Secret Back rooms and Church Keys

The Brothers kept the secret to good brews under lock and key

Book research takes me to little-seen backrooms. That’s how I recently came to be in the dark cooler (which was formerly a bank vault) of our lovely local restaurant.

I was learning how to tap a keg.

My protagonist needs to know these things. Being good Lutherans, we take full advantage of our German ancestry. We like beer. I’m not talking about ditch-crawling drunk or as obnoxious as a fanatic at a tailgate party. Just a smooth brew

to go with brats and kraut.

And you, my treasured friends, will learn the secret to correctly launch your beer.

  1. Formerly, you needed a church key. So called because of its resemblance to…well…the old ornate keys monks carried to the brewery in the cellar.
  2. The shape changed because canned beer was invented. You had to punch two sharp holes in a can to get your beer out.
  3. Now days, twist caps and pop tops are universal among brewing companies, thus making the “church key” go the way of the typewriter and VCRs. (Save them, they’ll be worth something someday…to your great, great grandkids who won’t know what they are.)
  4. Unscrew the cap and pour into a tilted glass to control the head (unless it’s a stout—which requires a 2 step pour, and is too much work for me.)


KeyPhoto by OrangeSmell; Video: Michelle Allves

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