As a beer drinker I look at tap handles all the time. They’re markers. You walk into a pub and you look for the handles that represent your brewer of choice or even your beer of choice. It’s very common to find a few new brews just by noticing a really interesting handle. Because of this the tap handle becomes so much more than a simple valve lever.
As a professional designer I also see the value of a tap handle as a brand vehicle. An extension of the brewery and its philosophies, if you will. Stories can be told through various artistic styles, representing seasonal brews, regions, or even beer categories.
Like a wreath at the top to identify a Christmas ale, or the harlequin background in sky blue and white for a Bavarian lager or how about a huge green hop to let us know its an IPA. The tap handle may be as representative of a beer as the the brewers logo. Some could be classified as works of beautiful craftsmanship.
Yard’s and NextFab studios have paired up to do just that for the brewer’s family of beers. Participant members from NextFab Studios put their love of beer and their fabrication skills to work, in an effort to design and prototype Yard’s next beer handle.
The submissions, which can be seen here, were inspired by Yard’s beers, its rich tradition and involvement in our fair city of Philadelphia. Some of of the entries were designed for specific beers but most can be used for the entire line of brews Yard’s produces.
These prototypes, along with their creators, will be showcased at a gala event on October 17th 2013 at NextFab Studios during the annual Design Philadelphia festival. A ticket to the event also gets you the opportunity to vote on which handle should be the winner. Off to be displayed in pubs all over the area.