Saturday, the Eighth of September
Saturday we were closed for the last event we will ever do during open hours at the now one month ole bar. It was an honor to have Joe (the great tattoo artist/logo designer) and Christine’s wedding celebration here. Joe has been a dear friend from many years and he and Christine are two of the most treasured people one could have in their corner.
If you have been reading this blog you will know he was the artist behind our logo and is working on several more items for us.
This picture of the Fleur de lis was drawn and gifted to me by Joe when I sold 33. I have kept it in my room until yesterday when I moved it to a spot behind the bar.
To me it signifies the great passing of the torch at 33 and the years of hard work I and many others put into making it a successful business built on an immensely large loyal customer base.
Let’s hope we have the same success here. So far...things look good.
So from here on out our schedule will be 4 to 10 Tuesday through Friday and Saturday 12 to 10 pm. We may add a Monday or Sunday at some point but that will be down the road.
**Readers of this blog will note that somehow I fell a day behind.
Graham used to work at the Chocolate bar for years which was next to 33. Or actually, 33 became to be known as the bar next to the “Chocolate Bar” He found this somewhere in St. Louis and was kind enough to sell it to us at a fair price for our bar.
Our old brick city has very deep roots and this map from 1867 is a testament to the amount of people who resided in St. Louis during the 1800’s.
Holt street wasn’t even in existence yet but you can clearly see where Chippewa and Gravois give way to the area that will eventually become the Grand Oak Hill Neighborhood which is now for the most part known as Tower Grove South.
This map is now hanging between our two standing tables on the first floor. It’s worth it to take a look and think about all the people that passed through our city. They continued to pass through our city for many many years. Then they started passing out in our city and prohibition hit.
Then some other things happened and people didn’t just pass through our city they downright high tailed it out of there.
But that isn’t the case anymore and if a few more things go our way the City of St. Louis will continue to thrive exponentially.
My favorite part of this map is the bloody island located in the mighty Mississippi. The island was used as the location of duels. That’s right... good ole fashioned gun fights. Seems one of the ways to solve differences back then was a gun fight and social class wasn’t an indication of who would partake. Some of the most famous gunfights involved high level government employees and respected members of society.
I guess this gave rise to dueling banjos and then dueling pianos. Which then gave rise to thumb wars and Rock Paper Scissors.
Safe to say we are getting a bit more civilized.
Steve Jobs. 1955-2011
I had a post scheduled for today but wanted rather to note the passing of Steve Jobs.
Never before has one man’s vision touched so many peoples’ lives. I hope people realize through all of this that the world’s greatest entrepreneur wasn’t driven by money. He was driven by innovation. He cared not to rest on the ideas of others and was one of the rare artist’s of thought. His leadership didn’t just drive Apple to be better and more cutting edge, it drove many other companies whose role simply became to not fall too far behind.
Don’t forget it took Apple years to get where it is today. Apple persevered because Steve Jobs never lost his focus and though Apple will continue it will never be the same. And years ago when Apple let go of Steve Jobs, he created Next and led Pixar. Nobody kicked Steve Jobs when he was down.
It’s a good lesson and someday I hope it permeates our culture. Until then, I will keep using my iphone and apple computer.
A special Cheers to Steve Jobs for a life well led so we could follow.
Installed with pride over the brewery.
Readers (a.k.a. people wasting time at work) will know that a few years back when I was diligently drink researching this project, I spent a considerable amount of time pub crawling across Europe. It was coined “Drinkabout” and was the first time, I had ever attempted blogging. My friend, Carl, who eventually would surface as the great Civil Life painter, on occasion remarked, I was the “World’s Worst Blogger.” He was mostly right. Actually he was 100% right. Logging hour after hour in pubs is no easy task and the grueling work schedule left little time to blog. But it was during my 500 mile hike/bar crawl across Spain that I came to realize something that still sits with me today.
In the Pyrenees, I befriended a German Danny and as we hiked we quickly became friends. He was a generous chap and we instantly began talking about our countries and our backgrounds. You never would believe how many times, I met people that hadn’t had much exposure if any to Americans. Many Europeans simply get fed media bits just the same as we do and it does harshly color their impressions of the United States. At times, I felt as though I was acting as an ambassador explaining about all the really great things about the United States that they didn’t know and that doesn’t hit the international media waves. At the time, foreign news casts were discussing the health care issue as the town hall meetings which seemed like a good idea on paper had seem to go awry.
So I put a question to Danny. I asked him what he thought of Angela Merkel, the German prime minister. The response was something different than I had ever encountered in our politically divided country. He spent about 10 minutes thoughtfully discussing her idealogy, ability to lead and Germany’s role in the EU. But what caught me was his opinions were a very thoughtful balance between both her positives and negatives. It was something that caught me off-guard as it always seems in the United States, we are either for or against someone.
Along the hike, I encountered so many people from different countries and what I began to pick up was this sincere pride in their country. My Polish friend, Marek loved his country and in the next sentence told me a story of how someone actually stole a bridge in Northern Poland. I thought, hey that’s not so bad have you ever heard of Enron.
I saw constant reminders of people, in particular Canadians with flags on their backpacks. I sure do like the Canadians. I know we like to give them trouble here but I found a few along the way and understanding “Canadian” English in a Czech hostel is much easier than “Czech” English. The Czech Republic was the first country, I had ever traveled in that I decided to not worry about learning the pronunciations of the traveling niceties. I tried, but unfortunately, I found that as their language was being developed there must have been a shortage of a, e, i, o and u’s. And quite frankly, my mind couldn’t tell my tongue what to do and it often sounded like I was choking when trying to say please, hello and thank-you. But the Czech people were kind and for the 4 weeks I was there I never had trouble ordering a beer, food or finding a good bartender.
So along this bar crawl, I began to question whether I had lost my sense of Nationalism. I needed some soul searching and I couldn’t figure out what happened. Was it because I was so far away from home and not missing it? But that is really just me, I throw myself into experiences and the newness of situations feels like putting on a heavy coat in the dead of winter and the warmth that comes from that coat seems to keep me going.
It was terrible.
But how did it happen.
Well, let’s say I subscribe fully to the “Make Beer, Not War” slogan (as seen in our grand opening parade. Years of paying attention to the media pitted me against friends, family and people I didn’t know. I used to like Tea. Really, when I worked in New York over ten years ago, I had a great conversation and evening meeting at one of New York’s first tea lounges.
Around this soul searching time, I had ended up in Salzburg, Austria visiting a friend I made along the Camino. She had invited me to Salzburg and when I arrived, I was fortunate to be invited to her family’s house on that Friday night. So it was Friday night, and there I sat at their family dinner table being fed beers (Stiegl) and enjoying passed meats and cheeses. It wasn’t because I was here, this was their Friday night. Franziska’s sister (and husband) was there, her brother, her mom and her dad. It was Friday night and being warmly welcomed into a family event was comforting as it now had been 4 months since I had seen mine.
Franziska’s mom said something, that I will always remember. When we were talking about the political climate in the United States, she said, “Why do people care so much?”
It was her question, posed to me in that manner in which I was able to put together the pieces of my own answers to my question about my own nationalism.
My opinion, is that people care so much in this country because opinion driven media constantly wages a war to keep us tuned in. Keeping us tuned in keeps tv’s turned on and tv’s turned on keeps advertising money flowing in.... and the cycle begins. This is much deeper than I have time to go into and you have already wasted enough time reading this.
But since returning, I for the most part have removed myself from political discussions. I have tried to seek a “Danny” like approach when discussing politics but sometimes I just think a bit like Franziska’s mom. And most importantly, I realized the negative machine destroyed many people’s sense of nationalism but it didn’t destroy mine. I will feel no greater pride than the day we bottle or can and I can put American made, American made on our labels.
It was with great pride that I put the American Flag in our Parade and that more locally, the St. Louis Flag led it down Holt. It is with great pride that I put the American Flag in front of my business every day. There is no place in the world that is more supportive of entrepreneurs. And it is with great pride that I hung it high in the Brewery. American made and more important American owned. And by that, I mean this American.
America has brought the world countless innovations and many times is the first to lend a helping hand even when we have to borrow the money to do it. Sure we aren’t perfect, who is? I do feel shining the light on our imperfections will eventually lead to a better and more United “States.” But I feel, it can be done a little more like “Danny”. And if there is any country that can deliver in times of adversity, it is undeniably ours. And the first way to get past the divisiveness is simply to realize. We are all Americans and we are all in this together. We should challenge ourselves to have the worlds’ best health care system, the worlds’ best education system and the worlds’ greatest craft breweries. We are definitely on the way to having the worlds’ greatest craft breweries.
Commentary is not necessarily the opinion of the Civil Life Brewing Company but it is the opinion of the Captain of the Barley Ship which may or may not be the opinion of the Civil Life Brewing Company. Basically, if you like this post the comments are the opinion of the Civil Life Brewing Company and if you don’t like this post, the comments are not the opinion of the Civil Life Brewing Company.
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Years ago my Great Grandpa Hafner used to play cards with his buddies in his basement at his house. This was a gift to him and it hung in the room where they drank.
So my great grandpa used to play cards in his basement with his drinking buddies and someone by the name of Catherine, who I believe was the daughter of one of his card playing buddies, carved this out of linoleum for him years ago. I never knew my great grandpa but quite surely he was a great like-able Chap and his claim to fame was that he was Henry Ford’s butcher.
It seems we both had a penchant for pubs and that we both eat/ate meat during our lifetime. We are also both human. So we have a lot in common.
This now sits behind the bar on top of one of the glass shelves, above Confucius. But that is subject to change as Confucius doesn’t stay in any spot too long.
Confucius “Confuse us”
Years ago, this little statue made it into my life through a most unfortunate turn of events. I had befriended three guys while living in New York. The three of them had been very close for years and they had a nice network of guys and girls they hung out with. I was immediately accepted into the group and whammo, all of a sudden my weekends were full with parties, going to bars/clubs and all sorts of activities. They were good chaps and I had never been welcomed so quickly into a group before.
Around the holidays, they ended up exchanging gifts at my apartment in Queens. Confucius was picked up by one of them as a gift to another (Names have been with held) and when they left that night it was mistakenly left at my place.
That weekend we collectively attended a party at a posh Upper East Side apartment. Things were going along well until something happened between the friends and one of their girlfriends. I will claim not to know but it broke up the friendships of all of them.
Irreversibly lost. Just as a stone disappears when it is dropped into a lake or the morning fog fades and vanishes as the sun lifts itself into the sky. I wondered what the friendships were originally rooted in. I had just entered the picture and was so glad to be part of a group of a big group of friends. And then it was gone...
But not the statue. I tried to give it back but the guy didn’t want it anymore. So Confucius followed me the next 3 years until I opened 33 and brought him to work. He sat in 33 every day I was open for over 8 1/2 years and on one occasion went out drinking with me and a few friends after work to Tangerine (a now defunct Washington Ave. bar that I frequented.) I have a tendency to move him from place to place and will on occasion hide him somewhere in the bar. But Confucius will always be here and he reminds me of a few months in my life when I saw things go unnecessarily awry for all the wrong reasons.
Confucius say, “Man who run in front of car, get tired.”
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.