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

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...




Grupo Modelo was founded in Mexico City, Mexico in 1925 at a most opportune time. Aided by Prohibition in the U.S., which saw Americans flocking into Mexico for beer, by 1928 they had sold over 8 million bottles of their two popular brands, Modelo and Corona. In 1930 they launched Negra Modelo, which was made in the style of a Vienna Lager, a style that was dark during those times but has lightened in color and flavor over the years. In 1933, after Prohibition had been repealed, Grupo Modelo began exporting their beers to the U.S.


After 1935 Grupo Modelo entered a period of expansion and acquisition. In 1935 they acquired the Brewing Company of Toluca and Mexico, whose brands included Victoria and Pilsner. In 1954 they acquired the Pacific Brewery in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, which was built in 1900, and the Star Brewery in Guadalajara, Jalisco. in 1960 they acquired Northwest Modelo Brewery in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora. In 1979 they began construction on both their Brewery of the Tropics, located in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, and their Barley and Malt company in based in Calpulapan, Tlaxcala. In 1985, Grupo Modelo exported their first shipments of beer to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and some European countries. In 1997 they opened Zacatecas Brewing Company, the largest brewery in Latin America. Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased a non-controlling 50% stake in the company.


In 2003 Grupo Modelo began construction of a malting plant located in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In 2010, construction was completed on a plant in Nava, Coahuila, which at the time claimed it was the most modern brewery in the world. In 2012 Anheuser-Busch InBev attempted to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Grupo Modelo for an all cash price of $20.1 billion. In response the U.S. Justice Department filed an anti-trust suit in an attempt to prevent the buyout. and rejected a proposal from AB InBev to sell Crown, an importer/distributer of Modelo's beers in the U.S., exclusively to Constellation Brands, which jointly owns the venture with Modelo. Those terms would have given Constellation the U.S. license to sell the beers, but it would have had to continue buying from AB InBev. The deal was approved when it included Modelo's Zacatecas Brewery in Piedras Negras, as well as exclusive and perpetual licenses to sell and distribute Modelo beers in the U.S., which Constellation paid AB InBev $2.9 billion for, along with $1.85 billion for full control of Crown.


Grupo Modelo controls 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to many other countries. Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico. They also brew brands intended solely for the domestic Mexican market: Estrella (a local beer found only in western Mexico), and León and Montejo (originally local to Yucatán but now available nationwide). Grupo Modelo has exclusive rights in Mexico for the import and distribution of beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. It also imports the Chinese Tsingtao brand and the Danish beer Carlsberg. It has seven brewing plants in Mexico, with a total annual installed capacity of 60 million hectoliters.


Negra Modelo is a dark, Vienna style lager with a complex aroma of nutty and spicy, toasted malt and chocolate elements. It has a biscuit-like characteristic with chocolate flavors. It has a nice balance between malty and hops.


Ratebeer weighted average:  2.69 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  77 out of 100 (okay)


Grupo Modelo
Lago Alberto 156 Colonia Anáhuac
México DF, Mexico 11320




Source Material
Grupo Modelo website

























No comments:

Post a Comment