10 Best Beer Tap Handles for Bars & Breweries in 2020 (+Cost)
July 14, 2020
Beer tap handles might not seem like the biggest deal when you’re thinking about the design of your brewery or bar, but they deserve some serious thought when buying bar or brewery equipment. The handles that your customers see can have a big influence on their pour decisions.
As they say, the devil is in the details.
That’s why we’ve compiled a 2020 guide to our favorite beer tap handles in a variety of styles, and at a range of different price points. We’ll also go over some of the most important issues when you’re choosing the fittings for your fine establishment. Read on, and get pouring.
10 Best Beer Tap Handles for Bars & Breweries
- KegWorks Beer Tap Faucet Handle – Black Knob
- Talos American Standard Draft Beer Faucet
- KegWorks Railroad Spike Beer Tap Handle
- S&D Brewski Chalkboard Tap Handle
- KegWorks 3-Inch Wood Tap Handle
- Maple Landmark Straight Chalkboard Tap Handle
- KegWorks Custom Branding on Demand Beer Tap Handle
- Maple Landmark Tapered Tap Handle
- KegWorks Bulldog Beer Tap Handle
- Kool Collectibles Old Baseball Beer Tap Handle
1. KegWorks Beer Tap Faucet Handle - Black Knob
Review Score: 4.8/5
If you need to be as economical as possible, this is the handle for you. You’ll even be given additional discounts when you buy 6, 12 or 24. As well as being cost-effective, the Black Knob option is great if you don’t want the taps to be a focal point – it’ll keep a low profile and is very easy to replace.
2. Talos American Standard Draft Beer Faucet
Review Score: 5/5
The high-pressure casting ensures that this chrome-coated brass tap has no cracks or leaks, and it gives a great industrial look to any bar. The smooth movement of this model also appealed to a lot of its reviewers and should make pulling beer a little easier on busy nights.
3. KegWorks Railroad Spike Beer Tap Handle
Review Score: 5/5
Even if your venue doesn’t have a railroad theme, these spikes will look great. But if you’re near a station or are one of the bars that have been built inside an old train car, this is the perfect tool to help you serve beer all day (and night)!
4. S&D Brewski Chalkboard Tap Handle
Review Score: 4.3/5
This is ideal for any draft you have on tap. The sleek and solid wood handle is easy to use, and you can easily change the beers you’re serving by erasing and rewriting on the chalkboard. If you’ve got a bustling pub where people love to meet for a drink after work, give this one serious thought.
5. KegWorks 3-Inch Wood Tap Handle
Review Score: 5/5
Available in walnut or cherry wood, this handle adds a spot of old-style charm. You’ll need to make sure that everything around it is gleaming too, to match its stately appearance! At just 3 inches, it’s well-suited if you have limited overhead clearance.
6. Maple Landmark Straight Chalkboard Tap Handle
Review Score: 4.3/5
Hardwood Oak and an erasable chalkboard make this a hardworking, serviceable tap that comes in at a good price. The size makes it appropriate for mini as well as regular-sized kegs, and the handle itself glides smoothly.
7. KegWorks Custom Branding on Demand Beer Tap Handle
Review Score: 4.4/5
This might actually be our favorite handle on this list, just for its sheer versatility. Change the label inside as often as you like, and keep it protected for as long as you need it with the clear plastic handle. You could even switch labels out to match a themed event or promote a specific brew.
8. Maple Landmark Tapered Tap Handle
9. KegWorks Bulldog Beer Tap Handle
Review Score: 4.5/5
This adds a lot of personality to whatever draft it’s pouring out! A lot of people will tell you that they’re persuaded to buy a different beer than they originally planned, based simply on the tap that is being used.
In other words, if you have a brew that you’re trying especially hard to shift, the grumpy but adorable bulldog could be a great way to do it. Since it’s so unique, you’d only want to buy one or two of these. That way, they’ll quickly catch the eye of your patrons.
The handle stands 9 inches tall, the dog is wearing a bowler hat and smoking a stogie, and the entire thing will fit over all standard faucets. In fact, this British pub-inspired hound is so unique that you could run promotions and give it away to the winner!
10. Kool Collectibles Old Baseball Beer Tap Handle
Review Score: 5/5
There are so many novel beer tap handles available and in addition to man’s best friend (the bulldog in Tap 9) we had to point out this one to you. Made from solid resin, it’s incredibly durable and the ball shape makes it easy for bartenders to pull no matter how busy they get.
One reviewer called it a piece of art and said it looks just like a torn baseball. Think of the promotions you could run with this, especially during Baseball season. The winner is bound to take it home with as much pride as if they’d caught a home run during an actual game!
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When you buy your own beer tap handles, consider your own situation carefully. As your finances stand now, and with the level of traffic coming into your venue, what can you afford? How important is it to buy the handles that you really want, versus spending the money on something else?
Your overall atmosphere, interior design, and the target market should all be factored in, as they should be in any decisions that you make. Your business is the sum of its parts and they should all be in harmony – even if your décor theme is to mismatch pieces, they need to tie together.
1. Generic or Novelty Tap Handles
We listed generic and novelty handles above, and both are good options. The novelty options tend to have a little more fun and personality to them, which is great if that’s the vibe you’re going for.
Generic designs can look more polished and professional. If you get your own handles made (see point 5 below) you could create a bespoke but simple design or opt for something a lot more distinct. Keep in touch with your client base and change the tap style as and when they change.
Above: Generic beer tap handles on the left, novelty beer tap handles on the right
2. Custom Branded Tap Labels
Custom branding is an ideal way to personalize your bar while keeping a sophisticated look. Imagine a tap with a 3D design that ties in with your decor, has your logo on it, or that advertises the beer of the month.
Just bear in mind that custom labels tend to have a limited lifespan and they might not be the best financial option for your venture. If you change your name or design at any stage, you’ll have to replace them or risk looking very outdated. And, they’ll be very difficult to resell.
Above: Examples of beer tap labels with customized designs
3. Tap Handle Height
Tap handles are generally categorized as short and tall. Tall handles can be problematic, causing more accidental pour-outs if they’re top-heavy, and more breakages because bartenders often overextend them.
Essentially, shorter handles are generally safer. If you love the look of tall handles, make sure the design you choose works well with those dimensions and you don’t land yourself in a top-heavy pour-out situation. And, make sure your barkeeps pay attention when pouring!
4. Tap Material Type
The basic materials used in beer taps are metal, wood, and urethane. Wood is a little cheaper than the other two options, and if it’s properly stained its natural beauty can shine through.
The disadvantage of wood is that it takes more care to maintain it properly, so you need to be sure your staff is on their toes. That’s not the case with metal, which is very durable but can be pretty costly and very heavy, depending on the design.
Urethane is expensive, but it’s the best option if the tap is very detailed or has a complex shape. While the material is durable and will stand up to exposure, you do need to be careful that small pieces sticking out of the design are not broken off.
Above: Metal beer tap handles on the left, wood beer tap handles on the right
5. Custom Designs
Once your brewery or bar is established and doing well, you might consider customized designs for your beer tap handles. There are a lot of companies that make gorgeous bespoke pieces, which can add a serious pop to your décor.
You’ll get to meet with the design team to brainstorm ideas and create exactly what you want, whether every handle is the same or there’s some variety. As you upgrade your facility, there are bound to be a lot of expenses, and taps might not take precedence – but if they do, do them right!
Above: Examples of custom beer tap handle designs
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