TAP ROOM, ITS STEINS & TOKENS
THE TAP ROOM
Decades ago, nearly every brewer had a Tap Room, including the Bavarian Brewing Co. The former Bavarian Tap Room was a place to taste freshly made draught (draft) beer from kegs that were just tapped. It was where clients and guests of the brewer could sample beer for free and perhaps have a snack. A frequent accompaniment with a glass of beer in the Tap Room during the 1950s were stick pretzels, often refrigerated along with the kegs, served in small wood bowls. Besides beer, a root beer soft drink was also available for minors or those that didn't prefer to drink beer. The Tap Room was also used for employee meetings and by employees. It is believed to have been located with access off the second floor of the Brew House. A photo of the entrance to the Tap Room is shown in the accompanying photo.
This photo was taken years after the brewery was abandoned with the windows, wood and metal railings show various degrees of deterioration.
TAP ROOM STEINS
There were a couple dozen steins displayed on the ledges of the Bavarian Tap Room. The largest and most significant of these, which were also retained at times in the Riedlin and Schott family homes, were two Mettlach steins. One was the Germania Stein, as shown in the accompanying photos. It is about 23-inches tall and 5.75 liters in size. This same stein is shown in a 1960 ad that featured a photo of Bavarian workers in 1902. (See Ads: 1957-1966). Another large stein was the Symphonia Stein, 5.5 litters in size, depicting several German composers.
The above "Germania" stein by Mettlach was handed down within the William Riedlin and Schott families.
The Bavarian Tap Room was paneled in wood and had high shelves above the paneling to display steins, bottles and other items. Above these shelves in a portion of the Tap Room were some German images and sayings on the wall. The steins were usually for display only, with the beer usually served in smaller glasses, like the ones shown on the inside the Tap Room below. The center photo shows Ray Hoffman in the middle who was the General Manager of Bavarian from the early 1940's until the mid 1950's. Apparently he was speaking to some employees while enjoying Bavarian's beer. A couple chargers are on the paneled walls behind the bar. (Please see Trays & Chargers.) A few steins and a bottle in the Tap Room are visible on a ledge above the wood paneling. The other photo shows radio and TV announcers sponsored by Bavarian Brewing Co. in the Tap Room in 1954, being entertained by a couple Bavarian executives. Bill Schott, President, is sitting in the center, and on the right is his brother Louis L. Schott, Secretary/Treasurer. Above them is the vintage reverse glass Bavarian Sign also partially visible in the previous photo. (See Pre-Prohibition Signs.) These decorations provided a unique atmosphere for the Bavarian Tap Room. However, because some decorations were specific to the brewer, Tap Rooms were usually rather unique to each brewery.
The three photos of the vessel shown with the cameo emblems is known as "Bowling" by Mettlach and is 4 liters in size. It is located on the shelf in the Tap Room photo above with Ray Hoffmann. It has a spout for pouring and was produced with a special process known as Phanolith. Bowling was popular among an organization located next to the brewery known as The Covington Turners, where William Riedlin and some brewery workers were members. (See the Late 1800s for a photo of Turners enjoying beer after bowling.) The brewer also sponsored bowling teams that competed in league play into the 1960s.
The steins displayed below are not shown in the previous photos, but rested on the ledges in the Tap Room, or possibly in a display case. They range is size from 0.5 to 1.0 litters. The first three steins on the left are etched and made by Mettlach with lids that have ceramic inserts. The middle stein is of stoneware relief with German inscriptions. The three items on the left are print over glaze pottery steins with pewter lids. More information about the steins can be obtained by selecting this image.