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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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tap Handle #544: Beer Army

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

From the moment I first saw this tap I knew I had to have one. The military theme is amazingly well done - the main feature  is the shaft of the tap, which is modeled to represent a .50 caliber bullet. A huge dog tag is attached to the bullet on both the front and back, with a recessed area within the tags where a label can be placed, and beaded chain connects the two tags together. I have several labels (pictured to the right) but I have chosen to profile their Heroes Never Die IPA. At the very top of the tap is a small red eagle with a banner of four stars arcing above its wings, and the Beer Army's emblem, featuring a devil dog, appears on the front of the eagle like a shield. Down each side of the shaft, between the dog tags, the brewery's name appears as recessed letters. I love that copper-colored ferrule as well! The front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I have only taken photos of one side. The tap is rare, although if you want one you can go to eBay and find it from seller rpandre2 for a very reasonable price. You'd be buying it directly from Beer Army, so a portion of the sales helps fund the Beer Army Foundation's scholarship program. Although the brewery is no longer in existence, I was able to talk to Scott Andrews, the Public Affairs Officer for Beer Army, and found out that they have survived by using contract brewing, as well as through their Outpost bar and their Burger Company. So buy a tap, and support a good cause and the Beer Army too, for as they say, "if you drink beer, you're in the Beer Army!"

Click through to read more about Beer Army, their Heroes Never Die IPA, and to see more photos of this always faithful tap...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tap Handle #543: Snow Dog Brewing - Vail Snow Dog Ale

Tap size:  14.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  custom 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

You can't help but be impressed by the massive size of this Vail Snow Dog Ale tap handle - it's huge! Shaped like a giant femur bone, it is made of plastic and is very lightweight, almost like a large toy bone. The label is attached to a thick, round, clear acrylic piece that appears to be glued to the tap, and there is one on each side. The ferrule used is quite unique, with a lip around the outside of it, allowing the bottom of the bone to fit inside of it. Since the brewery has been gone for many years, as you might expect this tap is very scarce - I have never seen another.

Click through to read what little information I could find on Snow Dog Brewing, their Vail Snow Dog Ale, and to see more photos of this monstrous tap...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tap Handle #542: Gordon Biersch - Festbier

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This is the first of two Gordon Biersch snowglobe taps I own. There were 4 different varieties, each with a unique scene within the snowglobe, and the bases have different colors as well. The base is sculpted as a group of wheat stalks with a rope tied around them. The brewery's name and the beer variety appear on the signage below the wheat tips. Inside the snowglobe, a serving girl carries a mug of beer in each hand. Off to the side is a striped pole with a banner attached to it. Behind the girl is a maypole with colored streamers attached to it. Inside the globe is a small amount of glitter, which is what gives a snowglobe its appeal. Usually you would tip and shake the tap to agitate the glitter for a nice effect, but I wouldn't recommend it in this case. The banner is very loosely attached to the striped pole, as are the streamers to the maypole; I've seen some examples of the tap that received too much shaking, and the banner or the maypole streamers had come loose, sitting on the bottom. Snowglobes are also prone to getting large air bubbles that form at the top and detract from the appearance; so far, mine is bubble-free. There were hundreds of these taps made, so they are easy to find on the secondary market and priced very reasonably.

For more about Gordon Biersch, see this post.

Click through to read more about Gordon Biersch's Festbier and to see more photos of this exquisite tap...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tap Handle #541: Fairhope - I Drink Therefore I Amber Ale

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

Fairhope's pelican mascot that appears on their tap handle was named "Hugh" by some brewery customers and "Chester" by others. The colors and details on this tap are beautiful; the pelican is sitting on a post made to look like wood. The brewery's name is sculpted in raised letters at the top of the sign, while the beer variety appears as a decal under the brewery's name. At the bottom is a metal band with rivets in it. The tap is very rare, in part due to its fragility; I believe I have only seen maybe a half dozen that weren't damaged, and for those taps the price was quite expensive.

Click through to read more about Fairhope Brewing, their I Drink Therefore I Amber Ale, and to see more photos of this majestic tap...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tap Handle #540: Rabbit Hole - 10/6 English IPA

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

Rabbit Hole's tap handle is the second of the three Alice In Wonderland themed taps that are in the Museum's collection (the first was Mellow Mushroom's Bogart Ale in profile #454). Featuring a gigantic top hat, there is a pocket watch just below the brewery's name at the top of the hat. A sculpted gold chain wraps around the back of the hat and is attached to the pocket watch's handle. Below the pocket watch is a recessed rectangular area where the beer label is placed (see right). I have a label for each of their core beers, but I've chosen to profile 10/6, since it just seems to fit with the hat and theme so well. At the bottom of the hat is a purple wrap. I can't find any information on why the brewers settled on the Alice in Wonderland theme, but if I do I'll add that in the future. The tap is rare but commands a higher price than you'd expect on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Rabbit Hole Brewing, their 10/6 English IPA, and to see more photos of this maddening tap...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tap Handle #539: Mountain Creek - FOH L. Ale

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity: Very Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The FOH bartender is a really nice tap. Sporting a mustache, red vest and bow tie, and white apron over black slacks and shoes, this well-dressed character holds a frothing mug of beer in his left hand while his right hand rests behind his back. The bartender stands on a platform that has the name of the beer sculpted in red and black letters on the front. The glossy finish makes it difficult to photograph...a matte finish would have been preferred here. Probably the most curious feature on the tap is the name of the beer itself. FOH means Front-Of-House, which refers to the front of a restaurant. FOH supervisors normally deal with staff and issues that directly involve the customers. But what does the "L. Ale" mean? "L" could stand for lite or perhaps lodge, but is unlikely to be lager, as you wouldn't refer to a brew as a "Lager Ale", so this remains a mystery, as does the upside down necktie within the letter O. A few years ago these were very scarce...more recently, a small amount of them hit the secondary market, and since then the supply has dried up. Considering that the tap is used for only one contract brewed ale in a few restaurants and taverns at or near the Mountain Creek resort in New Jersey, I would expect this tap to be pretty hard to find.

Click through to read more about Mountain Creek, their FOH L. Ale, and to see more photos of this dapper tap...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tap Handle #538: Leinenkugel - Summer Shandy

Tap size:  13.25"
Rarity:  Uncommon
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This tap is very similar to the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat canoe I posted back in profile #203, but the color is different (white vs. blue), and the top features a whole lemon embedded in the tip of the canoe rather than the orange slice in the previous entry. These canoes became so popular that the brewery created additional figural toppers to cover more varieties. I wasn't really looking to acquire this one since I already had the Sunset Wheat, but it arrived as part of a group purchase, making it icing on the cake, and led to the purchase of a third canoe, which will be profiled in a future post.

For more about Leinenkugel, see this post.

Click through to read more about Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy and to see more photos of this splashing tap...

Tap Handle #537: Harbor Barrel

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

This has to be one of the coolest taps released in the past year. Featuring a squid on a stack of barrels with an elongated skull, it reminds me a bit of H. P. Lovercraft's Cthulu work, which I am a big fan of. There are lots of great details here - the suckers on each of the squid's tentacles, the rope wrapped around the pier, the metal bands around the barrels (and the faux wood grain on those barrels), and the coral on the base with the gold star above it (I have no idea what the star signifies). On the thin platform beneath the barrels, decals all the way around indicate the brewery's name. There is no place to put a label for variety, so the tap is used for all of Harbor Barrel's beers (I chose to profile their highly regarded Brown Ale). I find it difficult to say the brewery's name properly - I always want to call it "Barrel Harbor" due to years of conditioning in which the word "harbor " always trails in the name (Boston Harbor and Pearl Harbor come to mind). At one time this tap was scarce and hard to get, but it has since moved to rare status and is more easily attainable.

Click through to read more about Harbor Barrel Brewing and to see more photos of this awesome and imaginative, yet creepy, tap...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tap Handle #536: Grand Canyon Brewing - Sacred Saguaro Vienna Lager

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

It has been quite some time since I profiled a tap from Grand Canyon Brewing - profile #130, to be specific - which was quite literally years ago. I had always admired this rare seasonal tap featuring a Saguaro cactus, but I had always passed on them due to price until I finally acquired one last year. Since the front and back are mirror images of each other, I have only taken photos of the front side. There are flowers in multiple places on the cactus, a sign with the name of the brewery and variety of beer, fence posts with barbed wire wrapped around the posts and cactus, and cattle skulls at the bottom. The word "Seasonal" runs up the front of the cactus. This tap doesn't appear on the secondary market very often, which usually makes it a little expensive to obtain.

The saguaro cactus is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that the slow-growing saguaro can live to be as much as 150-200 years old. They can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall, and they are the largest cactus in the United States. When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.

For more about Grand Canyon Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Grand Canyon Brewing's Sacred Saguaro Vienna Lager and to see more photos of this prickly tap...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tap Handle #535: Adroit Theory

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

Produced in 2013, this wicked-looking tap handle comes to me courtesy of blog reader Jeff. There are skulls everywhere on the tap, which ties into the heavy metal music theme that the brewery plays in its tasting room. The large skull on the front bears a strong resemblance to the symbol used for the comic book character The Punisher. There are pieces of wood glued to the front and back, encircled by a wide band at the bottom that has a decal with the name of the brewery in a Gothic style font. Speaking of Gothic, I have seen the symbol on the back before, but I cannot recall where. It is similar to the Cross of Lorraine, although that particular cross has a small crossbar at the top and a larger crossbar below the smaller one. Up each side of the tap are small skulls, and at the very top is a white star on top of a half-buried triangle. The sheer amount of detail on the tap is incredible, and I haven't even mentioned the black ferrule. Since the brewery makes small batches of many different beers, the tap does not signify any single beer variety and is used instead for all of their varieties (I'll profile one of their more well known beers). Since I have never seen another, I'm calling this tap scarce.

Click through to read more about Adroit Theory and to see more photos of this imposing tap...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tap Handle #534: Fordham (Coastal) - Rams Head IPA

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

This is a really interesting tap. Oh, we've seen plenty of taps with a ram's head on them, but what makes this one unusual is the color scheme. The half-red, half-creme colored head with a blue "V" on the forehead and a blue nose, the black stripes on the horns, the blue and red sunken stripes on the shaft, and the metallic blue ferrule make this tap truly unique. I'm certain the color scheme has some significance but I have no idea what that significance is. Even the lettering of the brewery's name and the beer variety are different - blue letters with a red outline (which is reversed on the Rams Head decal). When it first appeared a couple of years ago the uniqueness commanded a high price, but with the growth of the brewery and an increase in production the tap has become less rare and more affordable.

Click through to read more about Fordham Brewing, their Rams Head IPA, and to see more photos of this colorful tap...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tap Handle #533: Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery - Pig's Ear Brown Ale

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  Standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Woodstock Inn taps have long been popular even though they are not the most detailed taps. This Pig's Ear tap is probably their most well-known and sought-after, and is probably my favorite of those that the brewery produces. It features a bas relief pig looking out of a window or barn door. The name of the brewery and the variety of beer are sculpted onto the tap as raised letters. Once very scarce, this tap has popped up with greater frequency lately, dropping it to more affordable levels, but it can still be considered very rare.

Click through to read more about Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery, their award-winning Pig's Ear Brown Ale, and to see more photos of this rustic tap...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tap Handle #532: Foster's Boomerang

Tap size:  15.75"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

The Foster's boomerang does not have a lot of detail, but is impressive in its shape and size instead. Used in Outback Steakhouse restaurants to serve Foster's on tap, this monster measures a whopping 15.75" tall and 7" deep. The latter measurement forced me to move the stage back for some of the photos, and is good to know if you have mounting restrictions. Like the Foster's surfboard I profiled back in entry #465, this tap is a deep blue color, with decals of the brewery's name, symbols, and striped colors. The price of this tap fluctuates quite a bit but lately seems to have settled to an affordable amount. They are rare but seem to appear on the secondary market regularly.

For more about Foster's, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this whopper of a tap...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tap Giveaway Contest #2 Results UPDATE

UPDATE:  Sean has claimed his prize, so the contest is officially closed.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, I wish I could give you all prizes but it's just not in the cards at this time. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Sean W.

Sean has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. Keep watching for more tap giveaways, I hope to make this a regular feature soon...

The Museum Turns 4 Years Old, Part 3: The "Cream of the Crop"

Last year I introduced a new feature called "Cream of the Crop". This was a fantasy exercise in which I attempted to choose which 20 taps I would start my collection over with. It was a very stressful exercise to have to choose only 20 taps. So now that I've added another 172 taps, it has become that much harder. This year I'll try the same exercise, but with 25 taps instead of 20.

Click through to discover my "Cream of the Crop"...