What I’ve Got: Beer Tap Handles

by post_author

I was inspired to more closely examine the ways in which different breweries differentiate themselves on tap after Bryan Otis came in and spoke to us about the careful design efforts his team puts into crafting the Tenor bottle. I was at a bar and noticing that I hadn’t heard of any of the beers on tap and instead was inclined to make my decision almost entirely based off of which tap handle I liked the most. It looks like the designers at Dogfish Head were the first to realize they could customize their handle however they wanted — in the process creating brand recognition worth more than what standard advertising could buy — and in 1998 introduced their Shark handle (indeed, when I searched “Dogfish Head “ on Google the first recommended completion was “Dogfish Head Tap Handles”). 

Now, unique handles are ubiquitous, and they’re an important (albeit a bit unexpected) part of the design process for all craft brewers, and the decision process for drinkers.


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