The Art of Beer Tap Handles

When it comes to pouring a refreshing pint of , the tap handle plays a crucial role. Not only does it make it easier to open and close the faucet, but it also adds a touch of style and personality to your draft system. In this article, we will dive into the world of beer tap handles, exploring their various styles and sizes.

Tap handles are typically designed to screw into the draft beer faucet, allowing for effortless operation. In the beer tap handle industry, there are two main sizes of hanger bolts used: 3/8″-16 and 5/16″-18. The larger 3/8″-16 size is commonly used for displaying tap handles, as it matches the thread of a standard American beer faucet. It's important to note that all faucet handles and faucets produced in the U.S., regardless of the manufacturer, are interchangeable due to the industry-standard 3/8″-16 UNC threads.

Standard tap handles usually measure between 9-13 inches in height and are no more than 3 inches wide or deep. These handles are perfect for most draft systems, providing a comfortable grip and ample space for branding or design elements. It's crucial to keep the width of the tap handle at 3 inches or under to ensure easy handling and compatibility with faucets.

If you're looking for a more compact option, shotgun tap handles, also known as short tap handles, are a great choice. These handles range between 4-6 inches in height and maintain the 3-inch width restriction. Despite their smaller size, shotgun tap handles offer the same functionality and branding opportunities as their larger counterparts. They are often favored for portable draft systems or venues with limited vertical space.

Now that we've covered the basics of sizes, let's explore the exciting world of tap handle styles. Tap handles come in a wide variety of designs, ranging from classic and elegant to quirky and eye-catching. Breweries and bars often use tap handles to showcase their brand identity and make their beers stand out among the crowd.

Traditional tap handles feature a cylindrical or tapered shape, providing a timeless and sophisticated look. These handles are often made from wood or metal, exuding a sense of craftsmanship and tradition. They can be engraved, painted, or adorned with logos and graphics to reflect the brewery's personality.

For those seeking a more vibe, tap handles offer sleek and minimalist designs. These handles often feature clean lines, geometric shapes, and bold colors. They are commonly made from materials like acrylic, glass, or stainless steel, giving them a modern and industrial feel.

In recent years, novelty tap handles have gained popularity for their ability to grab attention and spark conversations. These handles come in various forms, ranging from sports-themed designs to whimsical characters and objects. Novelty tap handles are a great way for breweries to express their creativity and create a memorable experience for beer enthusiasts.

Beer tap handles are both functional and decorative elements in any draft system. They come in different sizes, with the industry-standard 3/8″-16 UNC thread being interchangeable among faucets. From classic and elegant to modern and whimsical, tap handles offer breweries and bars the opportunity to showcase their brand identity and make a lasting impression on beer lovers. So, next time you raise a glass, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and design of the tap handle that brings your favorite brew to life.

What Is The Handle On A Beer Tap Called?

The handle on a beer tap is commonly referred to as a tap handle or faucet handle. It is the lever-like device that attaches to the draft beer faucet. The primary purpose of the tap handle is to make it easier for bartenders or beer enthusiasts to open and close the faucet when pouring beer. By gripping and manipulating the tap handle, the flow of beer can be controlled more efficiently. The tap handle typically screws into the faucet and comes in various shapes, sizes, and designs, often reflecting the branding or style of the beer being served. Some tap handles may feature logos, labels, or unique designs to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the beer tap setup. the handle on a beer tap is called a tap handle or faucet handle, and it serves the practical function of facilitating the opening and closing of the faucet during the beer pouring process.

beer tap handles

What Size Tap Handles For Beer?

There are two common sizes of tap handles for beer in the industry. The first size is 3/8″-16, which is larger and is typically used for displaying tap handles. This size corresponds to the thread of a standard American beer faucet. The second size is 5/16″-18, which is smaller and also used for beer tap handles.

To summarize:

Tap handle sizes for beer:
– 3/8″-16: larger size used for displaying tap handles
– 5/16″-18: smaller size used for beer tap handles

It's important to note that these sizes may vary depending on the specific brand or manufacturer.

Are Tap Handles Universal?

Tap handles in the United States adhere to a standard size and threading, making them universal across different manufacturers. The standard used in the U.S. beer industry is the 3/8″-16 UNC thread. This means that regardless of the brand or manufacturer, all faucet handles and faucets produced in the U.S. will have these interchangeable threads.

To clarify further, here are some key points about the universality of tap handles:

1. Standard Size: Tap handles in the U.S. follow a standard size, ensuring compatibility among different manufacturers.

2. Thread Type: The 3/8″-16 UNC thread is the industry standard for tap handles in the U.S. UNC stands for Unified National Coarse, indicating the thread pitch and diameter. This standardization allows for easy interchangeability.

3. Interchangeability: Due to the universal thread size, you can easily replace or switch tap handles without worrying about compatibility issues. This feature provides convenience and flexibility to breweries, bars, and establishments serving beer.

4. Manufacturer Variations: Despite various manufacturers producing tap handles, they all adhere to the same industry standard. This means that you can mix and match handles from different brands without any problems.

Tap handles in the U.S. are universal, thanks to the industry-standard 3/8″-16 UNC thread. This standardization ensures interchangeability and compatibility among different manufacturers, providing convenience and flexibility to the beer industry.


Beer tap handles are an essential component in the draft beer industry. They serve as a lever to open and close the faucet, making it easier to pour beer. There are two commonly used sizes of hanger bolts in the industry: 3/8″-16 and 5/16″-18. The larger size is used for displaying tap handles, while both sizes are interchangeable with faucets in the U.S. due to the industry-standard 3/8″-16 UNC threads.

Standard tap handles typically measure between 9-13” tall and have a width and depth of no more than 3”. On the other hand, short tap handles, also known as shotgun tap handles, are smaller, ranging between 4-6” tall. It is important to note that tap handles should always be kept within a width of 3” or under.

Beer tap handles are not only functional but also serve as branding and marketing tools for breweries. They can be customized with logos, names, and designs to represent a specific beer or brewery. Tap handles are a way to capture the attention of consumers and differentiate a beer from others on tap.

Beer tap handles play a crucial role in the presentation and pouring of draft beer. They provide convenience for bartenders and add aesthetic appeal to the tap system. Whether it is a standard or short tap handle, breweries have the opportunity to showcase their brand and create a memorable experience for beer enthusiasts.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.