Somewhere among the winter storms and oil refinery stacks that surround me in my hometown exists a silver lining: My parents. I know it’s probably not very cool to say that my parents are awesome, but truthfully the older I get the cooler they become. Growing up there wasn’t even a drop of alcohol in our house to be found, and now at 26 years old I attend beer events with my father. Sure it’s a little unconventional, but it’s how we bond.
This past weekend, my father and I attended the Lupulin Carnival in St. Louis at Four Hands Brewing. In its 3rd year, the carnival was held to celebrate the creation of a new beer named War Hammer, and boy was it an event to behold. Set up under a large white tent across the street from the brewery, beer and carnival events collided in a cohesive extravaganza to create a fest for the senses. There were 2 bands, a midget, some fire performers, clowns, a dunk tank, food trucks, crazy bicycles, stilts men/women, a lady who climbs machete ladders and lies on a bed of nails, and breweries from around the country offering up samples to the lucky people who snagged a ticket. All in all a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your father.
Since I knew we would be drinking most of the afternoon, I decided to leave my camera behind since nothing good happens to cameras when dunk people are around, and instead used my phone to capture what I could of the event. While the performances were more than noteworthy, I also have to make mention of the brewery itself. It’s a pretty cool place that serves up great beer, offers tours, and has some pretty cool artwork hanging on the walls.
If beer isn’t enough of a reason to make a stop here, then it’s really cool new feature wall or rather custom piece of art might change your mind. It was created by a stencil artist known as Peat Wollaeger, and at first glance you, like myself, will mistake his work for wallpaper. It’s literally that good. Combining the logo of Four Hands with his own signature eye and a little bit of St. Louis, the wall is as beautiful as it is interesting.
I digress, since we’re here to talk about the beer… I’ve now forgotten all the different ones I tried, as I’m not really into beer rating like my father and have a short memory when it comes to names. I do, however, remember that the event showcased Pale Ales, which is probably why I remember so many of them being delicious…..
Anyway, when it was time to head home and find something to eat for dinner, we set off in search of some BBQ, and ended up at a small local joint we’ve been eating at for years. It’s called Smoki O’s and has been run by the same family since it’s doors opened back in 1997. My father met Otis, who co-owns the restaurant, years ago and has been bringing their delicious BBQ into our lives ever since. It had been a while since I had had the pleasure of eating one of their pulled pork sandwiches, and as I dug in, I couldn’t help but feel lucky to have spent such an interesting afternoon drinking with my father.