. At the bottom is the Tioga-Sequoia emblem, which looks like a highway sign you would see in a national park. I'm not sure what to make of the base - it almost looks like a tombstone, but has strange ridges around the edges. There is a "Drink Local" slogan on each side, and a beautifully colored symbol on the back of the base that represents the beer variety, as does the name on the hat. This tap can be found in the secondary market, but it does command a high price due to high demand.

Click through to read more about Tioga-Sequoia Brewing, their 99 Golden Ale, and to see more photos of this iconic tap...