Apr 17, 2014

A Saint Louis-style birthday blitz

Last month I was proud to be a part of a group who gathered in Saint Louis to celebrate the birthday of my friend, Ken, who many of my regular blog followers may recall has been along on many of my travels, including last summer’s Colorado road trip.  You may also know we sometimes refer to Ken as “the Beast of Virden.”  It’s a name well-earned.  After all, Ken really is from Virden, Ill.  (He’s also a pretty big Rolling stones fan, for what it’s worth.)

The trip afforded me an opportunity to hit several of my favorite (and previously blogged about) places in Saint Louis, as well add a few new experiences to the resume.  And, of course, great travel often includes great company.  We certainly had that on the trip, as well.

Our first stop in Saint Louis … Broadway Oyster Bar, conveniently located near both Busch Stadium and the historic Soulard neighborhood.  I drove down with two other friends, Kent and Sue, and it was here where we met Sue and Terry Hupp toward their end of day drinking in Soulard. 

At the end of the "patio bar" at Broadway Oyster Bar 

Apr 3, 2014

Music for my beers

A night at the Schlafly Bottleworks

I have to admit, between work and a rougher than average winter, I didn't have many blog-worthy experiences at the start of 2014, but I did capture a few moments from one memorable road trip – to Schlafly Bottleworks in Saint Louis.

For those not from my neck of the woods, or if you’re just unfamiliar with Schlafly Beer, the Saint Louis Brewery, Inc., which makes all Schlafly products, began in 1991 and has become the largest independently owned brewery in Missouri and second largest brewer in the city after some other company I can’t immediately think of … I think they own horses, too.  With the  Schlafly Bottleworks building opening up in 2003, all Schlafly Beer is produced in Saint Louis.     

Chalk the idea for this adventure up to my friend, Kent.  At his recommendation, I became a passenger with our mutual friend Tom Irwin, as Tom drove down to Schlafly Bottleworks one cold January Saturday night, to perform with one of his bands, the Hayburners.  It’s not often you have the lead singer of a band be the designated driver for his fans.  Even with a bad case of laryngitis, how could I pass this up?

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...