Beer tap handle display for DIY home bar

How to Build a Beer Tap Display – DIY Home Bar

How to build a beer tap handle display for your home bar.

I bought 11 beer tap handles a few weeks ago.  I honestly don’t know how to start this article any other way.  I met a trader, (The Beer Sign Guy) that I found from a Google search, for a couple of beer signs and he rolled out 3 tubs of beer tap handles.  Every single tap handle he pulled out of those Rubbermaid tubs seemed to hold some special meaning to me.  It didn’t take long before that “buying fever” swept over.  When I awoke from my trance, I found myself walking out of his house with 11 precious tap  handles.  Clutching the taps close to my chest, I was already trying to figure out how to display these in my home bar.

Problem: Mount bar tap handles that will look like they are actually in a brew pub.
Prototype & Design
I researched everything I could find off the Internet and soon got frustrated.  I even searched Pinterest. I was desperate (I deleted my browsing data).  Everything I found was from an actual bar or mounted to a board.  I was going to have invent my own solution.  Meanwhile my taps were collecting dust, looking stupid on my bar.

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I realized the only way to have a credible looking display was to recreate an actual bar.  I found some design ideas off the internet that had utilized various large diameter pipes.  Substantial taps needed to go on a large diameter pipe, it was as simple as that.  I created a mock-up with 2″ PVC.  The tap was held on with a galvanized fence post clamp (the clamp is used in the final design).  I was gaining confidence.
Solution: Use over-sized black pipe that borrows heavily from the  steampunk genre. Mount to the wall to save bar space.
IMG_7538pvc pipe
I went to Menards after work because I go there anyway, the store is my  fun happy place. I knew they would have lots of alternate material.  Sure enough, all of my fittings were there (all 2″ diameter);
Floor flange, T-fitting, 24″ black pipe, 18″ black pipe, nipple pipe 3″ length
Assembly
This is crazy heavy awkward pipe and I quickly gained nothing but respect for those professionals that use this material everyday.  It’s heavy, dirty, gritty – everything about it screams or rather growls in a low guttural sound – home bar or man cave.  Assembling this material however demands a lot of effort.  Getting all of the pipe and fitting to line square required a vise, wrenches and a ladder!
pipe in a visepipe 1
drll flange
I had to drill out all the holes because nothing fits perfectly, nothing.
T-fittings, pipes and flanges were all assembled on a flat level bench.

pipe assembly 50pipe assembly 2

I decided to mount this to the wall.  This was a compromise as a bar would likely have this mounted near or on the bar table itself.  My compromise actually saved a lot of bar space and still put it in plain view of my “patrons”.
It can’t be stated enough just how important proper bracing is for this heavy item. I used 5/16 galvanized bolts and reinforced the mounting area in the wall with extra 2x4s.

IMG_9365

To prevent the drywall from compression crushing, I added a backerboard between the pipe flanges and the drywall.  It’s heavy so I had a buddy (wedding beer Tony) help with mounting this to the wall.

backer board to prevent drywall crush from beer mount

Once everything was assembled, mounted and secure it was time to add clamps (re-purposed fence post clamps).  An over-sized nut is used at the bottom as a spacer and a 3/8″ bolt/nut is used to actually connect to the tap.

IMG_7707IMG_7709

My first bar tap is installed !
beer tap display
First beer tap handle from one of my first craft beers …… sniff
Hooray! Now let’s have a beer.
Prost!
David

Note – Tom the Beer Sign Guy would love to hear from you;

TheBeerSignguy@aol.com
or call 734-377-4218
 
33858 Orangelawn
Livonia, MI.48150

 

David
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David

Founder at Sommbeer
Host of Sommbeer
Faith, Family and Beer always in that order.
"We don't take serious beer too seriously"
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