Photos From the Mark Supik Co. Open Studio
Posted on Oct 22, 2013 in On The Spot
Last Sunday we finally got a chance to check out a piece of Baltimore that we’ve been curious about for quite some time, and that many people here in town pass by frequently without realizing it. Mark Supik & Company’s shop at the corner of Baltimore and Haven Streets in Highlandtown doesn’t look like much from the outside, but behind the walls they’re one of the largest manufacturers of draft beer tap handles in the region.
For more than 30 years the shop has been producing a variety of turned-wood products, but specializing in tap handles. If you’ve had a few beers in your time it’s more than likely that some of them have been pulled from Supik handles, which are sold to breweries nationwide and in use all across the country, including right here in Charm City.
They opened the shop up to visitors Sunday as part of Baltimore Beer Week and School 33′s Open Studio Tours, showing off their vintage woodworking equipment and large collection of tap handles, as well as sampling beer from the Cross Street Irregulars brewing club in a pop-up beer garden behind the shop.
For those interested in home brewing and/or lucky enough to own a keg refrigerator, the Supik Company will allow you to design your own custom handle and ship it to you for $85. If you want to go a step further than that you can even attend an all day workshop and make the whole handle yourself by hand. More details and photos are available on their website.
An unassuming exterior.
Happy Beer Week.
Lathes and shavings on the shop floor.
Equipment labeled for easy identification.
Examples and archetypes of tap handles.
Another view of the archetypes.
Plastic templates for tap handle shapes.
An employee demonstrates how tap handles are shaped.
Hardware is attached to the cut handles.
Rough handles wait for finishing.
The shop has several standard shapes for quick and convenient production.
Custom orders, like these busts of Poe are also available.
Handles hang in a stall for painting.
Freshly painted handles hang to dry.
Some paint jobs require a bit more detail.
The shop keeps a small museum of its tap handles.
Some more examples of their work.
Some vintage examples from back in the day.
Finished products are shipped in a badass antique Chevy.
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