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, April 30, 2015

Tap Handle #490: Thomas Hooker - Spinster XPA

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

Thomas Hooker has an unusual method for producing figural taps - the Chocolate Truffle Stout I profiled in post #292 is for a seasonal beer, and this tap, Spinster XPA, is for a beer no longer produced by the brewery. I have never seen a figural tap for any of their core beers. This Spinster XPA tap is hilarious, featuring a bitter old woman holding a purse in one hand and a beer in the other, while her cat stands nearby. Even the cat looks bitter! Above the Thomas Hooker symbol, a prominent white H against a red background, is the name of the beer and the phrase "Single Hop...Alone and Bitter." Very funny! The tap is rare but isn't too expensive to obtain. 

For more about Thomas Hooker Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Thomas Hooker's Spinster XPA and to see more photos of this humorous tap...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tap Handle #489: Jarre Creek Ranch - Pitchfork Pale

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

Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery made some great taps during their existence; this is one of two different taps that I own, and I have seen five different taps from the brewery over the years. Each tap is colorful, and this is one of the few that have a whimsical theme. Playing on the classic photo "American Gothic" by Grant Wood (pictured right), the tap was created by an artist we have become used to seeing: the 'S' inside of a 'C' that appears on many taps on this site such as Drop Kick and Peckerhead. It is dated 2001, which coincides with the opening of Jarre Creek's brewpub. The tap is scarce and expensive - I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, their Pitchfork Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tap Handle #488: Hawaii Brewing/Schlitz (Pabst) - Primo Tiki

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

Despite the fact that I had two different Primo taps near the top of my wishlist over 4 years ago, both of them proved to be difficult to acquire, with this first one not appearing on the site until now. This tap is made to look like wood, but is actually resin; the wood grain look is achieved through specific painting techniques. I have seen other taps painted to resemble mahogany; this one emulates wood from what I would guess to be the painted gum tree. I love tiki items, and for me this tap was a must-have. It actually has a date and copyright printing on one side that says "1972 Hawaii Brewing Co. Honolulu, Hawaii".  This dates the tap to the Schlitz ownership days, at the height of Primo's popularity and before the brewery in Hawaii was closed. As a result, this tap is very scarce, as there are probably very few of these remaining that are intact. In fact, in all the time I've been acquiring taps, this is one of six I've ever seen. This scarcity is also why it took me so long to acquire one, as the price has risen over the years.

Click through to read more about the Primo brand and beer, and to see more photos of this exotic tap...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tap Handle #487: Widmer - Deadlift Imperial IPA

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity: Common
Mounting:  oversized ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Over the years I had many opportunities to obtain this tap, but never pulled the trigger. Last year I finally picked one up, and I have to say that in person it is a real beauty - photos don't do it justice. The style is reminiscent of the MGD Kegman, but this tap is so much better...the figure on the bottom is a weightlifter, as deadlift is a weightlifting term. Symbolically it means that this beer is heavily loaded with hops. The "glass" that the weightlifter is holding up is not clear acrylic and has no foam on top; instead it is solid colored, with an ultra-thin metallic strip separating the head from the beer. These metallic strips, being so thin, are easily damaged. Some nice graphics bearing the beer's name and the Widmer logo round out the styling of the "glass". On the bottom is the aforementioned weightlifter, in a sculpted abstract form, while at the very top sits a giant hop. The custom oversized ferrule is also a nice touch. The overall "greenness" of the tap is what makes it stand out from the crowd and gives it its beauty. These taps were made in great numbers and are easily found and affordable.

For more about Widmer Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Widmer Brewing's Deadlift Imperial IPA and to see more photos of this hefty tap...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tap Handle #486: Elk Grove Brewery & Restaurant - Diamondback Wheat Ale

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

During the height of their success, the Elk Grove Brewery produced some great taps, but unfortunately this is the only one I have been able to obtain. I thought the gray and black paint scheme for the snake was a little unusual, until I found the photo to the right (courtesy of Wikipedia), which depicts a gray-colored rattlesnake. The snake on the tap, wrapped around the "Wheat" sign, is a particularly evil-looking fellow. Although it isn't as beautiful as some other snake taps such the Coors Rattlesnake or the Steelback Copperhead, it's still awesome. At the base of the sign, "Elk Grove" is carved into the shaft. Since the brewery is no longer in business, their taps are scarce, and are some of the most expensive on the secondary market. This Diamondback Wheat tap is the only one of its kind that I've ever seen.

Click through to read more about Elk Grove Brewery & Restaurant, their Diamondback Wheat Ale, and to see more photos of this elusive tap...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tap Handle #485: Fort Christian - Hammerhead Pale Ale

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

This beauty from Fort Christian Brew Pub is one of my "cream of the crop" taps. Besides the multitude of vibrant colors used to capture the color of a coral reef, the detail is outstanding. In addition to the hammerhead shark, if you look closely at the bottom of the tap on the backside, you will notice an eel snaking its way around the coral. There is also a crab hanging on to the Pale Ale sign. The brewery's name appears at the bottom. Since the brewery is not located in the U.S. but in the territory Virgin Islands instead, it is more like a foreign tap, and as a result is quite rare...the brewery confirmed that this tap has been out of production for many years. This is only the second one I've ever seen, so as you would expect, prices are extremely high - if you can find one.

Click through to read more about Fort Christian Brew Pub, their Hammerhead Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tap Handle #484: Denali - Seasonal

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

This is the third and final Denali tap I am profiling. Although Denali does have a couple of other taps, I don't like them quite as much as the three I have profiled. The seasonal tap is a close second to the Chuli Stout in its appeal to me. It is a three-sided tap, with a boarded sign at the top proclaiming the brewery's name, a long shaft that looks like a hollowed out log where, presumably, a beer variety label would go, and an old wooden wheelbarrow at the bottom. The wheelbarrow contains a planter of colorful flowers, and on the ground to the side of the wheelbarrow are some plant stalks and rocks. Just above the wheelbarrow is a placard bearing the Denali Brewing emblem. I even took a photo of the very top of the tap to show the incredible amount of detail. The tap can be hard to find, but despite this it is fairly inexpensive.

For more about Denali Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about one of Denali Brewing's most popular seasonals and to see more photos of this rustic tap...

Site Status Update

If you've noticed a lack of posts lately but have still been checking up on the site, thank you for your continued support. It's been a rough few weeks thanks to a car accident, a biopsy, a family member's life-threatening illness, overtime needed at work, and sorting out my income taxes.

I took well over three hundred photos of taps last night, so expect to see some great rare taps coming up over the next couple of weeks. Again, thanks for your patience and look for some new posts very soon...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tap Handle #483: Denali - Mother Ale

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

Denali's Mother Ale tap features a pretty blond woman (presumably "Mother Earth") holding a representation of the Earth in her hands. She stands on a barrel that has the name of the brewery and the beer variety sculpted into it. Like the Chuli Stout I just profiled, if you look closely you can see lots of great detail, from the stitching and denim pattern on the jeans to the wood grain and metal bands on the barrel, although I once again experienced lighting issues and will try to adjust that for future photos. Her plaid shirt resembles the one worn by the Lucette woman I profiled way back in post# 127. And also like the Chuli Stout, the Mother Ale tap is not hard to find and is fairly reasonable in price.

For more about Denali Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Denali's Mother Ale and to see more photos of this comforting tap...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tap Handle #482: Denali - Chuli Stout

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

This is the first of 3 taps from Denali Brewing that I'll be profiling, and it's probably my favorite out of the 3. Featuring an old man using a walking stick, the details and colors are fantastic. The old man is standing on a base, made to look like rock, that has the name of the brewery and also the beer variety. I found this tap difficult to photograph, as the beard and face of the old man were highly reflective on the full profile shots, but fortunately the close ups turned out much better. The tap can easily be found and the price is fairly affordable considering the amount of detail.

Click through to read more about Denali Brewing Company, their Chuli Stout, and to see more photos of this stout tap...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tap Handle #481: Spoetzl - Shiner White Wing Belgian White

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

Although Spoetzl has replaced this tap with a couple of more simplistic taps, it still seems to be easy to track down and is incredibly affordable. Admittedly, it's kind of a toy on a stick rather than a fully figural tap, but it's still pretty cool to look at. It appears on the smallish side so it's almost shocking to discover it is over 11" tall. Like the Curious Traveler tap profiled in post #344, I'm reminded of the stop motion collage art made popular by the Beatles and Monty Python. It is of course all white since it is representing a Witbier, or Belgian White. The ferrule is just slightly different than the standard ferrule - it has a slight lip at the top that makes it flush with the base of the tap.

For more about Spoetzl and their Shiner brand, see this post.

Click through to read more about Spoetzl's Shiner White Wing and to see more photos of this unusual tap...