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.

Tap Handle Blog Simple Search

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tap Handle #555: State Street - Amber Ale

Tap size:  15.25" tall x 5.5" wide
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Made to look like an actual street pole during the early 1900s Chicago (which you can barely see in front of the OG Shoes sign in the photo to the right), State Street's tap handle is monster: at 15.25" tall it is one of the tallest in the collection. and thanks to the signs on top, the width is 5.5", forcing me to move my stage back to take some of the photos. The pole itself is fairly simple but is made of metal, giving the tap a heavy, solid feel. The street signs are plastic and nicely done; metallic green paint was used for the color, which makes the signs highly reflective. The front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I've taken a smaller number of photos. Due to the fact that the brewery was small (their beers were contract brewed) and that they were only in existence for two years in the 1990s, this tap is very scarce - I've never seen another.

State Street is a large south-north street in Chicago, Illinois, USA and its south suburbs. It begins at North Avenue, the south end of Lincoln Park, runs south through the heart of Downtown Chicago, and ends at the southern city limits, intersecting 127th Street along the bank of the Little Calumet River. Its intersection with Madison Street has marked the base point for Chicago's address system since 1909. In its early days, State Street became a shopping destination during the 1900s when it was considered one of the busiest streets in the world. It is home to several landmark buildings, including the Chicago Archbishop's Mansion, The Original Playboy Mansion, Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago Theater, and many others. It is referred to in the song "Chicago," sung by Frank Sinatra, where Sinatra refers it to "State Street, that great street."

Click through to read what little I could find on State Street Brewing and to see more photos of this scarce tap...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tap Handle #554: Jack Daniel's Distillery - Old No. 7 Black Label Tennessee Whiskey Bottle

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

As I've stated in the past, although the primary focus of this site is beer taps, I will occasionally acquire taps representing spirits or root beer. Although I'd like to have a tap from the short-lived Jack Daniel's Brewery, this tap from their Distillery is a nice consolation. I really like taps that resemble bottles or glasses and look as if they have alcohol in them. This actually has the appearance of a real Jack Daniel's whiskey bottle, although it is acrylic rather than glass. If there's one nitpick I have, it's that the back is flat rather than being "full-figured" all the way around; otherwise it's a brilliant tap. Jack Daniel's is not available on tap at bars and restaurants, nor is it available in the distillery, which lies in a county that still practices prohibition. Instead these taps were made as promotional pieces for their tasting room that lies in the next county, and are incredibly rare. For a brief period they were available on the secondary market (at high prices) when a tap manufacturer's old stock was liquidated; since then, no others have appeared.

Click through to read more about Jack Daniel's Distillery, their Old No. 7 Black Label Tennessee Whiskey, and to see more photos of this spirited tap...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tap Handle #553: Jever - Friesland Pilsner

Tap size:  9.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Jever beer coaster featuring
the Westhever Lighthouse
This is a rather unusual tap - the top is a lighthouse, but the bottom looks like a glass of beer. The lighthouse top is very similar in appearance the one found on to Cisco's Sankaty Light tap handle. Although I'm not quite sure which lighthouse it represents, I believe it might be the Westerhever Lighthouse, which lies northeast of Jever across the North Sea. There are other, closer lighthouses to Jever, but for some reason this lighthouse has some kind of significance to the brewery (see the coaster to the upper right). Turning attention back to the tap, in what I consider a nice touch, the brewery's name appears as raised green letters on the surface of the beer glass, rather than being a decal. Speaking of decals, there is one under the brewery's name that states the beer variety. Near the top is another decal with an image of the old brewery and the words "Aus Dem Friesischen Brauhaus Zu Jever" which means "From The Friesian Brewery In Jever". A third decal is found near the bottom and it reads "Imported From Germany", which means this tap was most likely used in the U.S. The front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I have only taken half of the photos I normally take. The tap is quite scarce; although the Jever Brewery is well-known and successful, it is not on the same marketing level as Heineken or St. Pauli, so these are quite hard to find. Thanks to the simplistic design, they are fairly affordable despite the scarcity.

Click through to read more about the Jever Brewery, their highly regarded Friesland Pilsner, and to see more photos of this enlightening tap...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tap Handle #552: Forgotten Boardwalk

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

If you thought this tap was associated with Alice in Wonderland, you can be forgiven for being wrong, as I thought the exact same thing when I initially acquired it. Although it does bear a strong resemblance to the Cheshire Cat, the main difference is the third eye on the cat on the label. This feral cat, called "Growler", is the official mascot of the brewery, and she was chosen due to the numerous feral cats living under the New Jersey boardwalk. The third eye represents "all-seeing", or in other words, Growler's knowledge of strange tales that have happened along the Jersey shoreline for many years. The paint scheme and sculpting are simple yet appealing, and although no variety appears on the tap label, this tap was not used for all varieties; in fact, the brewery has many colorful variations (see photo at upper right). I've seen about 5 others on the secondary market, making this tap scarce, although the simplicity helps keep the price inexpensive.

Click through to read more about Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing and to see more photos of this curious tap...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tap Handle #551: Grupo Modelo - Negra Modelo Dia De Los Muertos Calavera Skull Candle

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

This Negra Modelo tap celebrates Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It features a candle base with melted wax running down it (and pooled at the bottom), as well as a skull-shaped candle with a sculpted flame tip at the top. The skull is painted with intricate folk art patterns and has marigolds in the eyes; it is referred to as a calavera skull candle. There is an alternate version used for the Modelo Especial brand that is similar but does not feature the flame tip on top. These taps have exploded onto the secondary market in large numbers, but demand has helped to keep prices high.

Calaveras (skulls) are probably the most recognizable emblems of the Day of the Dead. Calaveras are whimsical caricatures - most commonly drawings - of skulls or skeletons. In most cases, calaveras are depicted in humorous settings, often in scenes depicting traditional activities. Candles are lit to guide spirits back to their home. Marigolds symbolize death, and their strong fragrance also helps lead the dead back to their home.

Click through to read more about Grupo Modelo, their Negra Modelo Vienna-style lager, and to see more photos of this symbolic tap...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tap Handle #550: Harpoon - UFO Pumpkin Ale

Tap size:  13.25"
Rarity:  Unknown
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Despite currently being the 15th largest craft brewery in the country and the 21st largest overall, this is Harpoon's first tap profile on this site. They have never seemed inspired to produce figural taps...the ones that they do produce can be classified as "toy on a stick", which describes the tap that I'm profiling in this post. Had the tap not been included with a group of other taps I purchased, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to seek it out. The base is made of turned wood and has some paint peeling, and the oval pumpkin is made of foam and will eventually degrade. I'm not even sure that it is legitimate version of the tap - I've never seen another with this oval-shaped pumpkin...all of the other UFO Pumpkin taps I've seen have a pumpkin that is more round and made of resin. Those taps are easy to find and inexpensive.

Click through to read more about of Harpoon Brewing, their UFO Pumpkin Ale, and to see more photos of the tap...

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tap Handle #549: Blind Pig - English Style Ale

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

When I first had the opportunity to acquire this tap, I hesitated, as I was unwilling to pay a lot of money for a "pig head on a stick". However, after researching the brewery history behind the tap, and discovering that the brewery has been closed for many years, when I got a second chance at the tap for a very reasonable price I pulled the trigger. Although it is somewhat crude in its sculpting and painting, and truly being a "pig head on a stick", there is still something quite satisfying about owning it. It probably has something to do with its place in brewing history - Blind Pig is recognized for creating the first Double (Imperial) American IPA - or perhaps it's the scarcity...either way, it is a welcome addition to the collection. Russian River, which revived the brand in 2006, used graphics on the label and taps that are very similar to the original Blind Pig's graphics, with the main difference being the gold medal award listed on the original graphics, and Russian River appearing as the brewery name on the newer graphics. Russian River's tap features a cane instead of a pig head (see photo to upper right). Since the Blind Pig Brewery has been gone since 1997, this tap is incredibly scarce - I believe I have only ever seen 3-4 others.

Click through to read more about Blind Pig Brewing, their English Style Ale, and to see more photos of this unsightly tap...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tap Handle #548: Genesee - J.W. Dundee's Original Honey Brown Lager

Tap size:  12.75" tall by 4" wide
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  flared 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Way back in tap profile #83, I profiled a Dundee Honey Brown tap featuring a drumming bee. This tap, which features a brewmaster admiring his product, represents the same beer before its name was changed. First created in 1994, J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown Lager had its name changed to Dundee Honey Brown in 2008, so that dates this tap sometime between 1994 and 2008. Needless to say, it's been at least 7 years since these taps were in use, and they are quite rare. I've seen maybe less than a dozen over the past couple of years, and though they are reasonably priced, all were missing the label. This tap was used for all J.W. Dundee varieties, which included Amber Lager and Pale Ale. If you have mounting restrictions, it's best to mount this with the arm facing forward, since that protruding arm gives the tap a 4" width, making it wider than most other taps.

For more about J.W. Dundee, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this uplifting tap...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tap Handle #547: Icehouse (Miller) - Racing Piston

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

There are several racing-themed taps created by Miller - the MGD Rusty Wallace stock car and the Bobby Rahal Indy car are two that I've profiled so far - and this Icehouse Racing piston is part of that theme. If this was metal, it would be extremely heavy, but instead it is resin and is deceptively light. I have no idea what purpose it was made for, but it had to be a special event, because these are very scarce - I've only seen 4 others.

For more about Icehouse, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this dynamic tap...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tap Handle #546: Sazerac - Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

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

Although the vast majority of taps on this site are beer brands, occasionally I will acquire other types of taps, such as hard cider or root beer, which are not uncommon to see on tap in a pizza place, restaurant or bar. Take a moment to think on this: how often do you see a tap featuring spirits (alcohol, not ghosts) at such places? The answer is pretty much never. I suspect these types of taps are made for special occasions, which makes them incredibly rare. This one features the devilish figurehead for Fireball, done in bas-relief style, against a black background. The name appears just below the figure in raised white letters, and under that is a decal of a fireball and the words "Cinnamon Whisky". At the bottom is another decal of the catchphrase "Tastes Like Heaven Burns Like Hell". The front and back are reverse images of each other, and the color scheme is the same as Northwest's Hoppy Bitch and Rapscallion taps. Earlier this year, a few of these Fireball taps hit the secondary market at great prices, considering the scarcity, and they haven't been seen since.



Fun fact: mixing Fireball with Angry Orchard creates a great cinnamon apple drink. Some call it Fiery Orchard; the immature kid in me prefers the name Angry Balls.

Click through to read more about The Sazerac Company, their Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and to see more photos of this fiery tap...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tap Handle #545: Fortnight - Porter

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

The Fortnight lion tap is much better in person - photos don't really do it justice. Resembling marble-sculpted lion statues that you would see at the entrance to an estate, this tap actually looks like real marble, thanks to the beautiful paint job and the cracks and chips sculpted into it. The lion sits on a pedestal and holds a shield under one paw. The shield is where the beer label is attached. At the top of the pedestal, both front and back, the brewery's name is carved and painted black. Overall its a really beautiful tap. They have become easy to find, and as a result are very inexpensive on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Fortnight Brewing, their Porter Ale, and to see more photos of this stately tap...