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, January 31, 2016

Tap Handle #563: Chameleon Ryediculous IPA

Tap size:  9"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is my third Chameleon tap profiled on the site, and while they all bear a similar appearance, they are distinctly different enough to make all of them worth obtaining. The Ryediculous variety features the same chameleon as seen in the previous taps that I've profiled (#188 & #189), submerged in a glass of beer, but this time it is dressed in a colorful jester outfit. I still love that you can see the tail down in the glass, that never gets old. The label is a decal applied on top of the glass, and like the other varieties it is prone to peeling up along the edges (especially the corners). It also has the same recessed nut for mounting, so you'll need a longer bolt that other taps that have internal nuts. Like the other Chameleon taps, this one is very scarce - I have only seen one other.

For more about Chameleon, see this post.

Click through to read more about Chameleon's Ryediculous IPA and to see more photos of this colorful tap...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tap Handle #562: Pabst - Octopabst

Tap size:  12.5"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  3/8" internal nut

It took me quite some time to acquire this tap. First introduced in 2013, it is based on artwork by Loren Shaw that was the winning entry in a Pabst artwork contest, much like the Pabst "Pink Elephants Come Home" tap I posted about in profile #310. And like the Pink Elephants, this tap tends to be very expensive due to very high demand, despite no shortage of them appearing on the secondary market. I was patient in acquiring one and got it at a great price, but I haven't seen a price below $150 for some time. The detail on the tap is superb, with a big round Pabst sign forming the head, and tentacles that are holding "fish" with bodies made out of Pabst beer cans. One small detail can be seen on the bottom fish, which has an "x" where the eyes should be, and bite marks that have crushed part of the can. It is the only fish without a tentacle wrapped around it, unlike the original painting. One of the tentacles has "www.pabstblueribbon.com" printed on it. The front and back are identical to each other, as are the two sides to each other, so I reduced the number of photos taken.

Loren Shaw entered the 2012 PBR Drink and Draw Competition with little hope of winning. Shaw had not entered any competitions in years and thought it would be fun. Shaw ended up winning first place in the Hawaii competition, and in the end won the Grand Prize in the Nationals. The painting, titled "Octopabst", is located on display at Pabst Blue Ribbon headquarters in Hollywood, California, and was featured on billboards and other locations across the country. The story behind the painting is that Octopabst roams the seas in search of PBR fish, he can catch eight at a time if the opportunity arises, but in this case, two of the three fish got away.

For more about Pabst, see this post.

Octopabst artwork and information courtesy of Loren Shaw's website.

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tap Handle #561: Flying Dog - Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale

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

A few posts ago I profiled the Blue Point Old Howling Bastard tap handle that was a different version from one that I had profiled a few years before. That is the case here as well; this Flying Dog tap is quite different from the previous Flying Dog tap I posted about in profile #314. This version is a lot more figural than the original, with a crazy-looking, brightly painted dog half submerged in a foaming glass of beer. There are a few scarce versions of the tap with different paint and markings on the dog, such as K-9 Winter Ale that had the dog painted in a dalmatian color scheme. This tap is not exactly scarce - it does pop up occasionally on the secondary market; however, many are missing the label, and almost all of them are missing the rubber "propeller" on the top that helps it become a "flying dog".

For more about Flying Dog, see this post.

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tap Handle #560: Milwaukee Brewing - Outboard Cream Ale

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

It's been quite some time since I profiled a tap from Milwaukee Brewing (MKE) - profile #150, to be exact. Outboard is their best tap so far. Good detail and a powder blue color complement the black on white "Outboard" label at the top of the tap and the yellow on black "MKE" label at the bottom. The labels appear on both the front and back of the tap. The small gold propeller on the side actually spins (not on its own - that would be amazing). The tap is fairly easy to find but demand has kept prices high.

The terms “Outboard” and “Evinrude” have become synonymous. The first practical outboard motor was invented by Ole Evinrude in 1909. It’s said that Ole and his girlfriend Bess were enjoying their day on Okauchee Lake on a hot summer day when she asked for some ice cream. Ole rowed to shore and by the time he had gotten back the ice cream had melted. Thinking about how he could move across the water more quickly (and save his tired arms from rowing), Ole had always been fascinated by motors, and spent 5 years hopping from job to job learning about steel, manufacturing and engineering. He set up a motor shop in Milwaukee, and would eventually employ 300 people.

For more about Milwaukee Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Milwaukee Brewing's Outboard Cream Ale and to see more photos of this moving tap...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tap Handle #559: CB Craft Brewers - Caged Alpha Monkey IPA

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

Caged Alpha Monkey is a tap that belongs on my cream of the crop list. Featuring incredible detailing centered around a hopped up green ape (just look at that crazy glazed look in its eyes!), it is bursting out of a cage full of hops. The CB brand is prominently featured as a decal on the front, with IPA sculpted as raised letters on the base, and both also appear on the back of the tap, along with the monkey's tail. This has become one of my favorite new taps, and the scarcity makes it almost impossible to find. They were only commissioned by the brewery for a short period of time and very few were made. I've only seen 2 others, and as a result the secondary market price is very, very high.

Click through to read more about CB Craft Brewers, their Caged Alpha Monkey IPA, and to see more photos of this elusive tap...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tap Handle #558: Charles Wells - Bombardier English Premium Bitter Ale

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  custom 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

The Bombardier tap from Charles Wells is a toy on a stick, but it is a pretty cool toy on a stick. Featuring a cannon with piles of cannonballs as the "toy", the shaft is gunmetal gray with a bumpy texture to it, lending a cast iron look and feel, and the words "Bombardier" and "A proper English ale" appear up the sides as decals. On the front and back are large "badges" that also have the brewery name and beer variety on them, along with some very "English" looking graphics. The ferrule is custom made, with a broad lip around it that the shaft of the tap fits into. When I first acquired this it was the only one I had ever seen. There was a brief flurry of them appearing on the secondary market at great prices, but that seems to have dried up now. It might be that someone liquidated inventory, since Bombardier English Premium Bitter Ale has been rebranded as Bombardier Glorious English Ale, so the taps are no longer used. In addition, due to the fact that this was a foreign beer, I expect these to soon become scarce.

Bombardier has its own website (separate from Wells), which you can find here.

For more about Charles Wells Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Wells Bombardier English Premium Bitter Ale and to see more photos of this explosive tap...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tap Handle #557: Gritty McDuff's - Red Claws Ale

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

It took a great deal of patience before I finally got a lucky break and obtained this tap, which was high on my wishlist at the time. Resembling the logo of the Maine Red Claws, a developmental basketball team for the Boston Celtics, as well as their mascot Crusher, the tap features many fine details and bright colors. A lobster, wearing a Red Claws jersey with the number "1", holds a basketball in one claw, emerging from a fountain of water. At the base is the brewery's symbol in the form of sticker; below that, "Red Claws Ale" appears as recessed lettering within a green banner. Although it has a ceramic look and feel to it, it is actually resin. These were used in restaurants and bars in the Portland area, as well as in Gritty's brewpubs and the Portland Expo during basketball games, and were available to purchase for a few years in Gritty's retail store until they were sold out, with most snapped up by local fans of the team. Due to all of the fine detail, especially around the water, they chipped and broke easily. The tap is now quite scarce - I believe I have only seen two others that were undamaged, and I haven't seen one since purchasing mine last year. The few I have seen were missing the custom stand that was sold with the tap (pictured to the upper right).

The Maine Red Claws are a basketball team of the NBA Development League based in Portland, Maine. It is affiliated to the Boston Celtics. When former Boston Celtics assistant coach Jon Jennings was presented with the opportunity to own an D-League team in 2009, he traveled across the Northeast to find the perfect home, settling on Portland. It proved to be a wise choice. Before the team had even played its first game, they lead the entire league in season ticket revenue, selling 1,432 season tickets for home games in their 3,100-seat arena, the Portland Expo Building. The name was chosen as the result of a "name the team" contest. The team's innovative logo, submitted by a company in Cincinnati in exchange for a jersey, put them at the top of the merchandise rankings. They also had 60 sponsorships from community businesses, including a bakery called Isamax and Gritty McDuff's brewery.

For more about Gritty McDuff's, see this post.

Click through to read more about Gritty McDuff's Red Claws Ale and to see more photos of this jammin' tap...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tap Handle #556: Blue Point - Old Howling Bastard

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

Back in tap profile #98, I covered a great tap from Blue Point called Old Howling Bastard. It featured a hand dressed in gangster clothing and holding a revolver. This tap features the same beer as the older tap, but in a much different style. An old man holds a mug of beer in one hand and a staff or walking stick in the other. His robes are green with yellow highlights, and the name of the beer is prominently displayed at the top of the tap, while the Blue Point sign appears at the bottom. The best part of the tap, however, is the old man's face, wild and crazy, with one eye closed and the other bugged out, the mouth open and howling and missing several teeth. The tufts of hair on top of the head and the wizard-like beard round out the character. It is an extremely enjoyable and popular tap when shown to friends and family. Unfortunately the tap is hard to find, and when it can be found it is expensive. At this point it's not clear whether this was only used for a special occasion - the older tap has not been replaced by this one, so the usage and true rarity remain a mystery for now.

You can read more about the original Blue Point Howling Bastard tap here.

For more about Blue Point, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this insanely enjoyable tap...