Beer + Community = Schlafly (FUN!)
I'm fortunate enough to travel a lot. And I like beer. Every time I go somewhere, I'm struck by how fortunate we are in Saint Louis. Not only do we have a thriving beer culture and many small breweries, but we have one bigger brewery that also helps take care of its own. Nope, I'm not talking about AB. Thanks, Schlafly.
For years, I've worked in the bar industry and in local arts education. Seemingly, these seem like two different things entirely, yet every successful business knows that everything is connected more intimately than it might first appear. For years working in the bar business, I've seen Schlafly support all kinds of events-- from kicking in a case of beer for a small private fundraiser to providing sponsorship for events at local restaurants. Unlike many other craft breweries, Schlafly has always been larger than its walls. We find it not just in taverns and bars, but anywhere something important is happening in the community. The next time you're at a non-profit fundraiser, look around. You'll likely see some Schlafly banners. Or watch the Schlafly bike team zoom by and join as they promote healthier lifestyles, alternative commuting, and just plain fun. You'll catch Schlafly beer at Mad Art events, at other local galleries, and at trivia nights around the city. Hell, I'm surprised they don't sponsor garage sales. (--They don't, do they?) We even have Schlafly in our biggest pass time, baseball-- and I love drinking big, tall glasses of Pale Ale instead of a light carbonated lager.
It's not just outside events that Schlafly supports-- they consistently give their own space to the community. When I worked at KDHX, Schlafly helped us out a lot by providing sponsorship and support, but also by providing space for events like the 48 Hour Film Project and other educational series. At the Bottleworks, they show free movies and have awesome lecture series. There's even a Farmer's Market every Wednesday, another testament to their commitment to sustainable food (as if their B'worx garden wasn't cool enough). Lone ranger, Brett Underwood, arranges the best music acts locally and regionally to perform weekends at the Tap Room-- most of which are free (with the others maxing out at a few bucks). This past weekend the Bottleworks hosted Art Outside, a gorgeous little air fair with jewelry, textiles, artwork, and music.
Point is, in other cities, breweries are not doing this. Sure, you'd be hard-pressed to go into any sporting arena and not find some local brewery signage. Maybe some other microbreweries are supporting an odd event here or there (and for that, I applaud them and encourage them to continue), but I have yet to see another brewery the size of Schlafly support their home town on the scale that we experience.
Like New Belgium Brewery before them, Schlafly takes their core values of community, appreciation for the arts, education, and environmentalism and uses them to the advantage of our whole city. When I think back over the past decade, every cool event I've been at, Schlafly was there as a sponsor. And the great thing is, you don't always know it. It's not always about the banner and making themselves known-- they just do what they think is right. And thankfully, they make great beer in the process.
So, on the eve of Hop in the City, thanks Schlafly. And thanks also to all your great employees who help you make it possible.
HOP in the CITY, Saturday, Sept. 19
Noon-5 PM @ the Tap Room
Tickets $35 at the door
(entry entitles you to taste the over 40 varieties of Schlafly brewed in the past year, plus entertainment)