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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York City - Established 1854

McSorley's Old Ale House - The Oldest Bar in New York City

McSorley's Old Ale House has been a gathering place, a watering hole, the subject of art and literature and even a supreme court controversy. Established in 1854 - McSorley's can boast of being New York City's oldest continuously operated saloon. Everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon have passed thru Mcsorley's swinging doors. Woody Guthrie inspired the union movement from a table in the front - guitar in hand, while civil rights attorney's Faith Seidenberg and Karen DeCrow had to take their case to the Supreme Court to gain access. Women were finally allowed access to McSorley's in 1970! So belly up. Enter the sawdust strewn floors and history patched walls for a trip back through time. Share the McSorley's experience with the spirits of 150 years!

Famous Visitors and Patrons
Notable people who have visited McSorley's include Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Peter Cooper, Boss Tweed, and Woody Guthrie. Literary figures like Hunter S. Thompson Brendan Behan, Paul Blackburn, LeRoi Jones, Gilbert Sorrentino, George Jean Nathan have been cited as regulars.

In his 1923 poem "I was sitting in mcsorley's," poet e.e. cummings described McSorley's as "the ale which never lets you grow old." He also described it as he describes the bar as “snug and evil.” McSorley's was the focus of several articles by New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell. One collection of his stories was entitled McSorley's Wonderful Saloon (1943). According to Mitchell, the painters John Sloan, George Luks and Stuart Davis were all regulars.

After the New York Rangers hockey team won the Stanley Cup in 1994, they took the cup to McSorley's and drank out of it; the resulting dent caused the NHL to take the trophy back for several days.
McSorley's Old Ale House - The Oldest Bar in New York CityMcSorley's Old Ale House

McSorley's Light or Dark Ale
Perhaps the single greatest novelty of McSorley's is that it has served one beverage in its 150 year history-Ale! "A rich, wax-color" is how author Joseph Mitchell described the McSorley's brew in his 1943 book "McSorley's Wonderful Saloon." Fidelio Brewery is credited with originating the golden hued libation that McSorley's is famous for. Unfortunately with the enactment of 18th Amendment- Prohibition, Fidelio was forced out of the beer making business. With alcohol of any sort outlawed, brewing operations switched to the basement of McSorley's Old Ale House where it remained business as usual until Prohibition ended.
McSorley Cream AleMcSorleys Pale Ale


After this driest chapter in American history, the Fidelio Brewery returned as official brewers of McSorley's Cream Stock Ale. Located on First Avenue and occupying the entire block between 29th and 30th Streets- the Brewery proudly carried huge billboards advertising both McSorley's Cream Stock Ale and McSorley's Famous Lager.
McSorley's Old Ale House InsideMcSorley's Old Ale House History


The 1940's brought with it a world war and a new brewer of McSorley's Ale. Fidelio expanded and changed their name to The Greater New York Brewery Unfortunately it was only a few years before The Greater New York Brewery went into receivership and the McSorley's account went to the Rheingold Brewery and for the first time in it's proud history, out of Manhattan and into Brooklyn. Rheingold carried on with the product for more than thirty years before finally closing operations and passing the brand to Schmidt's Brewers of Philadelphia. This marked the first time that the Ale was made without New York's legendary water. In early 1990's Stroh Brewery purchased the McSorley's brand and brewed it until being bought by those seminal suds-makers-Pabst Brewing Company.


McSorley's Ale is available to consumers in both kegs and bottles throughout the East and of course at McSorley's Old Ale House. Where you just might find, it tastes a little different!

McSorley's Old Ale House
15 E 7th St
New York, New York 10003
Phone:(212) 473-9148

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