I’m not sure exactly when this trend began, but have you noticed that a tap handle is no longer just a tap handle. Beer tap handles are now full of extreme shapes, colors, sizes, materials. And they are ripe for protection as non-traditional trademarks.
Registered tap handle shapes include a fist, a goose neck, a telephone and a flip-flop. And in restaurants lately I have seen dozens more that would be eligible for registration.
For example, the following are pending or registered trademarks at the USPTO [click images for USPTO records]: