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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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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tap Handle #422: City Steam Brewery Cafe - Naughty Nurse

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

I was probably the first collector to discover this tap, and several of them hit the market once I shared this discovery. It is a highly desirable tap due to its fine detail and its "naughty" person of interest, the beautiful red-headed nurse in her WWII-era outfit. She sits perched on a metal keg, and below that is the brewery label with the classic art deco logo of the Naughty Nurse. The Head Brewer, Ron Page, states that "the original 'Naughty Nurse' works in the Norwalk emergency room and is a short, balding, hairy chested old Englishman"…I'm glad they decided on the pretty redhead for the logo and tap instead! The price has always been high, but it seems lately the supply has dwindled and they are getting harder to find.

Click through to read more about City Steam Brewery, their Naughty Nurse beer, and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...

City Steam Brewery Cafe was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1997 by Jay DuMond and Wallace Ronald. DuMond was an experienced restaurateur, with both successes and failures under his belt, when he took on the challenge of starting a brewery. He hired Ron Page during the brewery start up to become Head brewer. Page was a multi-award-winning home brewer when he went to work for New England Brewing Co. He worked there for five years, and then brewed at the New Haven Brewing Co. before joining City Steam.

The brewery and restaurant is huge, with the ability to seat 800 people (including an outdoor area) and featuring a beautiful interior featuring early century stained glass, cast iron railings, and millwork that were salvaged from the original department store. Although business has grown over the years, DuMond is looking for new areas of growth. They have contracted bottling of their beers with Thomas Hooker. The manager and kitchen manager of City Steam have moved to DuMond's new restaurant, Blue Plate Kitchen. DuMond also wrote a letter in support of a Connecticut house bill that would make changes to antiquated barroom laws concerning design and expansion, which was signed into law in 2013. In 2014 City Steam has been the target of a lawsuit from Anchor Brewing, over the use of the word "steam", which has been trademarked by Anchor.

Currently the brewery features 15 varieties that may be on draft at any time. This includes core beers such as Naughty Nurse (an amber ale), Blonde on Blonde (an American pale ale), and Innocence (an IPA), as well as seasonals and specials. A few of the core beers are available in bottles. There are also 2 Brewmaster's Reserve varieties that are bottled, with the bottles being a limited edition collector's item, and are available only at the brewery.

The brewery resides in the Cheney building, which is regarded as one of the finest example of Romanesque
architecture in the United States. It was designed by the architect H.H. Richardson, the majority of whose works are in Massachusetts and New York, and who inspired other well'-known architects such as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. The building opened in 1877 for Cheney Brothers, a silk manufacturer. Later it housed the largest department store in Connecticut, Brown Thomson and Company, and after that the G. Fox & Company store. The space in the building that restaurant occupies was previously used by the Brown Thomson restaurant in the 1980’s (owned by DuMond) before it became City Steam. What is unique about the building and the brewery is that the Hartford Steam Co, which was the first company in the world to commercially own and operate a combined district heating and cooling system, engineered a way to run steam pipes into the brewery, making City Steam possibly the only brewery in the U.S that actually uses “city steam” power to process their beers. The steam travels 300 yards through 3-inch iron pipes from the sub generator plant located next door.

Naughty Nurse is called an amber ale by the brewery, although other sources refer to it as an English pale or an English Bitter. It is sunset in color, brewed with a combination of pale and crystal malts, London yeast, and a variety of traditional English hops for a spicy, slightly bittersweet finish and a wonderful fruity and flowery aroma. Recommended food pairings are a nice beefy burger, or just about anything found in a pub menu.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.02 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  79 out of 100 (okay)

City Steam Brewery Cafe
942 Main Street
Hartford, Connecticut, USA 06103

Source Material
City Steam website

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