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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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tap Handle #587: Rivertown - Blueberry Lager

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

Rivertown's Blueberry Lager tap is very much a "toy on a stick" tap. I mean, literally, it's a crate of blueberries on a chunk of wood. I ended up with one because it arrived with the Pumpkin Ale tap I profiled in the previous post. I really like it for a couple of reasons...the blueberries inside the basket and spilling out over the side are very colorful and well-sculpted, as are the detailed lines carved to give the crate a dimensional and clean look. Also, the "Blueberry Lager" lettering on the shaft, right below the Rivertown's now-retired emblem, is pressed into the wood, and painted with deep blues and a touch of lighter color to simulate brush strokes. The overall effect is very nice. The other feature that makes this tap appealing is the beer's seasonal status...like the Pumpkin Ale, Blueberry Lager is a seasonal, so the supply of these taps is limited - I think I've seen perhaps 3 others, making this quite scarce - although it has been very affordable when it has appeared.

For more about Rivertown, see this post.

Click through to read more about Rivertown's Blueberry Lager and to see more photos of this bountiful tap...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Tap Handle #586 - Rivertown Pumpkin Ale

Tap size:  9.25"
Rarity:  Very Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

While Rivertown's Pumpkin Ale is not retired like their previous beer I posted about in profile #493, Hop Bomber, it does feature the obsolete version of their label; however, the tap is still in use by the brewery. It features a grinning, evil-looking pumpkin on top of a pedestal of green corn stalks. The label is directly under the pumpkin, and the words "Pumpkin Ale" are recessed into the pedestal. The colors are bold and beautiful, and capture the feel of autumn perfectly. When acquiring this tap, keep in mind that it is very fragile, and it is not uncommon to find chips in the pedestal base or pumpkin, and sometimes the stem is completely broken off. Due to the beer's seasonal status and the tap's low production numbers, it can be hard to find; the ease with which it can be damaged makes finding an undamaged one difficult as well as expensive.

For more about Rivertown, see this post.

Click through to read more about Rivertown's Pumpkin Ale and to see more photos of this colorful tap...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Tap Handle #585: Wooden Robot

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

When I first saw photos of this incredible tap, I hoped that someday I would be able to acquire one. Josh Patton, one of the co-founders of the brewery, was intrigued by the museum concept and soon my hopes were realized. Conceptually, the Wooden Robot mascot is brilliant. With a metal pail for a head, light bulbs for eyes, the body of a barrel mounted to a wheel, and one arm made from a hop scoop and the other a brewer’s mash paddle, the disparate parts symbolize what the brewery stands for: blending old world techniques with new world innovations. The robot holds a sign with the brewery's logo on it, while parked on a pile of hops that sit on top of two stacked barrels. A rectangular, cream-colored plaque on both the front and back allow labels to be placed to identify the variety of beer. Although I don't currently have a label, the brewery is sending me one soon; in the meantime, I'll profile the brewery's Good Morning Vietnam Coffee Vanilla Blonde Ale. This tap is very scarce; mine is the only one I've ever seen.

And as if the tap isn't enough, there is a life-sized version of the Wooden Robot mascot in the brewery (with the light bulb eyes fully functional) to greet visitors who enter the brewery (see photo to right, courtesy of Trip Advisor). Someday I have to get to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the brewery, taste one of their beers, and to check this mascot out!

Click through to read more about Wooden Robot Brewing and to see more photos of this imaginative tap...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tap Giveaway Contest #3 Results - UPDATE

UPDATE:

Charlie has claimed his prize, so this tap giveaway is in the books.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. There were a total of 4 entries. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Charlie W.

Charlie has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. Watch for the next tap giveaway coming up in May...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tap Handle #584: Left Coast - Hop Juice Double IPA

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

Back in profile #261 I posted about Left Coast's original Hop Juice tap. This updated version is superior in every way - color, design and detail. There is a giant hop at the top of the tap that has cracked open and is leaking "hop juice". The words "Hop Juice", "Double IPA", and "Left Coast" are prominently featured on the front in raised letters. Wheat stalks and more hops are placed on a small platform around the base, and additional "Hop Juice" raised lettering appears down each side. The back is flat. Stylistically the shaft of the tap shares some similarities with the Left Coast Asylum tap. The overall look is so colorful and beautiful that it is very impressive. This tap is very hard to find - I've only seen two others - and it seems that the original Hop Juice tap with the frog on top is far more common.

For more about Left Coast, see this post. For more about Hop Juice, see this post.

Click through to see more photos of this deliciously messy tap...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tap Giveaway Contest #3 Details

As I announced on March 18th, I'm doing another tap handle giveaway contest. This will be the third contest that the Museum has sponsored. Previous tap contest entries and winners were:

#1 - East Coast Taps nautical theme - won by Denis G. (out of 3 entries received for trivia contest)
#2 - Florida Keys mermaid - won by Sean W. (out of 6 entries received)


This time I'm giving away a tap that was featured in the previous profile (#583): Big Dawg Brewhaus (see photo to right). Past winners are not typically not eligible to participate in this contest. Due to the simplicity of this tap's design, I'm making the following rules to apply to this giveaway only:


  • Past winners may enter this contest
  • For a new winner, this will not affect that person's ability to enter a future contest

To enter the contest, you need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if you've contacted me previously. I will choose one winner at random on March 24th, so you have until March 23rd, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 2 days to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tap Handle #583: Big Dawg Brewhaus (Noble Order)

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

This Big Dawg tap is a bit simplistic and is essentially a "toy on a stick". It is, however, a faithful rendition of the artwork that was used by the brewery (see photo to right). It features a bulldog in red lederhosen holding a mug of beer.The base is three-sided, with Big Dawg stickers on each side. The value of this tap lies in its scarcity; used by the brewery during its smaller half-barrel production era, it was retired around 2013 when the brewery changed its name to Noble Order. Also, the ears are very fragile and are easily prone to chipping or breaking. This means that not only were very few made, when you factor in the name change/re-branding,  I expect few of these (if any) to ever appear on the secondary market.

Click through to read more about Big Dawg Brewhaus/Noble Order Brewing and to see more photos of this elusive tap...

Tap Giveaway Contest #3 Announcement

I'll be giving away another free tap starting this weekend. Check back for details which will be forthcoming after the next brewery profile...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tap Handle #582 : El Segundo Brewing - White Dog Wheat IPA

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

A couple of years ago I managed to pick up this tap after seeing a photo of it, but the one I received was heavily damaged. Later I was able to pick up this version in great condition. There is a blue house on top with green grass and wheat stalks hanging around the edge. Along the base both front and back is a recessed space where labels can be placed. I have two different labels but I couldn't find much information on the Hyperion Vanilla Bean Stout, so I'm profiling the White Dog Wheat IPA on the back. At the base is a white dog laying among a bunch of small barrels. The ferrule is somewhat unique - although it is a standard ferrule, it is recessed within the tap so only about 1/2" of the ferrule is visible. These taps are very scarce; I've seen less than a half dozen and almost all have been damaged...usually the roof of the blue house, the wheat stalks, or the barrels at the base are badly chipped.

Click through to read more about El Segundo Brewing, their White Dog Wheat IPA, and to see more photos of this welcoming tap...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tap Handle #581: Cape Ann Brewing - Fisherman's Navigator

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This Fisherman's tap made by Cape Ann Brewing is notable for its 3-D effect, as the fisherman figure leans out over the front of tap. He holds a ship's wheel and two harpoons are placed on each side of him. The beer variety is actually a magnet, and there is a piece of metal attached to the tap that allows it to be changed to another beer variety if desired. The word "Fisherman's" appears at the top, and "Glouchester MA" runs down the front - both are in raised letters. The back is fairly plain, except for the screw head that attaches the fisherman figure to the rest of the tap. These taps appear in a variety of colors and can be found regularly on the secondary market for a reasonable price.

Click through to read more about Cape Ann and their Fisherman's Navigator, and to see more photos of this resilient tap...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tap Handle #580: Coors - Dayton Dragon

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

I was thrilled to pick up this Coors tap that represents the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team a couple of years ago. This is another tap that experienced paint loss and that Kelly was able to touch up. According to the seller who I bought the tap from, his father was the distributor of Miller/Coors products for the Dragons, the Midwest, and other sports teams. Only 16 of these taps were ever made. All 16 of the tap handles were used in the baseball stadium during the season except for this one, and almost all of the taps are no longer in circulation...the other 15 handles were brought back to the distributor after the Miller/Coors distributorship was sold to a new owner. I contacted the manufacturer, who said that they were commissioned by a marketing company that works with Coors, and they handled the design. He was amazed that this tap was in such good shape, since tap handles with LEDs don’t last long and fall apart. There is a switch on the back between the ears that turns the LEDs on and off, and a battery compartment is just above that, and is kept closed by a screw. The LEDs in this tap are still working great, although one LED flashes faster than the other...sometimes they are both lit at the same time, but usually just one is lit at a time. In some of the photos I've taken you can see that an LED is lit. I have seen two others besides this one, but one of them was broken, and the other went for well over $200.

The Dayton Dragons are a Class A minor league baseball team based in Dayton, Ohio. They are affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, and their home stadium is Fifth Third Field. In 2011, they broke the record for most consecutive sellouts by a professional sports team, selling out their 815th consecutive game, breaking the record formerly held by the Portland Trail Blazers. This led to the team being voted as one of the top ten hottest tickets in all of professional sports by Sports Illustrated. The Dragons came to Dayton in 2000, after being previously based in Rockford, Illinois, where they were called the Rockford Expos (1988-1992), Rockford Royals (1993-1994), Rockford Cubbies (1995-1998), and Rockford Reds (1999). In 2012, the Dragons franchise was said to be valued at $23 million, making the team the most valuable class A minor league franchise in the United States.

For more about Coors, see this post.

Dayton Dragon information and team mascot image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tap Handle #579: Weston - O'Malley's Cream Ale

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

Back in posts #423 and #424 I profiled two taps from Weston Brewing, Drop Kick and Leapin' Leprechaun. At that time I mentioned I had received three taps, and that the Leprechaun had experienced some paint loss due to a lack of finish. This O'Malley's Cream Ale tap was the third tap, and was received at the same time as the other two taps, but it incurred far more paint loss than the Leprechaun - so much so that I was unwilling to post images of it. Kelly worked his magic and now I feel the tap can get the profile it deserves. The colors really pop and more closely match the redesigned artwork on the packaging of O'Malley's that was done in 2009 by Jason Bays of Blacktop Creative. Weston says of the new packaging, "the original artwork was given a bit more color and a hand-draw new look", while the goal of the packaging redesign, according to Bays, was "to create a brand that appeared as if it had been in existence for over a hundred years. My idea was to create imagery that presented the rugged beauty of Ireland natives with the inspiration of creating something that could have hung in an Irish pub for years."

Kelly's attention to detail during the repaint highlights aspects of the Irishman's clothing and face that weren't evident in the original paint scheme; the original hand painting of these taps had to sacrifice some detail in order to be produced more quickly. The sign on the front has the name of beer on it, but like the other two taps, Weston's name does not appear on this tap itself. O'Malley's is the most rare of the three Weston taps; this is only the third Cream Ale tap I've ever seen, and the secondary market price is historically quite expensive.

For more about Weston Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Weston's Cream and to see more photos of this "rugged and beautiful" tap, just as Bays would have imagined it...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tap Handle #578: Fox and Hound (Anheuser Busch) - Red Fox Amber Ale

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

The Red Fox Amber Ale tap represents a house beer made exclusively for the Fox & Hound pub chain by Anheuser-Busch. It features a cartoonish fox sitting between a couple of pillows. In one paw the fox holds a feather quill and a scroll; in the other paw a tall glass of beer is being raised. Behind the fox is a bushy hop plant. The base is a gold metallic color with a clear decal front and back sporting the name "Red Fox" in red letters. At the bottom is a white label encircling the base that reads "Amber Ale" on the front side of the tap only. Like most taps made for a restaurant or pub by a brewery, Red Fox was a limited production run, and although the beer is still in use, this version has not been used for some time. A brief flurry of these hit the secondary market last year, and since then the supply has dried up, with this tap being one of only eight that I have seen. The price was once very affordable, but has skyrocketed as the supply has dwindled.

Click through to read more about the Fox and Hound restaurant chain, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tap Handle #577: Rocky Run Brew House Barrel Stout

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

Rocky Run has a distinctive style to their taps - cartoonish characters, funny themes, and a large round black base typify the look of their taps. Here we have a man and a woman in a hot tub, each of them holding a beer. The detail is great, including bubbles sculpted inside the hot tub, and the colors are bold. It has a very solid and heavy feel to it as well. Since Rocky Run has been gone since 2011, all of their taps are scarce, and all would be very expensive - if you can even find one. This is the only Brew House Barrel Stout tap I have ever seen, and one of a total of 3 Rocky Run taps I have ever seen.

Click through to read more about Rock Run Brewing, their Brew House Barrel Stout, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...