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.

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