The story of an iconic St. Louis brewery began with the arrival of a German-speaking immigrant in New Orleans in the 1850s. Having survived an arduous transatlantic voyage in a sailing ship, he encountered xenophobic bigotry in America. He made his way up the Mississippi, finally settling in St. Louis. He became a successful entrepreneur in the beverage business and was a pioneer in shipping his products nationwide by rail. Today his name is on a brand of beer that has achieved national acclaim.
The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog
On these cold winter days one of the hottest topics is immigration, particularly with respect to Muslims and Hispanics. As many alert readers (ARs) know, this column does not generally take editorial positions on issues not related to beer. Nevertheless, I’d like to report a discussion that recently took place at the south bar of The Schlafly Tap Room that might have benefited from input by Muslims and Hispanics.
Ever since the election some die-hard supporters of Hillary Clinton have been predicting that the sky will fall in Washington, DC on January 20th, when Donald Trump is inaugurated as president. I’m sad to report that sky has already fallen in Washington. At least part of it has.
On July 1, 1991 President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to fill a vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court. Sixteen days later, on July 17th, The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. purchased a building at 2100 Locust Street at the western edge of Downtown St. Louis. The building had been vacant for decades and had survived a lot, most dramatically a firestorm in 1976 that had completely destroyed eleven nearby buildings. This firestorm had created its own wind system that bent the streams of water from the firehoses and blew the helmets off the heads of firefighters. The damage was so extensive that in 1981 the neighborhood was used as the setting for Escape from New York, a post-apocalyptic film directed by John Carpenter. Presumably there was nothing in the South Bronx that looked as bombed-out as the intersection of 21st and Locust.
Alert readers (ARs) who are also baby boomers will undoubtedly recognize this chorus from “Light My Fire” by the Doors, which was released as a single in May of 1967. While the words were originally understood metaphorically, they took on an eerily literal meaning later that summer as American cities burst into flames. First there was Newark, where six days of rioting left 26 people dead and hundreds injured.
Alert readers (ARs) of a certain age undoubtedly remember Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was renowned for his alliterative insults, such as “nattering nabobs of negativism” and “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.” In 1973 he became the first and only vice president in U.S. history to resign from office because of criminal charges. He had previously served as governor of Maryland and was succeeded in that office by Marvin Mandel, who was himself convicted of mail fraud and racketeering. It all goes to show that Illinois isn’t the only state in which corruption in the governor’s office is bipartisan.
This September marks a bewildering anniversary for Schlafly Beer. It was four years ago, in September of 2012, that a woman who had taken the name Schlafly upon marrying into the family (after I was born) formally opposed our application for a federal trademark for beer. There’s no need for me to identify this person (the “Opposer”) by name. According to her opposition, the name Schlafly refers “uniquely and unmistakably” to her. Who knew?
Schlafly Beer has something in common with the Russian track and field team. Neither of us will be taking part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Russian athletes have been banned from competing because of a state-sponsored doping program. Schlafly will not be represented because we are not a sponsor of Rio 2016 and have no ties to Brazil.
With the presidential election on the horizon, I want to make an important disclaimer. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has exercised any influence on any business decision we at Schlafly have ever made or are likely to make. It’s important to emphasize this point because Trump has publicly claimed responsibility for InBev’s decision to rebrand Budweiser as “America” for the duration of the presidential campaign.
The Chilton Club in Boston is housed in a magnificent clubhouse on Commonwealth Avenue. It was founded in 1910 as a club for women who wanted to partake of wine and liquor, unlike the prohibitionist members of the Mayflower Club. It was named for…