Breweries "Visited"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Escape from St. Louis

Beer #393 Dry Hopped APA / Saint Louis Brewery, St. Louis, MO
Previously from this brewery:  My take on the Winter ESB, Marci's take on the Winter ESB

Busy weekend, as I just got back from a Phi Gamma Delta leadership conference in St. Louis.  While the days were jam packed with productive meetings, I did manage to take advantage of an afternoon break on Saturday to visit the Schlafly Tap Room, the public face/popular brand from Saint Louis Brewery.

My first sample was the Dry Hopped APA, which had a bright copper hue and thin white head that lingered.  There are aromas of pine and light citrus, and the taste is dry and bitter throughout, with plenty of pine and grapefruit, but not much malt.  Very nice beer if you're a fan of dry, hoppy, or dry hopped beers.  Interestingly, this brewery was celebrating their 21st birthday on the day I visited, with a big concert and party on Saturday night.  Which completely explains why I was there at 2pm.  Bad timing, indeed.
Okay, so that's not a great picture.  Sue me.

Now, for the interesting part of my story, a confession: I drank this beer in a complete state of bewilderment.  The brewpub was only four or five blocks from my hotel, right in the middle of St. Louis, not far from the Gateway Arch.  While I didn't walk for hours, I did walk long enough to notice that on my journey, I didn't see a single car go by.  Not one.  I didn't see a single person walk by.  Nada.  I didn't see any birds, or stray dogs, or people riding their bike, or runners jogging, or delivery trucks delivering, or police cars policing, or buses being loud, or cabs driving recklessly, and by now I think you get my point.  The only proof of recent life I found were a variety of empty liquor bottles and cans of beer littered across the sidewalks like autumn leaves in a forest.

I honestly felt like an extra in the film version of The Road, Cormack McCarthy's take on a post-apocalyptic society where you really didn't want to run into people, because if you did they were likely to (spoiler alert) try to eat you.  Think about it: imagine going to the heart of a  major American city, walking for over ten minutes.... and being the only person in the world.  Odd.

However, and here's where some of the bewilderment came from, when I walked into Schlafly it was packed, or as packed as a brewpub is going to be on a Saturday afternoon when nuclear winter might have just happened.  Did the people get there through a secret tunnel?  Teleport in from another dimension?  Have they been trapped in there for years, too afraid to leave?  I can't say for sure, although when the shit does hit the fan I guess a brewery is an ideal place to hide yourself.  On my walk back, I did eventually see a person.  I did see a car go by a few blocks ahead.  Maybe there's still hope for society.
Actual picture of my walk to Schlafly
If that short tale wasn't sufficiently interesting for you, this might do the trick: The brewpub is housed in a brick building built in 1902 but left vacant since 1969.  A huge fire in 1976 engulfed the buildings at this intersection, and the skeletons of those buildings were in such a state of disrepair, the film Escape From New York used the exteriors as background shots.  Check this link for more info, including the scene from the movie if you need a visual on where I was walking.  Oh, you haven't seen the film Escape from New York?  Why, it's a movie about a post-apocalyptic world.  Maybe there is something odd and unusual about St. Louis after all....

Thing to Think About Today:
Okay, so maybe nuclear winter hasn't found St. Louis.  It was a cold winter weekend where not much was happening, nothing nefarious or post-apocalyptic.  However, if you do want to see a fantastic, sad, scary movie, you definitely should watch The Road.  Great film, although it would have earned huge bonus points had they walked through downtown St. Louis.  Just saying.

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