Friday, April 16, 2010

Free State Weekend

I worked my shapely little buns off last weekend. Friday morning I dropped the kids off at their grandparents' house to spend the weekend. I got home and mowed, laid down and raked 100 bags of dirt in a dead spot in my yard, fertilized and seeded it. By the time Stella got home I was pretty wiped out and we went to dinner at One Bite Japanese Grill. It was such a nice night we wanted to hit a bar with a patio to sit down and relax for the evening. Our first thought was the new patio at RJ's Bob-be-Que in Mission. Then I had a brilliant idea to go to The Well in Waldo.

We'd never been to The Well, the only thing I knew was that they have a great rooftop deck. It was nearly a perfect night to be outside, maybe a little bit chilly. We found a place to sit, which wasn't an easy task and I found that they had Free State on tap. The menu didn't say which Free State it was, but I have a simple rule right now, if Free State's on tap, I'm drinking Free State. So I ordered one and Stella ordered some form of martini. The Well has a pretty good tap list so I was a little surprised to see nearly every jackass douchey, under 25 Waldoan drinking those ultra douchey Budweiser and Bud Light painted bottles. What are those things? Do they sell them in liquor stores? I was pretty disgusted by the whole display of a bar with pretty good to excellent tap selection and 75% of the patrons are drinking macro brewed bottled beer.

I'm the first to admit that I'm not really the target demo for the Waldo late evening crowd, but The Well's patrons were quite douchey and turned me off. Maybe it was the clubby remixed music playing that draws this sort of crowd. I was particularly interested in this one girl who tried to steal a chair from Stella as we were going for a table. She must have sucked down 5 Miller Lite bottles and a pack of Marlboro Lights in the time we were there. The only time she glanced at the Royals - Red Sox game (the one with the Ankiel game winning hit) was when the Jersey Shore looking guy she was talking to cheered for a Royals run. She started clapping unconvincingly to gain favor from her prospective guido. I'll bet anything that she owns a drawerful of Rock Chalk shirts. I don't get why The Well has "No Smoking" signs posted all over the posts on the rooftop deck, yet everyone under 25 was smoking, sometimes in front of the waitresses. I'm no expert on the KC smoking ban, but that seems like a violation (it shouldn't be, after all we were outside, but common sense has never been a part of anti-smoking zealots' game plan).

Anyway, I'm sure there were 30 stories just like that up on the rooftop. What's important is that I got to enjoy a couple of Ad Astras and Stella had a couple of martinis. I propose, though, that us older folks take this place for ourselves and let the under 25's take over a bar that doesn't care about a good beer selection.

The next day was spent outside again. I built a garden wall from about 160 pavers, cleaned the leaves out of the gardens and ripped out a big tree stump. That night we were set to meet my brother Camo out at The Legends where he was staying. We had decided* on The Yard House so we could treat ourselves to a good beer selection. I was quite hot from all the yard work so I decided upon a Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State. Stella was annoyed that they didn't have Schlafly No. 15, so she got a Blue Moon (she really loves Blue Moon when she can get the orange slice in it). Camo got there late (but not as late as he normally is which was shocking because parking was a pain because of the Wizards game across the street) and got an Ad Astra. He, too, was disappointed there wasn't more of a Schlafly selection. Camo is a huge Schlafly fan and counts the Extra Stout as one of his favorite beers. He goes to the Schlafly brewpub every time he's in St. Louis which is pretty frequently. Every time we're down to Wichita (which is rare) he always brings Schlafly products to our family get togethers.

*We were going to go the Royals - Red Sox game that night (Greinke V. Beckett) but good tickets couldn't be had for under $40. I love baseball but the Royals have chased me away from them and I can't justify giving them $100 of my money for an evening of the substandard baseball stylings.

The Yard House does a good business, even though their food is pretty mediocre. I get the crab cake sandwich when we go, but it was a preposterously bad choice after a long hard day in the heat. I really wanted to get the walnut pear salad, but I still can't get myself to order a salad for dinner (the only exception is the Dave's Ragin' Cajun Chicken Salad at Governor Stumpy's). My second beer was another Ad Astra. Ad Astra wasn't the best choice for how I felt, yet it was still enjoyable, a true testament to a good beer.

After dinner, Camo was set to go out to Weston to spend an evening at O'Malley's with his work friends. They lucked out and Bob Walkenhorst was playing O'Malleys. They didn't know that going in. The Rainmakers, Walkenhorst's orginal band, was Camo's favorite band in his high school and college days. He was so excited he called me from O'Malleys, no small feat since you have to go outside to get reception there, to tell me. It was tough for me to be too excited about it because as he was telling me about it, I was watching a drunk 300 lb. woman swing on a light pole outside of The Flying Saucer.

We lucked out at The Flying Saucer. Free State Stormwatch was the Fire Sale. $2.75 for a really good beer was all the luck I needed. It's nice that I don't worry about the UFO club anymore because I can enjoy multiple glasses of the same beer. As we sat, a guy unveiled his plate for his 200 beeers. He was having his little party and one of his guests was drinking a Coors Light bottle. I don't think I would have allowed that guy at my plate unveiling party. One of the reasons I love the Saucer is because I can escape from this sort of person. You can go to The Saucer multiple times and not see anyone drink a Bud Light, Coors Light or anything of that ilk. They're not even listed on the beer menu. I wish more balls would have the balls to shun these type of people. I really wish The Well would do it, but they were packed so maybe they know what they're doing. Unlike The Well, though, The Flying Saucer denied entry to the fat drunk girl. I think The Well may have just let her in and serve her a Bud Light bottle.

I love that Free State is now available in so many places. I'm getting to the point now, that I may feel comfortable ordering something other than Free State when it's available. I hope that more people will seek it out rather than ordering the frighteningly boring and bad Bud Light. You can certainly do well to only order local beers like Free State, Schlafly and Boulevard. There are better beers available, but we should encourage the Bud Light drinkers to drink local, maybe that'll learn dem younguns.


  1. You may be right about them being douchey, but good beer is expensive at the well and people under 25 usually can't swing it for long. Hell, crappy beer is even pricey at the well.

  2. Stormwatch is excellent. I could drink that all night. It's a brown, but they use their Copperhead Pale Ale hop recipe. What's not to like?

  3. agreed on the douchery at the Well. I'm actually a little peeved at all the douchery in Waldo as of late. They say Waldo is blossoming w/ new places to go but I disagree. As the new bars and remodels pop up, down goes the beer IQ. Maybe I'm just getting old.

    Guess I stick w/ 75th brewery and the sweet little dives that are left.

  4. You drove from 135th & Antioch to Waldo? Pretty sure you passed about 600 bars with a patio.

  5. We came home first to let the puppy out and grab jackets.

    Mar, I was taken aback by it. You know I don't get out much at night so I was surprised. I always thought that Waldo skewed a little older. Plus it has some good beer bars with Waldo Pizza Tap Room, 75th Street Brewery and The Well (at least they have good taps). I loved the deck, but the price I paid in being surrounded by douches really took its toll.

    Tony, I have no idea how much we spent, I didn't see the tab. But, I maintain, that drinking one Ad Astra = 5 Bud Lights. People use Bud Light as an alcohol delivery system and not a taste experience. I guess if the goal is to get drunk then Bud Light is the way to go. I just never had that motivation, though I've gotten drunk plenty (especially when I was under 25).

  6. Well, there is also the "weekend factor". Go into 75th brewery on a Monday night and it's the usual crowd. Go in on a Friday night and it's like a different bar. That being said, I believe the Well is douche central 24/7 but I've never hit it up for a Tuesday happy hour, just a grumpy guess.

    Just thought of a story about the Flying Saucer: I went on a date there in December and he wanted to order a Blue Moon. . . . (waiting for the gasps to subside). I should have known right then it wouldn't work out but I it seems I am too forgiving, plus he was easy on the eyes.

  7. Mar, I forgot my 2nd good Flying Saucer story from that night. Stella loves Lagunitas Pale Ale and they didn't have it on the list. So she asked the waitress if they had it and the waitress said no, but they had a wheat from them, Sunset Wheat. That didn't sound right to me, but the waitress brought a sample and it was Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat. It was awful, between the 2 of us we couldn't finish the little sample of it.

    Blue Moon is ok, I put up with Stella even though she ordered Bud Light in a bottle on our first date.

  8. Swagger is by far the best place to get a beer in Waldo. I'm capable of just not going to crappy places like The Well so my perception is that Waldo is definitely getting better.

    Between Swagger, Tap Room, Mikes Liquors and maybe the hit or miss 75th St Waldo is arguably the best beer neighborhood in the Metro. With Blanc leaving Westport, it is probably much more than arguable.

  9. John, totally agreed. I wish Swagger was within walking distance of the others. The Well is the only one with any kind of seating outside which is why we went. If the deck wasn't so nice I could totally make a case for not going back.

  10. The ignorance of the waitresses at the Saucer floors me, I never trust a thing they say. I wanted a Magic Hat one night and the waitress responded that they didn't have that but did have Woodchuck (ie, all beers from VT must be the same). FYI, ever had Magic Hat #9? not a fruit beer fan myself but I can drink more than 1 of these. African princess (what was her nickname again?) turned me on to them. 75th st brewery is hit or miss but my fall-back IPA will always take me back when I stray, plus the bartenders know me and I don't see too many popped collars in there.

  11. speaking of seating outside, the brewery ripped out the old dress shop space b/w them and Kennedy's and turned it into a courtyard, should be open by now, looked pretty sweet when I checked it out a month ago.

  12. Bull, Most 25 and unders are just looking to go out and get their buzz on and try to hook up with the opposite sex. I've heard the complaint about the douche factor a lot but I don't feel like I see it that often. Often times I see older sophisticated looking gents enjoying cigars on the back patio. I will say this though; if you think the well is douchey don't go near Kennedy's. It's cramped, has terrible service, and easily has the douchiest crowd in waldo.

  13. Waldo has great beer choices and crappy atmospheres.
    Waldo Pizza is fine, but only after 9pm on a weeknight. Unless you like drinking beer around screaming, spoiled-ass kids whose parents pay them no mind, of course.
    75th Street is okay, but I'm not crazy about any of their regular beers.
    The Well...I haven't/won't bother with that one.
    The atmosphere has changed dramatically in the last five years, and Bull, your perception of the area was accurate then.
    I still haven't been to Swagger, and I want to go, but it's practically a destination bar. It's as far from the rest of the spots in Waldo as Blanc is from Westport now.

  14. Great, we are going to The Well tonight for a high school reunion thingy for Mrs Monkey. Lat time we were there was in the middle of the January Blizzard, so I can't say I enjoyed myself that much

  15. Despite its great beer list, Swagger has a high percentage of patrons drinking bud light and the ilk. I have a feeling that a lot of folks just kept going there after it changed from the dive bar it used to be.

    Oh and if you are looking to bar hop in that area, you can do a lot worse than Swagger, Walsh's Corner Cocktails, and Flo Poke-a Dot Lounge.

  16. No way you did that much yard work. No way.

    I'll even sign my name.


  17. I left out the part where I planted a tree, I did that on the Sunday after the Saucer. You can drive by and see it. You can also see the little bit of grass I have growing in the backyard.