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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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tap Handle #620: Anheuser-Busch - Shock Top Spiced Banana Wheat

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

This is the eighth Shock Top tap to appear on the site, and it's one of the best to date. The Shock Top character sports the familiar striped mohawk, but in this case it sits on a head that is a peeled banana. Sliced pieces of banana sit around stalks of wheat, while bunches of whole bananas make up the base of the tap. It's a very creative and great-looking tap. Although Spiced Banana Wheat a limited release, the tap isn't too rare - you can usually find one on the secondary market - but this is probably one the most expensive Shock Top taps (behind the End of the World Midnight Wheat and the Pretzel Wheat).

For more about Shock Top, see this post.

Click through to read more about Shock Top Spiced Banana Wheat and to see more photos of this revealing tap...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tap Handle #619: Titletown - Sno-Cap Root Beer

Tap size:  11.25"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  custom blue anodized ferrule

The awesome people at Titletown Brewing have helped bring Clyde the Penguin to the Museum. Titletown makes Sno-Cap Root Beer, and this is the tap that is used for Sno-Cap, which features Clyde at the top. Clyde is the mascot for Titletown's root beer. Named after Grandma Gladys' husband, Clyde, this cheerful penguin represents the cool, fresh, flavor sensation that you will experience when you drink Sno-Cap Root Beer. This tap is so colorful and amazingly detailed that it has instantly become one of my favorites. Clyde, wrapped in a red scarf and holding a mug that presumably contains Sno-Cap Root Beer, stands on a ice-covered barrel that has the name of the root beer prominently displayed on the sign. One of the bands of the barrel says "Made in Green Bay". The barrel sits on a column of ice that appears to have had some airbrushing, which delivers a vivid spectrum of purple, white, and light blue hues. The dark blue metallic ferrule is a beautiful compliment to the purple and light blue colors above it. I've only seen one other Sno-Cap tap beside this one, and it sold for a very expensive price on the secondary market.

For more about Titletown Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Grandma Gladys and Sno-Cap Root Beer, and to see more photos of this cool tap...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tap Handle #618: Melvin - IPA

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

As I mentioned in my previous post about Melvin Brewing, this is the second of two taps I acquired from the brewery. Stylistically it shares much in common with the DIPA tap, except for the character that appears here on the IPA tap. This character is referred to as "Hop Man" or "Melvin" by the brewery, and features a figure with a hop as a head, wearing a hoodie, with tubes and conduit connected to it. It definitely fits the "dark and mysterious" vibe that the owners refer to. Like the 2x4 Man, Hop Man is made of resin and attached to the metal base. Although I like the 2x4 Man character more, this guy's pretty cool too!

For more about Melvin Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Melvin's IPA and to see more photos of this enigmatic tap...

Tap Handle #617: Melvin Brewing - 2x4 DIPA

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  10 or less seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

Thanks to the great people at Melvin Brewing, I obtained two great tap handles to enter in the Museum. The first is this "2x4 Man", also called "Carpenter", which represents their Imperial IPA (or double IPA if you prefer). The brewery has a character associated with each of their core beers. Melvin's graphic designer, Kelly Halpin, came up with the design for each character, which co-founder Jeremy Tofte describes as "dark and mysterious, which don't belong in the beer industry." And each one has a superpower. 2X4 Man "has the ability to saw crappy cans of beer in half," laughs Tofte. The most impressive feature of the tap is that it is primarily made of metal, making it very durable. Only the character, which is attached to the base later, is made of resin. Since it is metal, and there is a recessed rectangular area on the back of the tap, presumably a magnetic label could be placed in this area so that whoever is pouring the beer could change up the beer variety. 2x4 Man is probably my favorite of all the Melvin characters. Made of nailed together pieces of wood and donning a viking helmet, he appears to be sawing his own arm! The brewery's circus elephant symbol appears at the top of the tap, while the brewery name and beer appear at the bottom.

Click through to read more about Melvin Brewing, their 2x4 DIPA, and to see more photos of this constructive tap...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tap Handle #616: Hellbender Brewing - Red Line Ale

Tap size:  12"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This tap comes to the Museum courtesy of Ben Evans, Head Brewer and President of Hellbender Brewing. Produced for the opening of their taproom, Hellbender has since switched to a different tap design featuring wood branded with the brewery's logo, but fortunately Mr. Evans was intrigued by the Museum concept and was able to locate one of these scarce three-sided taps for me. Featuring a Hellbender Salamander clinging to rocks, with recessed ovals at the top for beer labels and the brewery name sculpted down one side, Evans perfected the tap with a researcher from the National Zoo. "I was sending the head researcher the proofs back and forth," Evans said. One detail that needed to be perfected was that the Hellbender has four toes in the front, but five in the back. The tap is absolutely gorgeous, with the huge salamander being the most striking feature. Due to the three-sided nature of the tap, I wasn't able to capture the brewery's name, beer variety, and salamander all in one shot, although you can see its toes, jaw, and the tip of its tail curling around the base. The paint appears to be airbrushed, giving the tap a high-end artistic look. Very few of these were ever made, so I expect they will not appear much, if it all, on the secondary market.


The Eastern Hellbender is the largest salamander in North America, and the third largest in the world. That may not sound impressive until you realize these nocturnal amphibians reach up to 2.5 feet in length and three pounds in weight. They can grow large enough to eat a small kitten. Luckily for kittens everywhere, Hellbenders prefer to eat mostly crayfish and some small freshwater fish. Hellbenders are now endangered or threatened in many states. Fortunately, captive breeding programs are underway throughout the mid-Atlantic, Ozarks and Ohio River Valley to restore this species to its natural habitat. While you may still find Hellbenders in the wild within 60 miles of D.C., you don’t need to go any farther than the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. to see these amazing creatures up close. The lizard-like amphibians, according to myth, are born of fire and impervious to flames. They are truly "The Last Dragons". Check out the brewery's website to see an HD video of these incredible creatures.


Click through to read more about Hellbender Brewing, their Red Line Ale, and to see more photos of this captivating tap...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tap Handle #615: Lost Coast - Sharkinator White IPA (Version 2)

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity: less than 10 seen
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is the newest incarnation of Lost Coast's Sharkinator tap, which I call "version 2" (Sharkinator "version 1" will be profiled at a later date). It features a mechanical, robotic shark swimming at the top of the tap. Made to look like metal, the body of the shark is segmented and riveted, with capacitors on its sides and an antenna on its head. Below that is a routed piece painted like marble that bears a decal of the brewery on the front and back. Under the brewery decal, also front and back, is a sign with the name of the beer. The shaft is a metallic gold color, with the words "Lost Coast Brewery" recessed into the shaft in black letters on the backside. A thin silver band protects the bottom of the tap from damage. It's a really beautiful tap, and being so new, is currently hard to find.

For more about Lost Coast Brewing, see this post.

Click through to read more about Lost Coast's Sharkinator White IPA and to see more photos of this energetic tap...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tap Handle #614: Brauerei Im Fuchschen - Fuchschen Alt

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity: 10 or less, import
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut


It's amazing how much this Füchschen Alt tap resembles the Steamworks tap I posted about in profile #480 (see photo to right). The main difference is in the labels, of course, but also the Steamworks was made of metal plumbing parts, a gauge and a functioning light, while the Füchschen tap is made entirely of resin. I think that the odd resemblance to the Steamworks tap is the main reason that I acquired it, since it is not overtly detailed, and it was also inexpensive. Is it the real deal? I have no idea. If it is, that makes it an import from Germany, which in turn makes it very hard to find - I have not seen another.


Click through to read more about Brauerei Im Fuchschen, their Fuchschen Alt, and to see more photos of this familiar-looking tap...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tap Handle #613: Schlitz - Dark Lager

Tap size:  10.25"
Rarity:  50 or less, brewery closed
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This has to be the most unusual tap that Schlitz produced. It dates back to the 1970s, and is made of plastic. The internal nut for mounting is located in the tip of the pointing index finger. The protruding fingernail means the tap could not be screwed down on the mounting bolt all the way because it would hit the stage. The brown sleeve and white cuff covering the arm bear the name of the brewery and the beer. There are several lines and swirls pressed into the plastic to give it more detail and character. As to why an arm and pointing finger were created in the form of this tap to sell Schlitz Dark Lager, I have no idea. Since this beer was not widely distributed and was only produced for a short time in the 1970s, this tap would be very scarce if it wan't for the durability of the plastic. They are not indestructible, however, and I have seen a few damaged ones.

For more about Schlitz, see this post.

Click through to read what little information I could find on Schlitz Dark and to see more photos of this bizarre tap...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tap Giveaway #5 Results - UPDATE

Larry has claimed the prize, so this giveaway is officially over. Look for another giveaway sometime in July...

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I'd like to thank again each person who originally entered the giveaway contest. The winner of the contest, chosen at random, is:

Larry C.

Larry has 48 hours to respond or the prize will go to someone else. Stay tuned for another giveaway contest in July for a different tap handle. Also I may acquire a few more Beer Army taps for future contests so don't give up hope!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tap Handle Giveaway #5 Announcement and Details

As I promised in Tap Giveaway #4 last month in May, due to popular demand I will be giving away another Beer Army tap handle. This will be the fifth 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)
#3 - Big Dawg - won by Charlie W (out of 4 entries received)
#4 - Beer Army - won by Ariel N (out of 15 entries received)



This giveaway featuring the Beer Army tap (see photo to left) is going to be a little different than last time. I'm still throwing in a label for the tap, as well as a couple of stickers and cards (see photo to right), although the label will be different than the one pictured. The main difference is that this giveaway is a closed contest, meaning that everyone who signed up before will automatically be re-entered, and no new entries will be permitted. Next month I'll be giving away a different tap and will revert back to the standard format where anyone except past winners can enter.

I will choose one winner at random tonight and make the announcement tomorrow, June 10th. As before, once I announce the winner and make contact via email, he or she will have 2 days to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tap Handle #612: Rye River - McGargles Knock Knock Ned's IPA

Tap size:  7.5"
Rarity:  10 or less seen, import, hand-made
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

This is a really unusual tap handle. It's got three chunky, blocky parts to the design: the top (featuring a decal of the brand), the center, which features a decal stating "brewed in Ireland" and a bas relief of the Ned McGargles character, and finally the base, which has a sculpted "ribbon" with the name of the beer on it. The actual brewery's name (Rye River) does not appear on the tap. The back looks exactly like the front, except there is no Ned character. It's small in stature at only 7.5", but you have to admit it is quite unique. Most images I can find of McGargles taps are very plain, and since McGargles beers are imported into the U.S., this may have been a promotional piece, although I can't confirm that. I can say that I've never seen another. The brewery has a character for each beer, and Ned is the character for the IPA. Ned is described as follows:

"Knock Knock Ned, like his brew, spent years entertaining crews of Merchant Seamen. Don’t be fooled by his height - this world renowned pirate impersonator with his two wooden legs, is as hoppy as his Indian Pale Ale, and equally as rugged."

Click through to read more about Rye River Brewing, their McGargles Knock Knock Ned's IPA, and to see more photos of this outlandish tap...

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tap Handle #611: Frankenmuth - Little Bavaria Pilsener

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  50 or less
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I really wanted this tap when it first started appearing in greater numbers last year (prior to that they were very hard to find), not just because of the dog on top, but because the original brewery building has such a storied history. It has survived Prohibition, a fire, a tornado, and multiple bankruptcies to become a great beer destination. The dog on the tap is "Frankie", a Dachshund who has been...well, I'll let the brewery tell you about him themselves:


"Frankie the Dachshund has been featured on our beer labels, advertisements, and marketing materials dating back to as early as the 1930’s, making Frankie nearly 85 years old (or almost 600 in dog years)! The history of Frankie originated with one of the brewery’s early owners, John Geyer; as legend would have it, Geyer owned a brood of purebred dachshunds and used the image of Frankie, his top dog, in ads, signs and packaging for the brewery. Frankie has made quite a name for himself as the company mascot over the years and continues to play a huge role in representing the Frankenmuth Brewery’s “dog-gone good” craft beer."


Frankie has been featured not only on ads, signs, and packaging, he also appears on some of their old ball taps (see photo to left), was a chalkware backbar statue (see photo to right), and now he adorns the top of this modern-day tap handle. Frankie is found on the very top of the tap, and the detail on him is excellent - he looks like a real Dachshund! He sits on a rug, which in turn is sitting on a pile of hops. The base features a round area just below Frankie and the hops, where the beer label is attached, and on each side is the letter "F" which stands for the Frankenmuth Brewery. This round area also sits on a pile of hops and is effectively sandwiched between them. Below the second pile of hops is a rectangular area that displays a decal of the name of the brewery and the phrase "since 1862"; a decal on the sides of the rectangular area features Frankie's profile, which has been used a s a symbol of the brewery for many years. Finally, the bottom features an elongated and beveled shaft that has more decals on the sides, this time with the name of the brewery in red letters. There is so much work and detail in the this tap, especially with the decal applications, that it does not disappoint. Lately these have increased in frequency but the price is all over the place, from very affordable to the low $300s. I've seen several different labels on the taps, although the Christmas Ale seems to be the most common for some reason.

Little Bavaria Pilsener is named after the town of Frankenmuth, or its common nickname, "Little Bavaria". See the photos below to see why the town (and thus the beer) is named the way it is...


Click through to read more about the historic Frankenmuth Brewery, their Little Bavaria Pilsener, and to see more photos of this "dog-gone good" tap...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tap Handle #610: Cerveceria Berber

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  10 or less, import, hand-made
Mounting:  large 3/8" ferrule on 3/8" anchor bolt

Following the Coedo tap I profiled in the last post, I've got another import tap here called Cerveza Berber (which translates as "Berber Beer"). This beautiful tap has an Aztec or Mayan styling, with what appears to be a chieftain wearing a jaguar headdress. It is heavy and made of ceramic, meaning the paint and semi-gloss finish have been fired on. It looks like a precious relic from ancient Mexico. The tap is not variety-specific, so it is used for all of the brewery's varieties (I've chosen to profile their Cerveza Obscura stout). The tap I possess is the only one that I've ever seen.

Click through to read more about Cerveceria Berber, their Cerveza Obscura stout, and to see more photos of this exotic tap...