The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog

June 1, 2017

Top Fermentation - June 2017


The Monthly Editorial Blog By Schlafly Beer Co-Founder Tom Schlafly

It’s no secret that there’s tremendous discord in Washington, DC these days, with cordial and respectful dialog giving way to acrimonious exchanges and name-calling. I can say this from personal experience.  On the evening of May 1st of this year I had dinner with some alert readers (ARs) of this column at a fine restaurant in the shadow of the newly refurbished Capitol building.  More precisely, we were in an upstairs room at Source, which is operated by Wolfgang Puck and whose only shortcoming is its failure to sell Schlafly Beer.  Midway through our main course, the serenity of the evening was interrupted by a woman’s voice yelling, “A**** S*** (mans name), you’re a f***ing adulterer!”  This exclamation was accompanied the flinging of a wine bottle in close proximity to our table. The bottle broke on the floor and the remaining red wine stained a new blouse worn by one of the ARs.  A man, presumably A**** S***, scurried past our table and was heading down the stairs when a wine glass was thrown our way and also broke on the floor.  The accuser chased the man down the stairs and yelled, “You f***ing piece of s***!”  I note for the record that in over a quarter-century of frequenting establishments that serve Schlafly Beer I have never witnessed a similar display.

According to some accounts, such displays were commonplace 20 years ago eleven blocks west of Source on Pennsylvania Avenue.  I’m referring to the White House during the Clinton administration.  More than one source has said that Hillary responded to reports of Bill’s adulterous escapades by throwing objects in his direction and screaming epithets not suitable for publication in this column.

Once again, none of the participants in any of these altercations was a Schlafly drinker.  As for the traits that do in fact define Schlafly drinkers (apart from not throwing wine bottles or bellowing vulgar epithets in restaurants), I was privileged to read some insights by an AR named Steven Scot Galbraith.  These insights are contained in Steven’s thesis for a senior seminar at The University of Missouri, St. Louis: The 1990s St. Louis Beer Shift: Schlafly’s Early Success and the Consumers that Made that Difference.

I could not do justice to Steven’s magnum opus by trying to summarize it in one paragraph. Instead, I’ll simply quote some of his observations.  Identifying Schlafly drinkers as part of the “creative urban class,” he writes, “They value locality, authenticity, and quality in their products.”  Later he writes that members of this “creative urban culture” are “urban-dwelling, diversity-valuing, creative people.”  On a subsequent page he writes that their core values are “individuality, openness and diversity.”  They tend to favor “locally produced, superior, unique products.”

As insightful as this thesis is, I don’t think Steven received any compensation for it beyond credits needed to graduate. Moreover,  lest anyone think his independence was in any way compromised by us, I hasten to add that Schlafly did not pay him to write what he did.  In that respect, Steven worked a lot harder for much less remuneration than some former presidents of the United States.


umsl-insightsInsights from UMSL.


In recent years former presidents from both parties have earned millions of dollars from their part-time jobs of giving speeches.  As far as I know, the record for the single most lucrative post-presidency oration was set by Ronald Reagan in October of 1989, when he delivered a speech in Japan for which he was paid $1,000,000. He soon tied his own record with yet another million-dollar speech on the same eight-day trip.

Against this backdrop,  Barack Obama’s fee of $400, 000 for his upcoming speech to a Wall Street audience seems comparatively paltry. Not only has the cost of living risen considerably in the past 28 years; but even without adjusting for inflation Obama is being paid only 40% of what Reagan received for each of his talks in Japan, both of which undoubtedly required simultaneous translation in order to be understood by most of his listeners.

There’s even more evidence of Obama’s dire financial straits.  He was recently offered financial aid by a country club outside Washington, DC.  I am not making this up.  Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland formally extended an invitation to the former president to become a member.  In doing so, the club offered to waive the usual initiation fee of $80,000, presumably because paying the full sticker price would cause financial hardship for the Obama family.

It’s not just former presidents who can make a living by giving speeches.  Hillary Clinton was able to earn millions of dollars thanks to her status as a former first lady, former United States senator and former secretary of state of the United States.  After Bill and she left the White House (dead broke according to her) they together collected more than $153 million in speaking fees.  As impressive as this might sound, it amounts to a measly $210,000 per speech, far less than Obama will be paid and a small fraction of what Reagan got for speaking English to two Japanese audiences.

During the recent presidential campaign Hillary resisted calls from both right and left to release the transcripts of these talks.  Without knowing what she said, it’s hard to know whether the content of these speeches was worth what she was paid or not.  In all honesty,  I’m less interested in reading a transcript of what she was paid to say to Wall Street audiences than in knowing what she said to Bill about his adulterous escapades in the White House.


Tom Schlafly