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Schlafly Beer and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis bring the Bard and beer together

Rick Dildine and the new Schlafly 1616
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio
Rick Dildine and the new Schlafly 1616

Schalfly Beer and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis announced Tuesday their plan to release a beer this spring right before the festival’s launch in June.

Shakespeare fan Tom Schlafly hatched the idea after speaking with Shakespeare Fest Executive Director Rick Dildine. When Dildine told Schlafly that 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Schlafly’s response was immediate.

“The first thing out of his mouth was ‘We need a beer!'” said Dildine.

The limited edition beer will be sold during this year’s Shakespeare Festival and during some of their Shake 38 events. Additionally, artist Igor Karash contributed design to celebratory packaging for the brewery's Pale Ale retail packaging. Specific, locally brewed beers that incorporate St. Louis elements such as design or festival connections have helped develop a robust craft beer scene in St. Louis.

Design for the the Schlafly 1616 twelve-pack.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio
Design for the the Schlafly Pale Ale twelve-pack.

But this is not the first time the Bard and beer have been paired. Some have chosen to put on Shakespeare’s playsin bars. College essays have been written about the significance of bars (taverns) in making class distinctions and developing connections with theater goers. People have analyzed the playwright’s preference for ale over beer. Yet it’s a first for St. Louis’ theater world.

The beer will be on tap in June at Shakespeare Fest and the newly packaged Pale Ale will be available in stores late May.

Shakespeare Beer Quotes:

The Twelfth Night “Do you think because you are virtuous, that there shall be no more cakes and ale?”
Henry V “I would give all my fame for a pot of ale.” “Doth it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?”
The Winter’s Tale “For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.”
Two Gentlemen of Verona “Blessings of your heart, you brew good ale.”
Othello Iago: “She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will and yet was never loud, Never lack'dgold and yet went never gay, Fled from her wish and yet said 'Now I may,' She that being anger'd her revenge being nigh, Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly, She that in wisdom never was so frail To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail; She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind, See suitors following and not look behind, She was a wight, if ever such wight were,—“   Desdemona: “To do what?” Iago: “To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.”    

This article was updated to better reflect the beer's distribution methods.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @WillisRArnold

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