Sunday, October 13, 2019

These Magic Wedding Hands

Today we started off with the definitely-not-Columbus-Day Italian Heritage Festa And Parade on the Hill. If you like cars with signs on them, then this parade was for you.

Got a good shot of nostalgia when the local Ursuline Academy dance team sauntered past.

I'd been wanting to visit the recently built Piazza Imo.

I was pretty nervous the whole day because I was about to officiate my friends Steph and Neil's wedding, as I am an ordained man of the cloth in the Church of the Latter Day Dude. Maybe I should change the blog title to Reverend John Milito's Amazing Adventures?

“I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me. That or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

It went pretty well. I think it's one of those things where a situation is hyper important to yourself but everyone else is probably on their phones thinking about their own life and not necessarily noticing your mistakes. Everyone laughed when they were supposed to, which I appreciated.

They even made me fill out the marriage license paperwork, as if I have some prior experience with that. The poor wedding venue staff thought I was a real priest or something, because they kept deferring decisions to me and asking my opinion on wedding ceremony matters. Meanwhile they work weddings everyday. Just do whatever is normal please. I don't care who stands where.

Both the expertly officiated wedding and the reception were held at Fox Run Carriage House in Eureka, Missouri.

I brought my gift mug to the reception to remind everyone to respect my magical powers. I've married two couples now and only one of them is divorced, so I think that's really saying something.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Bellefontaine Cemetery Beer Barons Tour

We've done a lot of the Anheuser-Busch sites: Busch Stadium, Grant's FarmWarm Springs Ranch, Bevo Mill... hell even working at A-B Headquarters. Well I have three remaining Buschy attractions that I'm aware of: the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, TX, Busch Gardens (I think I've been but I was little), and the mausoleum of Adolphus Busch.

I had had my eye on the Bellefontaine Cemetery Beer Barons Tour but I didn't want to pay the $40-65 dollar entrance fee. What to do, what to do... I signed us up to work it instead. We got shirts AND hoodies to start off with. Then proceeded to taste all the tasty beers.

One of the memorable beers we sipped was Earthbound's Mahlab ESB, an "extra special bitter brewed with the pits of St. Lucie cherries which are often used in Turkish baked goods. The beer has a sweet spice-bread aroma but a crisp bitter finish. We did our own volunteering pouring people samples of Urban Chestnut brews. Speaking of Urban Chestnut, we learned on a tour of the cemetery that in Germany people used to dig holes in the ground and then put beer barrels in them to keep it cold. They would then plant chestnut trees around in order to further shade and cool the beer.

Well the light was not cooperating so all of my pictures were bad. But I was able to go and visit Adolphus. I thought it was interesting that he actually died while in Germany on vacation. Despite the fact he was German born they shipped his body back to St. Louis for burial.

Wikipedia seems to think that:

"Lilly Anheuser's parents had built a mausoleum at Bellefontaine Cemetery, but she felt that Adolphus needed something grander. She tore down the original structure, and had the other family members reinterred outside. She had Thomas Barnett design a new mausoleum in the Bavarian Gothic style. Constructed of stone quarried in Missouri, and completed in 1921, the new building cost $250,000 (equivalent to $2.8 million today). It features grapevines representing both Adolphus' birthplace in German wine country, and his favorite beverage. Julius Caesar's words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici," or "I came, I saw, I conquered" are inscribed on the lintel."

There were a few less famous local beer barons represented, including Wainwright and Lemp. The Wainwright name pricked up my ears because of the downtown Wainwright Building, which in my understanding is the first skyscraper in the world.

It was a day of good, clean, free fun.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Goose Island Pop-Up

Every once in a while I check out Eventbrite for local events. I then go down a rabbit hole, and come to my senses 3 hours later having just reserved tickets to 57 local events, half of which are all on the same day and I'll have no chance of attending. Luckily this time was a success.

A yet to exist bar was hosting a 3 day Goose Island pop-up taproom in Clayton.

Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout is like the gold standard among Anheuser-Busch employees. It was a pretty limited release that took place on Black Friday, it got bought up, and then that was it until the next year. One year we were going to be in Cleveland for Thanksgiving so I bribed one of the analysts into making me a spreadsheet showing me which Cleveland retailers were getting the most cases of this black ambrosia so I would know where to camp out on Black Friday. My evil plan worked perfectly.

It's also fun because you can age it for five years in the bottle. When I left A-B I took a few cases of this with me, knowing it would have to last me a while.

So anyway, a lot of the stuff on the menu I'd already had but it was still fun to see it on sale again.

I was real jealous of this set up, where they had Bourbon County set up in the wine cellar.

So much Goose, so little time.