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, 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"...