For Immediate Release
Contact: Duncan Crary
TROY, N.Y. — This Thursday, March 8, Brown’s Brewing Co. will begin serving a seasonal ale with a wink and a nod to Troy’s Irish culture and historical saloon room political shenanigans.
“Bat Shea Red” is a traditional Amber Ale, named for Bartholomew “Bat” Shea, a nineteenth century Irish bar thug who was infamously accused, tried and executed for murdering Troy Industrialist Robert Ross during an incident of election fraud March 6, 1894.
At 5 p.m., Thursday, Troy novelist Jack Casey will lead a toast to Bat Shea and sing a few songs inspired by his story.
“Troy’s bars have been the setting for countless political schemes throughout our history,” said Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” a novel, play and album. “Shea’s case is perhaps the most notorious of them because of the violence and the backlash. By the time he was executed in the electric chair, few believed he was guilty, but the courts refused to give him a new trial. This Thursday we’ll hoist a glass and sing some songs to remember this quintessential Irish rebel.”
THE STORY OF BAT SHEA
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL
On election day, March 6, 1894, Troy brewer and political boss, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Murphy, D-Troy, sent a gang of Irish-Catholic repeat voters to stuff the ballot boxes of the city’s Thirteenth Ward in an attempt to steal the Republican alderman position for one of his own men, saloonkeeper George Dunlop. Ross, a Scots Presbyterian Republican, stood up to the gang led by Shea and was shot dead in the scuffle. The trial of Bat Shea became an international news story as the world watched American democracy on trial. Shea was convicted with perjured testimony hatched by the nativistic American Protective Association, that age’s Ku Klux Klan, and condemned to death. His appeals failed.
Three days before Shea’s execution, however, another man confessed to the murder. Even so, the court denied Shea a new trial. In his final moments, Shea forgave all responsible for his trial and conviction, and walked proudly to the electric chair. The man who hounded him to death, on a platform of anti-Irish bigotry, became governor.
JACK CASEY AND BAT SHEA
In the 1970s, Casey reintroduced a new generation of Trojans to the story of Bat Shea with a serialized novel that ran in The Troy Record. Since then, he has re-told the story as a novel, a play and an album of original music. This Thursday, “The Trial of Bat Shea” will be released in a new paperback edition with artwork and graphic designs by Lansingburgh native Jennifer Peyser. Copies will be available for sale at Brown’s during the event and online. For information, and to listen to the music, visit http://BatShea.com
“‘The Trial of Bat Shea’ is a true story about American immigrants, the failure of our criminal justice system and the same sort of bigotry and religious persecution we see today directed toward immigrants,” Casey said. “We promise democracy as a nation, and we say it’s guaranteed in our laws, but when people get here we don’t always deliver it.”
ABOUT THE BEER
Bat Shea Red Ale is a traditional seasonal Amber Ale brewed by Brown’s Brewing Co. in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Medium bodied and malty with moderate hoppiness, Bat Shea Red pairs nicely with traditional Irish dishes served in Brown’s Taproom. Malts: Domestic Two Row Pale, Caramel, Munich & Bonlander. Hops: Cascade & Willamette 5.25% alcohol by volume. Bat Shea Red Ale will be on tap in Brown’s Taproom and Revolution Hall from March 8 throughout St. Patrick’s Day.
Twenty-two oz bottles of Bat Shea Red, with special commemorative front and back labels, will be available for take home purchase at the bar for $4.99 per bottle.
Also available at Brown’s this Thursday, starting at 4 p.m., will be a special firkin of Cask Conditioned Dry Irish Stout while it lasts. http://brownsbrewing.com
For a high resolution publicity poster, Bat Shea Red beer labels, author photos and a radio interview with musical performances by Jack Casey, visit:
MORE BAT SHEA: MARCH 18
You can also catch Jack Casey on Sunday, March 18 at Bat Shea’s Pub on Ferry St. in Troy for more songs, and stories about Bat Shea. Copies of the new paperback edition of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” as will Bat Shea Red.
Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723