Online Edition 10.26.06

Happy Anniversary, Honey | Andrea Avery

Bar Tab | L. Dupree

Skuntry Brewing | Joe Esser

Tang & Gin and Gilligan's Island | Chris Johnson

When, Wine | Chris King

Shakes: When The Librarians Came To Town | Shan & Di

Untitled (London) | Orestes Valdes

Print Edition   


For All The Men And Women Who Go Out | Aaron Belz

Professor Diamond Bill Cardigan's Sure-Fire Bar Bet | Bill Chott

A Train Story | Matt Fernandes

Ed Fletcher's Corncrib Cocktails | Thom Fletcher

Mother's Milk | Jennifer Gaby

What's In A Name? | Franklin Jennings

Joe's Cafe | Brandyn Jones

Tasting Notes: Of Free Wine and Streetwalkers | Chris King

A Guide To The Lesser Brands | Michael McCarthy

Tickled Pink And Twisted Sister | Shannon McGinn

I Am Not A Nature Poet | Richard Newman

Alcoholism For Dummies: A Very Different 12-Step Program | Julia Smillie

Nine Beers In, I Beget A Serenade | James Weber, Jr.

On Texting An Ex At 3:30 AM | Tom Weber


Thomas Crone, Andrea Day, Nick Findley, Gina Rosa Gallina, Tom Lampe, Tara McCarthy, Dana Smith,  Adam Scott Williams

Shakes: When The Librarians Came To Town | by Shan & Di

Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other.
--- Louis Stanley Jast

St. Louis, Gateway to the West and well known for its drinking culture, found itself merged with a lesser known drinking force when we, the librarians of the West, came to town. We came but for a handful of days, yet consumed cocktails at a hodgepodge of locales. Attending meetings during the day and exploring the libation culture at night, merriment was had and shared by all as we drank our way through this fine city.

Our journey began with a lovely low life tour of the city. Our guide took us off the beaten path to some of the more interesting sites, not the least of which was the Lemp brewery. Known to be haunted, we wandered the site hoping to find a ghost bottle of beer but found only wooden cobblestones and suspect individuals. Our thirst was to be quenched elsewhere. Parched, we entered the Royale. Here we toured the city and it's neighborhoods via the specialty cocktail menu. Proprietor Steve Smith has a knack for interpreting the neighborhoods of STL with just the right cocktail ingredients. The pear and champagne cocktail known as Queen of the Hill is to die for. Had we known, maybe we would have forgone the physical tour and stuck with the liquid one. In any event, the cocktails were potent, delicious, and fresh—with juice that is. After drinking our way through three neighborhoods at the bar, it was time to leave for a night-cap of complimentary champagne in the Omni Majestic Hotel Presidential suite. Some librarians know how to do a conference right.

Our next debaucherous outing began in our very own hotel bar at the Renaissance Suites. Now the culture of the hotel bar is always interesting with a mixture of travelers and hotel employees. Both groups are known to experience an occasional inertia that causes them to saddle up for a stiff one. For us, it was merely a starting point. With one shot down and a few more friends, we found ourselves a cab and traveled to Venice—the Venice Café, of course. Taking possession of the only available seating (short stools surrounding a boat made into a bar), we requested a few rounds of Schlafly from our helpful captain. Schlafly is a wonderfully full-bodied local beer that goes down smooth and refreshing. Our three hour tour brought many more Schlaflys and a visit to the local Psychic for guidance. With our librarian friends losing steam, we escorted them back to the hotel only to turn around at the stroke of midnight (there are no pumpkins here) and venture back out with our local hosts. They guided us through St. Louis in the dark on a quest for donuts (our idea) and a three o'clock bar (their idea). Striking out on the donut front (too bad, nothing like a late night donut chaser with a cheap beer), we scored with a drink at the Trophy Room. With our arrival near the witching hour, the place was packed with a mullet in every corner and drunken former jocks and cheerleaders in between. This was a place for a beer, or a light beer, to be more specific. After filling up on Schlaflys earlier in the evening, the "great taste, less filling" slogan finally made sense! Yes, even Miller Lite can taste good at 2:30 in the morning. The evening concluded with a search for copies of the Post Dispatch and a dramatic reading of Town Talk.

On the third day, we rested…or at least cut back. We encountered our first drink in the home of a friend who is also a corsetiere (yep, they make them things right there in St. Louis, but don't tell the Alderman). To warm us up for this quirky little event of sensual dress-up and fitting, we were supplied with ample glasses of California wine. With improved postures and warm insides we returned to our hotel for a short librarian meeting and shots of vanilla Wild Turkey. Even the wicked need some recovery time so, how about free drinks at a vendor's chocolate dessert party followed by bowling at the Pin-Up Bowl to wind down? According to the discussion (a fight at times) between our cabbie and his wife via cell, the Pin-Up Bowl was a real classy place to have White Russians and Jack & Cokes. To us, only beer and pizza go with bowling. Need we say we had both? You just can't go wrong with Schlafly. We knew it was time to end the evening when one of our female friends was asked to leave the men's room. What is the alcohol content of Schlafly anyway?

Our final outing included a marathon of locales and ever escalating alcohol content. Lucky for us, Chuck Berry would start us off at Blueberry Hill. In an attempt at moderation at the early hour, a pitcher of beer was ordered. From the local offerings we moved up the scale to Belgian beer. Not being unaware of the unique qualities of Belgian beers, we had to wonder if someone wanted us drunk. After two duck walks by Chuck and another round (or two) of Belgians, one of us would found ourselves dancing on stage with Mr. Berry. Apparently those beers were successful given the ease in coaxing. Already on our way to an altered state—might as well enjoy the ride and have one top-shelf shot of Ciroc vodka as a farewell.

There is an unwritten rule that when moving in to shot territory, hi-jinks must ensue. Who are we to break with the rules of drinking? We exercised the option to engage in a little drive-by drunken banter with someone's ex-girlfriend. Add to that some drunken dialing on the cell phone and the mischief was off the hook. Technology makes misbehaving oh so easy…but we digress. Gino's welcomed us next and oh, what a welcome! Our little party took over the place. Add some passion fruit Alize mixed with Hennessy and some Carla Thomas coming from the DJ booth and we got our groove on. The New York-priced drinks and the DJ repeatedly welcoming the "lovely ladies from San Francisco" made us gals feel more than a little special. We took that special feeling to the Elite (where particular people meet). Now beyond a good group of dancers and another welcoming DJ, the details are understandably fuzzy. I know that yet another drink was consumed, but what it was remains a mystery.

St. Louis and librarians definitely make a good cocktail mix.


Shan & Di – two San Francisco librarians who enjoy a good cocktail and had a kick ass time in St. Louis.