How Does Your Brew Stand Out in the Lineup?

The Key to Designing the Ultimate Tap Handle

Staying top of mind starts with being visible.
When deciding what to drink, tap handles are the first place a customer’s eyes go to. And since they’re conveniently placed at eye level, they’ll continue exploring them at the bar while lingering with friends and pondering their next brew choice.

Illustrating your brew’s character through an eye-catching or emotionally appealing handle will capture new drinkers and help regulars clearly identify your brand. And for that to happen, it all starts with creating the perfect design.

Contents

Increase Your Visibility
Increase Your Sales
Shapes & Sizes
Why Ceramic?
Custom Tap Handles
Design Process

Increase Your Visibility

Outshine competition with strategic designs.

Today there are so many options for making tap handles that it’s easy to put too much focus on a flashy design. But a marketing strategy and consumer behavior must be considered for your tap handle to surpass the competition and get your brew the attention it deserves.

Here are 5 tips for designing the perfect tap handle.

1. Make the beer style clear. Customers feel pressured to order quickly in a fast-paced bar or restaurant, so they likely won’t take the time to ask their server what style of beer each tap handle offers. Displaying your brand’s beer style loud and proud on the side of the handle quickly answers that question, making people more likely to give you a try.

2. Have consistent branding. For those of you with multiple beer styles on tap at the same restaurants and bars, it’s important to maintain some consistency across your brand. Otherwise, customers will have a harder time connecting your beer to your brewery, which could hurt their recognition of your name in the long run.

3. Be legible from a distance. Bars are often crowded with poor lighting and customers will not always be looking at your tap handle up close. Your tap handle should make your brand and the beer style viewable from a distance and at multiple angles. Laser-etching is a great technique for making highly legible designs.

4. Use contrasting colors. A study done by Anglia Ruskin University found that when people encounter unfamiliar brands, they normally choose the one with the most colorful handle design. Use contrasting colors between glaze and art to make your beer style and brand stand out from a distance. For example, a white glazed tap handle with black typography will be much easier to read than a dark blue glazed tap handle with black typography.

5. Choose a custom, unique shape. You don’t want your tap handle to look like all the others at the bar. Creating a custom tap handle that fits your brand’s story is a fantastic way to make your brew stand out. When designing your handle, keep in mind that tap handles are spaced 3" apart at the bar so shouldn’t be any wider than that.

Increase Your Sales

Why Tap Handles Lead to More Sales.

Tap handles are deliberately placed at the drinker’s eye-level and are generally the brewer’s only chance of marketing in a bar or restaurant. There’s no doubt tap handles matter when it comes to enticing patrons to choose your brew over the many other options.

They help you stand out in a saturated market. According to the Brewers Association, the number of operating breweries is at an all time high of 6,300+, with small and independently owned craft breweries accounting for 98 percent. For these brewers, it’s critical now more than ever to have a tap handle that stands out in a bar, since this is likely their only form of marketing.

Eye-catching designs capture more drinkers. 32% of purchase decisions are made at the bar, and tap handles are often the first thing people will look at. With a good looking tap handle you can expect about a 10% increase in draft sales in the first three months, and a 4% growth of sales over a 12 month period.

Your tap handle becomes your brand identity. Tap handles are a quick, visual way for people to identify your brand. With a custom tap handle you can illustrate your brand’s story and the character of your beer. With a consistent design, people will come to recognize your brand, and you’ll be what they look for at the tap.

Sell More With Seasonal Tap Handles

Craft breweries are continuing to pop up all over the country, and many of these breweries have developed seasonal brews. To sell more at the bar, your seasonal beer needs to stand out to customers, distributors and sales reps.

Tap handles are a favorite added-value item. Since tap handles are a proven method for connecting with customers at a bar, adding a functional, well-designed tap handle to your package will make selling your brew easier for distributors and sales reps. As a result, your beer will end up at the top of their seasonal distribution list.

You have limited time—take center stage. With only a limited time to sell your winter beer, it’s essential for it to stand out. Remember, customers’ eyes veer toward colors and shapes different than the others around them. If all your competitors went with red and green during the holidays, why not go for silver and gold? Or use a customized tap handle shape.

Boelter Seasonal Tap Handles

Shapes & Sizes

Combine striking designs with functionality.

When designing your custom tap handle, size and shape are two crucial elements. After all, it’s not just about visual presentation—but also about how usable your tap handle is. If your tap handle is too tall or too wide it’ll irritate the bartender and may even be turned on its side, killing all that hard work you put into design. Make sure your tap handle is the appropriate size by adhering to general size and weight guidelines.

Tap handles of different size and shape

Size & Weight Guidelines
The average consumer takes between 3-5 seconds to select a beer at an average viewing distance of 10-15 feet. The primary consideration for customers is the style of beer, followed by the brewery. It is important for handles to be easily read from all angles, this helps avoid problems when mounted incorrectly.

Tap handles are spaced 3" apart at the bar. That means the max width should be 2.625". The height should measure 10-12" tall and the weight should be less than a pound so they’re easy to use in a busy bar. Keep in mind sizing and material affect the weight of your tap handle.

Custom Shape Advantages
Nothing quite stands out like a figural shape at the tap tower. They are highly memorable and can tell your brand’s story in a unique, creative way. At Boelter, we offer high-quality personalized ceramic handles that keep your brew front and center.

Why Ceramic?

The Benefits of Ceramic Tap Handles.

Ceramic tap handles are the perfect combination of design and durability. Boelter’s high-quality ceramic tap handles are formed using industry leading processes, making sure your tap handles not only stand out and reflect your voice and brand image, but stand up to wear and tear. All ceramic tap handles are manufactured in our North American facility, Chrislan Ceramics—a Boelter Company.

Customize with ease. Ceramic tap handles are beautiful and easy to customize compared to those made of plastic or other materials.

Built to last. When crafted with the right methods, they can be incredibly durable. In the finishing stages of production, our patented methods incorporate a proprietary process into the handle, allowing for maximum durability and strength.

Custom Tap Handles

Keep your brewery front and center.

When designed and crafted right, tap handles can leave lasting impressions that keep customers intrigued. With Boelter’s North American made Chrislan line of tap handles, you can create an unforgettable tap handle that surpasses everyone’s expectations.

Chrislan, A Boelter Company

Custom Ceramic Tap Handles by Chrislan, a Boelter Company
Boelter’s state-of-the-art production line carries your tap handles through many necessary procedures, creating a solid, durable ceramic tap handle that will last for ages. Additionally, with any tap handle purchase, we will provide free art consultation and design assistance.

Boelter’s design expertise and high-quality production techniques of our Chrislan handles can help you escalate your draft sales and brand awareness, with the utmost quality.

Design Process

Designing your own tap handle.

Designing your tap handle doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you already have a design or need art consultation and design assistance, Boelter simplifies the process for you.

Custom tap handles in 3 easy steps.
Whether you’re looking for an artistic tap handle to fit your brewery’s funky vibe or something as straightforward and classy as your logo, we have you covered with our always in-stock high-quality, ceramic tap handle shapes. We also offer tap handles in wood and resin through our other valued manufacturing partners.

Free art consultation and design assistance.
Along with any tap handle purchase, our creative team can help you conceptualize a design that’s uniquely you. Just fill out our Design Brief to give us a quick overview of your ideal tap handle and we’ll take care of it from there!

Fantastic lead times and quick turnarounds.
In general, if you supply us with your art, we will be able to send you a proof of your new tap handle within 2 to 3 business days. After we receive your approval, it will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete the order. If you would like Boelter to do the design work for you as well, we will need 5 to 8 business days before sending over the first proof.

Tap handles for even tighter deadlines.
It happens. Tight deadlines, last-minute promotions or emergency re-stocking. When under a time crunch, procuring a quality custom tap handle can be a challenge. With our Quick Tap program you can get the same top-quality, Chrislan ceramic tap handles within 7 business days. Click here to learn more and see if Quick Tap is right for you.