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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Tap Handle #266: McSorley's (Pabst) - Irish Black Ale

This is an incredibly detailed tap that has been very popular. The main difference between varieties is the paint job, right down to the old bartender's vest. You have to love the motto on the handle: "be good or be gone."

McSorely's Old Ale House was founded in 1854 in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan by John McSorley. He was was an Irish immigrant who arrived in New York in 1851 at 18 years old, and patterned the bar after an Irish public house. McSorley died in 1910, but his son Bill had already been running the bar for 20 years by then. Many politicians were regulars there, which is why Bill paid no attention to Prohibition and continued to serve alcohol during that time. No piece of memorabilia has been removed from the walls since 1910, and there are many items of "historical" paraphernalia in the bar, such as Houdini's handcuffs, which are connected to the bar rail. In 1970 Mc Sorley's lost a court battle and was forced to admit and serve women, although they didn't get their own bathroom until 16 years later.

In 1934, Bill sold the Fidelio Brewery the right to brew and sell McSorley's Ale. Fidelio was purchased by Rheingold Brewery after World War II and production was moved to Brooklyn. Operations remained there for thirty years before being sold to Schmidt's. In the early 1990s Stroh Brewing acquired the brand, but during the Stroh breakup in 2000 McSorley's went to Pabst. Pabst contracted the beer to be brewed at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where it still produced and is sold at the bar and throughout the mid-Atlantic states.

Irish Black Ale is a dark Schwarzbier, an Irish equivalent of a Stout, although the bitterness comes from the hops used, rather than a Stout's bitterness which comes from malts. Weighted average on is 2.96 out of 5.

You can find a little bit of info about McSorley's on the Pabst website, but it's pretty sparse and one brand out of dozens...McSorely's does not have it's own website.

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