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From Wood to 3D Printing: The Materials Used for Custom Tap Handles

From Wood to 3D Printing: The Materials Used for Custom Tap Handles

Posted by Karen Gendron on 2023 Nov 15th

Custom tap handles are more than just functional pieces for pulling a pint; they are a crucial component of a brewery or bar's branding strategy. These handles serve as a representation of the establishment and its brews, making them a vital aspect of the craft beer and beverage industry. While wood has been a traditional material for tap handles, advancements in technology, such as 3D printing, have expanded the possibilities. In this blog post, we'll explore the materials used for custom tap handles, from the classic wood to the innovative world of 3D printing.

Classic Wood Tap Handles

Wooden tap handles have a long history in the brewing industry, and for a good reason. They exude warmth, craftsmanship, and a connection to tradition. Here are some common types of wood used for tap handles:

  • Oak: Oak is a popular choice due to its durability and beautiful grain patterns. It can be stained or finished to achieve a variety of looks, from rustic to refined.
  • Walnut: Walnut wood provides a rich, dark finish and a luxurious appearance. It's often chosen for its elegant aesthetic.
  • Cherry: Cherry wood is known for its reddish hue and fine grain. It can be a great choice for tap handles seeking a natural, rustic appeal.
  • Maple: Maple is prized for its light, creamy colour and smooth grain. It's a versatile wood that can be customized to fit various design styles.

    wood tap handles

Acrylic and Resin Tap Handles

For a more modern and customizable look, acrylic and resin tap handles have gained popularity. These materials offer the advantage of translucency, allowing for vibrant colours and eye-catching designs. Acrylic and resin tap handles can be molded into intricate shapes and embedded with various elements, such as logos, branding, or even objects like hops or grains.

Metal Tap Handles

Metal tap handles, often made from stainless steel or brass, are chosen for their durability and sleek appearance. They can be engraved or etched with intricate designs and are often used to convey a sense of elegance and quality. Metal tap handles are ideal for showcasing a premium brand image.

Ceramic Tap Handles

Ceramic tap handles provide a unique and artisanal touch. They are ideal for craft breweries that want to emphasize their handcrafted approach. Ceramic handles can be glazed with different colours and patterns, offering endless possibilities for customization.

3D Printing

One of the most innovative developments in custom tap handle materials is 3D printing. This technology allows for intricate and highly detailed designs that were once challenging or impossible to achieve through traditional manufacturing methods. With 3D printing, tap handles can be made from various materials, including plastics, metals, and composite materials. This opens the door to creativity, enabling breweries and bars to experiment with shapes, textures, and branding elements like never before.

Custom 3D tap handle

The materials used for custom tap handles have evolved over time, reflecting both tradition and innovation in the brewing industry. From classic wooden handles that evoke a sense of heritage to modern materials like acrylic, metal, and ceramics that offer unique design possibilities, breweries and bars have a wide range of options to choose from. Additionally, the advent of 3D printing has pushed the boundaries of tap handle design, allowing for intricate and personalized creations that can truly stand out in the competitive world of craft beverages. Ultimately, the choice of material should align with a brand's identity and vision, creating a memorable and distinctive tap handle that enhances the overall customer experience.