Schlafly is going to The Kentucky Derby.
As some alert readers (ARs) will recall, my family got its start in the beverage business back in 1902, when my great grandfather August Schlafly purchased Mountain Valley Water Company in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Since then lots of world class athletes have trained with Mountain Valley, including winners of the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps the greatest in this elite group was Secretariat, who drank Mountain Valley and won The Triple Crown in 1973.
The most recent winner of The Triple Crown was American Pharoah in 2015. I do not know whether he drank Mountain Valley, but I do know that Schlafly Beer played a role in his success. Sort of. American Pharoah qualified for The Kentucky Derby by first winning The Arkansas Derby in Hot Springs. Because Schlafly was served at Oaklawn Park, it’s safe to assume that Schlafly drinkers were among those who bet successfully on American Pharoah and cheered him on to victory. Perhaps it was their cheers that provided his margin of victory. Who knows?
Magnum Moon, the winner of the 2018 Arkansas Derby, is heading for the Kentucky Derby, as is Schlafly Beer. Strictly speaking, our participation is actually at the premier social event in Louisville on the eve of the Derby, a benefit for Operation Open Arms at historic Locust Grove. Operation Open Arms is a very worthy charity established by Irv and Cathy Bailey to serve the children of mothers who are incarcerated. The event at Locust Grove is titled Silks in the Bluegrass. Any ARs who are interested in learning more about the party or the work of Operation Open Arms can click here.
On the weekend after the Kentucky Derby I’ll be receiving a degree from The University of Missouri-St. Louis 27 years after I registered for my first course at UMSL. That’s right. I took my first course at UMSL in the fall of 1991, before we opened the brewery, and will finally be getting a degree in May of 2018. I should note that this was also the only course I ever took at UMSL, a music appreciation class titled “Know the Score”. It was a non-credit course for which I never had to write a paper or take an exam. I should also note that the degree I’ll be receiving is honorary and does not reflect satisfactory completion of any coursework on my part. More information can be found here.
Although my formal education at UMSL was limited, I had the benefit of a couple of years of private tutoring and mentoring from one of the greatest scholars at UMSL or any other campus. After Arnold Grobman retired as Chancellor of the university, he moved from his official residence on campus into the City of St. Louis. Mayor Vincent Schoemehl appointed him to the board of directors of the St. Louis Public Library, of which I was the president. I was his junior by 30 years and had a lot to learn about the dynamics of board service. Fortunately for me, Dr. Grobman was very patient and a superb teacher both by example and in what he taught me in private counseling.
Finally, for over 40 years I have had an ongoing eduction from St. Louis Public Radio, a service of UMSL. I suspect the number of hours I’ve spent listening to KWMU over the years far exceeds the number of hours I’ve spent in classrooms in grade school, high school, college and law school combined. In addition to what I’ve learned by listening on the air, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of NPR personalities, including Bob Edwards, Cokie Roberts, Garrison Keillor (I know, I know), Michael Feldman, Krista Tippett and numerous others.
While my support for public radio has allowed me to meet lots of NPR personalities, I’ve met even more public figures thanks to beer. The most recent example is Billy Bush, who was recently in St. Louis for a family funeral and discovered Schlafly Beer. As most ARs undoubtedly know, Billy has co-hosted NBC’s Today and Access Hollywood Live. Among the many events he has covered in his distinguished career are several Miss Universe pageants; several Miss USA pageants; Olympic games in Athens, Torino and Beijing; and the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
With all of his travels around the world and hobnobbing with Olympic athletes, beauty pageant contestants and royals, it wasn’t until Billy came to St. Louis that he was able to enjoy a world class beer like Schlafly. While Schlafly is going to the Kentucky Derby, Hollywood came to Schlafly in St. Louis.
Chairman – The Saint Louis Brewery