A Guide to Collectible Beer Tap Handles and Knobs

Whether you're trying to dress up your home bar, looking to make a long-term investment in something rare and potentially valuable in the future, or simply a passionate lover of beer, collecting beer tap handles and knobs is one way to pursue your goals. Whatever your reasons for collecting beer taps, however, success requires at least a basic understanding of what you're looking at and how to evaluate its worth to you.

Choosing affordable beer tap handles by rarity

Factors that influence the rarity of a collectible beer tap knob or handle include:

  • Limited editions - Some rare beer tap handles and knobs are made specially for a particular event, like Oktoberfest or the Olympics, or a particular limited-edition brew.
  • Other brands - Beer companies often partner with other businesses and organizations for tie-ins such as the San Jose Sharks' Chum Beer hockey handle. In other cases, a brand with beer drinkers making up a significant part of its customer-base, like Harley-Davidson, might create its own signature beer tap handle or knob.
  • Discontinued products - If a beer is no longer being brewed, any beer tap handle or knob displaying its logo or other branding could be valuable to collectors.
  • Vintage - Some beer tap knobs and handles are simply valuable to collectors because they're old. You could build a collection of only Guinness beer tap knobs and handles from over the decades.
  • Custom or handmade - Beer tap knobs and handles that were custom made or handmade rather than factory-produced are rarer by nature.
Art and novelty beer tap handles

Clever beer tap handles are often made in artistic shapes and designs. You might decide to collect beer tap handles and knobs designed in the image of current and past presidents, including several in different poses of Donald Trump. You might collect sporting beer tap handles designed in the shape of putters or golf balls or the image of Tiger Woods. You could even collect beer tap knobs and handles designed after figures from various hit movies like “The Big Lebowski” or “Ghostbusters.”

Should you buy new or used beer tap handles?

If you are buying them on eBay for collector's purposes, you may want to buy new beer tap knobs or handles or at least in near-new condition. If you are buying them to use in your own home bar, then used beer tap knobs and handles will suffice and could save you money.