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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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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tap Handle #653: Green Parrot Bar (Shipyard) - Green Parrot Session Ale

Tap size:  10"
Rarity:  less than 10 seen, contract beer
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

This is a really beautiful tap. It features a parrot at the top with sign above it that says "Green Parrot Session". Partially covering the parrot's body is the likeness of a state highway road sign with "GPS" (Green Parrot Session) and a 1 on it, with musical symbols that reflect the Green Parrot Bar's status as a national-recognized music venue. Below the sign is the word "Ale". The shaft of the tap is sculpted and colored to resemble the tail feathers of the parrot. Since the front and back are identical to each other (as are the two sides), I have reduced the amount of photos taken. The beer is brewed under contract by Shipyard, although they also sell it in select bars in the New England area. It is unclear if the tap is used in these other locations, or is limited to only the Green Parrot Bar. It doesn't pop up on the secondary market very often, so I don't have a very good grasp for price levels.

Click through to read more about the Green Parrot Bar, its Green Parrot Session Ale, and to see more photos of this colorful tap...

The Green Parrot Bar traces its origins back to 1890, when Anthony Sanchez opened a grocery store. Under its low-pitched roof, Cuban and Bahamian transplants accompanied their staples of rice and beans and plantanos with rum, cigars, and Latin rhythms in the grocery’s small back room, where local musicians created impromptu descargas or jam sessions, often playing late into the night. The store fell upon hard times during the Great Depression, and after World War II began, the grocery store became The Brown Derby Bar, a bunker-like, air-conditioned hangout for submarine sailors stationed at the Naval base only a block away. When the Navy pulled out in the early 1970s, Key West became a haven for hippies, bikers, vagabonds, and free spirits of all kinds. The owner of the Brown Derby, Judy Sullivan, transformed the former Navy hangout into an open-air hipster watering hole, re-naming it The Green Parrot Bar. It became a place for travelers to rendezvous, to mingle with the bar’s cast of eccentric local characters, and to perhaps glimpse a visiting celebrity seeking anonymity.

The next boom to hit Key West was the discovery of Key West Pink Shrimp. When the fleet was in, The Green Parrot morphed into a fisherman’s honky-tonk, laden with cash and contraband from Jamaica and Colombia. As Key West became the only Caribbean city that Americans could reach by car, bridges to the mainland got wider and bigger and tourism overflowed. Jim Bean bought the Green Parrot Bar on his birthday in 1983 and, with his wife Linda, owned the bar for nearly 30 years. The Parrot’s reputation took off, and often every single seat in the house was filled. In 2011, after closing a successful 27-year relationship with Jim and Linda Bean, their partner John Vagnoni teamed up with Key West stalwart and Philadelphia entrepreneur Pat Croce and Jeff Sorg to form a new ownership group. The bar racked up awards: the #3 favorite bar in "America Walks Into A Bar"; "Best Music and Performance Venue" by Zagat; "2016 Certificate of Excellence" by TripAdvisor; and rated one of the best bars in America by Playboy Magazine.

By 2014 Croce and Vagnoni wanted a "house beer" that reflected their proud and historic venue. When they met with Shipyard’s founder, Fred Forsley, it became quickly obvious that Pat and Fred were kindred spirits and over a whirlwind weekend of lunches, dinners, and of course, beers, goals were discussed, plans laid, and arrangements soon made to  bring Vagnoni and Sorg  to Maine to meet Shipyard brewmaster Mike Haley and begin the  work of designing a Green Parrot beer. A few brews later,  a brewers-choice  recipe was approved and, less than six months from the initial meeting, kegs of Green Parrot Sessions Ale had  arrived at The Green Parrot Bar in Key West. Shipyard also supplies the ale to some bars in the New England area.

Green Parrot Session Ale is an easy-drinking, “English-style Session Ale”, a fitting reference to its balance and hearty English ale yeast presence, with a session-friendly abv. With its clean toasted biscuit malt base and a mild spicy hop balance, it is very much in line with golden English milds, and the hopping is quite “European” with the Czech hop variety Saaz, and the German Hallertau off-shoot Saphir, both of which carry mild spicy/earthy character.

Ratebeer weighted average:  2.85 out of 5
Beer Advocate:  no entry

Green Parrot Bar
601 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 33040

Source Material
Green Parrot website

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