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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Friday, July 31, 2015

New Features Added and Random Musings

First, I'd like to thank everyone who visited the site yesterday. Why yesterday? Well, with over 860 page views, that's the most traffic I've ever had in one day. So a big thank you to all of you!

I've added two new features to the blog, both in the right sidebar. The first is Recent Comments, so that you can see and respond to comments left on the site, otherwise you might never see a comment that someone recently left on an older post.

The second feature has a similar basis. If I were to go back and update a previous post, unless I call it out in a post like this on the main page, you might not discover that update for a long time. So I've added another feature in the sidebar called "Updates To Old Posts". It's not currently visible because I haven't updated anything since I implemented this new feature, but it should appear within the next week when I upload new photos for some older tap profiles. When the Recent Updates is active, I'll be sure to let you know...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tap Handle #509: Philadelphia Brewing - Walt Wit

Tap size:  15.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap got rave reviews from everyone I showed it to. Who wouldn't want a giant pencil as a tap handle? It actually looks like a real pencil...the eraser is a real, giant eraser, and the the band around the eraser is metal. The tap is huge, one of the largest in the collection, and has 6 sides, with 3 sets of 2 sides that are identical to each other. It is very rare - I've seen maybe 5 others - but they have all sold for a decent price.

Walt Wit is named after Walt Whitman, the American writer and poet who lived during the 1800s and has been called "America's poet", and Andrew Carnegie called him "the great poet of America so far." His crowning achievement was "Leaves of Grass." Whitman's vagabond lifestyle was adopted by the Beat movement and its leaders such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac in the 1950s and 1960s as well as anti-war poets like Adrienne Rich and Gary Snyder. Whitman also influenced Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, and was the model for the character of Dracula.

Click through to read more about Philadelphia Brewing Company, their Walt Wit, and to see more photos of this signature tap...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tap Handle #508: Garage Sports Bar - Synthetic Pale Ale

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I expect that a tap featuring a gas pump would be very popular with mancave owners, especially those who like items that feature an automotive theme. This tap features a fairly simple design, but has some nice details such as the nozzle hooked to the side, and the hose (which is sculpted) gives the illusion that it is going inside the back the pump. All of the printing, from the Garage Sports Bar at the top, the digits on the top half of the pump, and the Synthetic Pale Ale label on the bottom half, are decals. The glue has given way a bit, causing the decals to wrinkle. This tap is scarce - I have never seen another.

Click through to read more about Garage Sports Bar, their Synthetic Ale, and to see more photos of this unique tap...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tap Handle #507: Rocket Republic

Tap size:  12.5"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Rocket Republic's "standard" tap is a really great concept. And the rocket is so realistic looking! At the top of the tap is Rocket Republic's name, as well as their logo. Following the rocket stages down to the base, there are magnetic strips at the bottom that you can attach magnetic labels to. I received four industrial-looking labels with the tap (see above right) and will be profiling the brewery's Astronut Brown Ale. The front and back of the tap are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other. The matte finish is beautiful, but unlike a gloss finish, matte white has a tendency to pick up rub marks and scuffs. The tap is rare and the cost is moderately high on the secondary market. There is a second, 2.0 version of the tap that is more expensive and just a bit taller than the "standard" tap, with additional brewery logos just above the base.

Click through to read more about Rocket Republic, their Astronut Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this groundbreaking tap..

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tap Handle #506: Beggars Brewery

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

This beautiful tap was designed to reflect on everything that has put Traverse City on several "top ten small towns in America" lists (and it was also voted most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America viewers). The guitar symbolizes the Traverse City Music Festival, while the fish is indicative of the abundant trout and salmon fishing, and the trees represent the heavily forested aspect of the city. The backdrop of the tap is actually a large snowshoe, which is a reference to the several ski resorts in the area. The popular local slogan "Up North" appears on a band across the snowshoe, while the brewery logo resides on the upper part of the snowshoe. At the bottom of the tap are two small bands with the words "Traverse City, Michigan" on them. The front and back of the tap are reverse images of each other, meaning the two sides are not alike. It does not have a label and is used for all varieties of the brewery's beer (I will be profiling Old Friends Pale Ale, their flagship beer). The tap is rare; only 25 were originally sold to the public to help raise funds for operating costs, and other taps went to distributors. Combined with the small size of the brewery, the tap is of limited quantity, although the secondary market price has been very affordable.

Click through to read more about Beggars Brewery, their Old Friends Pale Ale, and to see more photos of this symbolic tap...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tap Handle #505: Stevens Point - Three Kings Ale

Tap size:  12.25"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I'm not a big fan of the Coneheads from the Saturday Night Live TV show. I'm also not enamored with the conehead line of taps from Stevens Point. I understand the concept - Stevens Point, pointy head - but for the most part I wasn't really interested in them, especially with the garish colors and hideous clothing found on most of the taps. There are two tap handles in the lineup that I do like, however, mainly because the pointed head is somewhat obscured by head gear, and this tap is one of the two. The Three Kings tap is actually nice to look at, with the purple robes, scepter, and crown. All the conehead taps can be considered rare and a couple are scarce...this tap falls into the rare category, and the price, which was at one time quite expensive, has dropped to more affordable levels.

The name of the tap comes from the story of the the three biblical magi that visited the baby Christ. Three Kings is a Kolsch ale, and Köln Germany is the birthplace of Kolsch beer. It is also where the remains of the magi reside in the Köln Cathedral. The Shrine of the Three Kings is shaped like a basilica: two sarcophagi stand next to each other, with the third sarcophagus resting on their roof ridges. The ends are completely covered, so there is no space visible between the sarcophagi. The basic structure is made of wood, with gold and silver overlay decorated with filigree, enamel, and over 1000 jewels and beads (see photo to right).

Legend recounts that the "relics of the Magi" were originally situated at Constantinople, but brought to Milan in an oxcart by Eustorgius I, the city's bishop, to whom they were entrusted by the Emperor Constantine in 314. The relics of the Magi were taken from Milan by Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Köln, Rainald of Dassel in 1164. Construction of the present Köln Cathedral was begun in 1248 to house these important remains and relics; it took 632 years to complete and is now the largest Gothic church in northern Europe. The Three Kings have since attracted a constant stream of pilgrims to Köln.

For more about Stevens Point Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Stevens Point's Three Kings Ale and to see more photos of this regal tap...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tap Handle #504: Cold Spring Brewery - Third Street Brewhouse Lost Trout Brown Ale

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

When I first saw the Lost Trout tap, I didn't get it. I wondered, "what the heck is a 'lost trout'?" However, when exploring the Third Street Brewhouse website, I came across this description:

"Lost trout. It's a real problem in these parts. Legend has it this species flowed aplenty out back in the brewery creek, while others say the trout left town years ago. Where have all the trout gone? Maybe to those fancy creeks in the city, maybe to the local fish fry, or maybe - just maybe - they're living a life of crime on the streets. The legend of abundant trout in the creek seems a bit fishy..."

The Lost Trout concept makes a bit more sense to me now. It would appear that at one time there were trout in Cold Spring Creek, but now there aren't many (or any). The tap design captures the tongue-in-cheek description above by featuring a confused looking trout and a couple of arrows indicating it doesn't know which way to turn, as well as the label which features a fish on a milk carton. The tap is rare but can still be found fairly easily for a reasonable price.

For more about Cold Spring Brewery and Third Street Brewhouse, see this post.

Click through to read more about Third Street Brewhouse's Lost Trout and to see more photos of this tongue-in-cheek tap...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tap Handle #503: Jarre Creek Ranch - Heffer Wizzen Golden Ale

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

In post #489 (Jarre Creek Ranch Pitchfork Pale) I talked about how Jarre Creek Ranch taps were colorful and whimsical...this tap is probably their best in both categories. It sure looks and feels like it is the same artist that created Pitchfork Pale. The farmer is using the cow's tail as a tap handle (notice the "HW" label!), while the beer pours into his mug from a metal plate and spigot fastened to the cow's rear end, visually playing on the Heffer Wizzen name. This beer caused more confusion than the humor was worth. Even if consumers were able to get past the idea that they were not drinking cow pee, the Heffer Wizzen name implied they were drinking Hefeweizen, while the beer was actually a golden ale. The brewery acknowledged the inconsistencies but claimed they couldn't resist the humor in it. Since they are no longer around, we will never know if the beer would have overcome these inconsistencies. Initial reviews weren't bad, but very little of this beer was ever produced, and this tap is so scarce that I have never seen another. It belongs on my "cream of the crop" list and was one of the taps I hinted at in the post that talked about such taps.

For more about Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, see this post.

Click through to read more about Jarre Creek Ranch's Heffer Wizzen Golden Ale and to see more photos of this misguided but still hilarious tap...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tap Handle #502: Parallel 49 - Hoparazzi IPL

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

This slick fellow represents another offering from Parallel 49 Brewing. It's not hard to imagine him stalking "Ruby" (the Gypsy Tears tap), waiting for that perfect shot to sell to the tabloids. The tap manages to capture all the creepiness that goes along with the paparazzi profession, although the hop prints on the fellow's shirt are a really humorous touch that lightens the mood. Since Hoparazzi is listed on the Parallel 49 site as part of their "Rarity" series, it may even be more scarce than the Gypsy Tears tap, although the Gypsy Tears has so far commanded a higher price on the secondary market.

For more about Parallel 49 Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49's Hoparazzi IPL and to see more photos of this flashy tap...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tap Handle #501: Parallel 49 - Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale

Tap size:  9.5"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap comes to the Museum courtesy of the fine people at Parallel 49 Brewing, and it's definitely a great addition! Featuring a bust of "Ruby", a beautiful dark-haired gypsy woman in a red dress, the detail and sculpting make this one an instant classic. She manages to look sensual and dangerous at the same time! There is a rose in her hair, she holds another behind her back with gloved hands, and wears a gold hoop earring, all of which are nice, subtle touches of detail. The name of the beer is displayed on a banner, and below that is the symbol of the brewery. This tap is very rare, and the secondary market price reflects that.

Click through to read more about Parallel 49 Brewing, their Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale, and to see more photos of this beguiling tap...