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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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tap Giveaway #10 Announcement and Details

It's long past time that I had another tap handle giveaway contest, so here it goes! This will be the tenth 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)
#5 - Beer Army #2 - won by Larry C (out of 14 entries received)
#6 - Red Hook Seedy Blonde - won by Bill S. (out of 13 entries received)
#7 - Leinenkugal IPL - won by John P (out of 12 entries received)
#8 - Shiner Smokehaus - won by Graham B. (out of 12 entries received)
#9 - Haacht Rince Cochon - won by Blair B. (out of 15 entries received)


For this contest I'm giving away a tap that I have never profiled: the new Hobgoblin tap handle. This is a really great, wicked looking tap with a hobgoblin coming out of an evil-looking tree. The tap is new and unused in its original box. Past winners are not eligible to participate in this contest (except for Charlie W.).

To enter the contest, you only need to submit your name through the "Contact Me" feature in the sidebar, or email me if we've been in contact previously. I will choose one winner at random on Tuesday, March 7th, so you have until Monday, March 6th, 11:59 pm PST to enter. Once I announce the winner they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will choose a new winner. Good luck!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tap Handle #642: Scuttlebutt - Hoptopia Imperial IPA

Tap size:  9.75"
Rarity:  hand made, 10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Hoptopia is the first of three similar Scuttlebutt taps I own, featuring a "toy on a stick". Despite the toy on a stick look, the tap actually has a lot of small details that give it a little extra pop. The pirate, complete with a hook hand and eyepatch, holds a sign with the name of the beer sculpted into it. The name of the brewery is sculpted letter by letter down the shaft of the tap, and if you look closely you can see small silver nail heads on each letter, making it look as if each of them were nailed on. Hoptopia, along with the other taps in this style, is long out of production, and all of them are highly valued by tap collectors and rarely seen on the secondary market, with each variety commanding prices over $100 (and sometimes twice that).

Click through to read more About Scuttlebutt Brewing, their Hoptopia Imperial IPA, and to see more photos of this salty tap...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tap Handle #641: Cervezas Alhambra (Mahou San Miguel) - Reserva 1925

Tap size:  11.75"
Rarity:  import, 10 or less seen
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

There's nothing extraordinary about this tap, and it is not fully figural. However, it does have a cool looking design at the top, and I have an admitted attraction to imports, especially one with ties to the amazing palace of The Alhambra. The figure at the top resembles an animal in abstract, perhaps a lion, which bears a strong likeness to statues under a fountain in one of the Alhambra's courtyards (see photo below). The name of the beer, brewery, and country appear at the bottom of the tap, and on one side of the tap are the words "Strong Lager 6.4%". As an import, the tap is very difficult to find - I've only seen a couple of others.

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered to Renaissance tastes. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine influences found in the Mezquita of Córdoba. The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.

(Editor's note: the Alhambra is one of my favorite places on earth; I was stunned by the first photos I saw of it in the book "Castles of Spain". Alhambra is the inspiration for many songs and stories, and even appears in video games such as Assassin's Creed and Civilization V. If you like ambient music, I highly recommend Jon Mark's album "Alhambra", with its moody influences of Moorish conquest, lush Alhambra gardens, and windswept mountain plateaus. You can listen to samples at Allmusic or iTunes.)

Click through to read more about Cervezas Alhambra, its Reserva 1925, and to see more photos of this exotic tap...

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tap Handle #640: Long Island Meadery

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, hand-made, brewery closed
Mounting:  3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

What a great tap this is! I previewed this tap in a recent anniversary post, where I stated that mead is made with honey, thus the the bee and honeycomb on the tap are a great tie-in to the product. There are lots of great details to be seen here, from the suit of armor the bee is wearing (a nod to the medieval festivals that owner Paul Holm was fond of), to the flag the bee is holding, to the oak barrel it is standing on, to the dozens of geometrically-shaped honeycomb sculptings. The bee even has four arms! One of the bee's hands holds a foaming mug, which is curious because mead looks more like wine than a foaming mug of beer. The barrel holds a place for a label but I would bet that labels are even harder to find than the tap. Without a label, I decided to profile the Meadery's Traditional Mead, since it has the most reviews of all of their varieties on Ratebeer. My overall impression of the tap is that it is brilliant and colorful, and also extremely scarce, since the Long Island Meadery has been closed since about 2010. In fact I've never seen another on the secondary market - only a photo from another collector.

Click through to read more about Long Island Meadery, their Traditional Mead, and to see more photos of this whimsical tap...