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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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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tap Handle #614: Brauerei Im Fuchschen - Fuchschen Alt

Tap size:  10.5"
Rarity: 10 or less, import
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

It's amazing how much this Füchschen Alt tap resembles the Steamworks tap I posted about in profile #480 (see photo to right). The main difference is in the labels, of course, but also the Steamworks was made of metal plumbing parts, a gauge and a functioning light, while the Füchschen tap is made entirely of resin. I think that the odd resemblance to the Steamworks tap is the main reason that I acquired it, since it is not overtly detailed, and it was also inexpensive. Is it the real deal? I have no idea. If it is, that makes it an import from Germany, which in turn makes it very hard to find - I have not seen another.

Click through to read more about Brauerei Im Fuchschen, their Fuchschen Alt, and to see more photos of this familiar-looking tap...

The name "Im Füchschen" (pronounced "fook-shen") as been associated with the property that houses the current brewery (in Düsseldorf, Germany) at least since 1640. It is proposed that this year was when Altbier was first brewed. The porperty consisted of two buildings: the houses Ratinger Straße 28 and 30. Around 1770 Johann Wilhelm Schmidt was the owner of Ratinger Straße 28, which was called "the little fox", and had a fox carving on the house facade in place of a house number. In 1848 the brewery on Ratinger Strasse officially became Füchschen Alt. In 1908 Theodore and Louise König (German for "King") purchased the brewery. With a new, highly visible sign above the entrance bearing the name "Brauerei im Füchschen", the brewery operated successfully until World War I, which in 1914 caused the brewery to close. In 1930 after the war had ended, the König brothers re-opened the brewery to preserve their late father Theodore’s craft. Their return was unfortunately cut short six years later with the onset of World War II. during the war the brewery took heavy damage from bombing, prompting the brewers to seek shelter in the subterranean beer storage tanks.

After the war in 1950 Peter "Pitter" König and his wife Johanna reopened the doors to the Füchschen Brewery and restaurant, creating a celebrated meeting spot that soon became one of the favorite hangouts in the city, drawing prominent artists such as Gustav Gündgens, Friedrich Karl Flick and Joseph Beuys from the nearby art academy. In 1972 Johanna took charge of the brewery with their son, also named Peter “Pitter”, after the elder Peter passed away. Young Pitter was a master brewer and master butcher. He was later known to keep staff and guests under control on rowdy nights from inside an old confession booth converted in to a cashier's booth. In 1995, Peter III, the fourth generation of brewers, succeeded his father. Peter III modernized the brewery, including the addition of "Armie" in 2009, a robotic arm with laser vision that performs the beer filling duties. Peter III also has organized an extensive program of events, in particular the Düsseldorf carnival.

Inside the brewery and restaurant, large barrels impart brewery flair. In the adjacent dining room birchwood tables seat up to 60 people. Lichtdurchflutet is the spacious conservatory, which is also often used by companies, as is the "Burrow", a brick-walled cellar. In addition to top-fermented Füchschen Altbier, the brewery produces a wheat beer called Silberfüchschen, as well as a stronger Christmas seasonal. Since 2008, the brewery has bottled its beer, and in 2012, they also began canning it. The products are marketed regionally in Dusseldorf and the surrounding area, with distribution in about 75 beverage shops and in about 40 restaurants on tap. In 2015 Philadelphia’s Brauhaus Schmitz, a German beer bar, was finally able to find an importer who was able to supply the bar with kegs of Füchschen Alt, making the bar the first in America to tap it.and resulting in a "kind of a big deal" launch party.

Füchschen Alt is a perfect example of the altbier style, since the brewery has been perfecting the recipe for over 100 years. It has a dark copper color and is brewed at a moderate temperature using a top-fermenting yeast, which gives its flavor some fruitiness. In contrast, it is matured at a cooler temperature, which gives it a cleaner and crisper taste more akin to lager beer styles than is the norm for top-fermented beers.

Ratebeer weighted average:  3.52 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  91 out of 100 (outstanding)

Brauerei Im Füchschen
Ratinger Straße 28
Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 40213

Source Material
Brauerei Im Füchschen website

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