Kn@ppster: Boozing on a budget at the Libertarian National Convention

Posted by Tom Knapp at St. Louis on the Cheap (for maps see original):

“Cheap” is certainly a relative term when it comes to alcoholic beverages. To some it means a bottle of MD 20/20. To others it means mass market “beer.” And so on and so forth. In any case, popular demand (yes, really) decrees that I put up some advisories on booze as Libertarians begin arriving in St. Louis for their 2010 national convention. Some will be celebrating, some will be drowning their sorrows; either way, most will have at least a drink or three.

The first avenue of recourse is obviously the Grand Lobby Bar at the convention venue, the Renaissance Grand & Suites. I drank there a year ago. A reasonably large draft mug of a reasonably good beer (Fat Tire) ran $6. That probably isn’t going to break the bank, but I’m not sure it’s “cheap.”

If you want to get really cheap, then you’re probably going to head for a liquor store and buy your beer in bulk, your wine by the bottle, or ingredients to mix your own cocktails. It’s a 5-minute walk from the hotel to Bussone’s Wine & Spirits.

The only cheaper way to drink than that is to haunt the hospitality suites of candidates for party office. And I’m sure you will.

Here’s a Google Maps rundown of “bars near the convention hotel.” Looks like the maximum walking range is 10-12 minutes.

I’m only going to offer one specific bar tip: Morgan Street Brewery. It’s a local microbrewery with a nice selection of very good beers, good food and the full range of non-beer beverage offerings. It’s a 10-12 minute walk from the hotel … and if you’re there, you’re in the upscale Laclede’s Landing bar district, which means that you’re within a one-minute walk of a number of nice places to drink.

Morgan Street and the other Laclede’s Landing establishments aren’t “cheap,” nor are they close enough to pop out for a beer between delegate sessions. On the other hand, the food is usually reasonably priced, the beer variety is attractive, and it’s just a nice place to be (it’s St. Louis’s “revitalized” 200-year-old commercial district, with cobblestone streets and such — and yes, horse-drawn carriage transport is available). I suggest heading out on Friday or Saturday night for dinner and drinks in this area, and expecting to spend $20-$30 for a good meal and two or three beers.

And for any casual IPR readers who don’t already know, LPHQ’s official press release on the convention:

WASHINGTON – The Libertarian Party (LP) will hold its National Convention in St. Louis from Saturday, May 29, through Monday, May 31.

The convention will take place at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis. The press is welcome to attend.

Information about the convention, including the schedule, is available at the convention website. The convention has been titled "Gateway to Liberty."

Additional meetings and related events will occur on May 27 and 28.

Unlike the Democratic and Republican parties, the Libertarian Party holds a national convention every two years. At this convention, delegates from around the country will be amending the party’s platform and bylaws, and will elect officers and other members to the Libertarian National Committee.

One of the highlights of the convention will be the hotly contested election to replace outgoing Chairman William Redpath. Five Libertarians have declared their candidacies in that race.

Redpath commented, "We’re seeing tremendous voter antipathy toward the Democratic and Republican parties. This is shaping up to be an exciting year for the Libertarian Party."

Currently, there are 632 Libertarian candidates declared for the November 2 elections, including 172 candidates for U.S. Congress. A list of candidates may be viewed here.

Among the speakers at the convention will be Bob Barr, the LP’s 2008 presidential nominee.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.


18 thoughts on “Kn@ppster: Boozing on a budget at the Libertarian National Convention

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    I bought a six pack of Flat Tire last night for $6 and change. Just carry a few around in your backpack or slip one or two in that laptop case and anyone who can’t think of a way to keep it cool doesn’t deserve it.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Actually, Nick, you and your questions on Facebook were definitely the inspiration for the article.

    I had previously pegged Charlie Gitto’s Pasta House as the likely “group fine dining” destination, but that’s because it didn’t occur to me that Laclede’s Landing is reasonably close. I’m … geographically challenged … sometimes.

    Presumably there will be some “group dining” going on — after the delegate sessions, 10 or 15 people going out for dinner and drinks.

    Morgan Street Brewery or one of the other Laclede’s Landing spots is a great choice if you’re willing to go $8-$10 for a (very good) burger and fries instead of hitting Hardee’s, and if you want to wash it down with something that has barley and hops in it.

    If you want to maintain a political theme, Hannegan’s, also on the Landing, is a replica of the US Senate dining room.

  3. AroundtheblockAFT

    In my day, no one went drinking at the convention. We stayed riveted in our seats as one or another delegates rose to challenge the chair’s ruling, to change a comma to a semi-colon in some obscure platform plank, to listen to a “debate” between chair candidates (half of whom had the chops to be running and the other half who were puffing up their ego),
    and to ogle the handful of Libertarian women (none of whom would give most male delegates the time of day).

  4. paulie Post author

    @2 – Actually, it’s FAT Tire, and I believe they make several beers.

    Flat tire is what happens after you’ve had a bunch of them.

  5. AroundtheblockAFT

    Don’t know, Paulie. Except for the infrequent whiff of pot smoke, I “know noth-ing” about any alleged drug use at Libertarian conventions.
    I’ve seen more drunken, stoned, and libidinous delegates at YR conventions.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp


    If practice makes perfect, we should make it a priority to schedule a Friday-night rehearsal!

    Fat Tire is a great beer. It’s made by New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colorado, and they do indeed offer several other varieties (a Belgian-style wheat, for example).

  7. Jake

    Knap, this is a great read and shows something that LP has always seemed to miss in the general publics perspective: personality.

    I wish the LP a great convention and good luck to all the candidates at the local, state, and federal level.

  8. John Schultz

    I can heartily second Tom’s recommendation of Morgan Street Brewery. I ate there a couple years ago during a family reunion in downtown St. Louis and thought it was top-notch.

  9. Andrew

    A Note From Ernest Hancock to LP National Delegates
    (BTW – I am writing from a small caravan going to St. Louis and we are east of Gallup, New Mexico on I-40 right now, 10:00pm Wednesday. We plan on driving straight through so that we are at the hotel in time for the Suns/Lakers game Thursday night)

    Those that know me, and others that have witnessed my previous efforts, likely understand why I do the things that I do and what I aim to accomplish in St. Louis.

    Very soon (if not already) the vast majority of Americans (along with the rest of the planet) will come to the realization that they are all victims of the largest swindle/robbery in human history,… and they will be searching for an accurate explanation. Libertarianism provides a very useful road map to what happened, who/what was responsible and how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. But ‘off ramps’ to detours that take us meandering through the same unprincipled wilderness that got us in this mess will be of no use to a ‘Generation Next’ that has a detailed 3D online map in their hip pocket.

    This decentralization of information is only beginning to be felt by a liberty starved planet and attempts to negotiate our principles for a place at the establishment’s media table will backfire just as it did in the 2008 presidential election cycle.

    Another election cycle of LPUS’ documented compromises on libertarian principle will make it very unlikely, as a political party, we’ll legitimately be able to compete at a national level in the future as a standard bearer for libertarianism. I am of the opinion that information availability is so ubiquitous now, that the ‘Liberty Nexus’ that was the best trait of the LPUS will be replaced by too many sources of contacts and information to keep track of. Politics is about to be replaced with communities that will attempt to create the freedom denied them by layers of government,… without asking permission.

    What if I really really believe that the future will have fresh young minds embracing libertarianism as the only consistent and understandable path to peace and prosperity? Then positioning ourselves so that we are the obvious destination for those seeking exactly what we offer is a very good idea. Since many (enough) that I associate with are also of this opinion, we chose to make our advocacy of no-compromise libertarianism a blazing torch everywhere possible.

    In the near future, freedom communities will likely be virtual and without borders or boundaries. Governments, states, countries and even languages will have less and less to do with an individual’s interactions than a simple listing on the contemporary cousin of craigslist with servers based in orbit or on the Moon.

    Libertarianism is ‘the philosophy for the stars’ and to think in smaller terms is an abandonment of the future for the LPUS. The future is why St. Louis is so important to many that support my effort. The economic tragedy coming, that is only in the early stages, provides a rare opportunity to help many millions,… not just when they need it the most, but when they are also seeking it the most. And they have already abandoned the ‘lame-stream media,… the media that is soooo last century’ in search of the truth.

    We have done our best to make our advocacy clear, and our long track record of principled activism has accomplished several things; government abuses of individual rights have been exposed while branding us as defenders of individual freedom, available resources in support of such advocacy are directed towards the most effective uses of those resources, inspiration of an entirely new generation of freedom activists have been continually nurtured.

    I am prepared and eager to represent the future and inspire a flood of fresh and energetic activists, that are already experienced and networked with each other, to come and make use of the Libertarian Party at a national/international level to free as many minds as possible in as short a time as possible to save as many lives as possible. But should the LPUS’ words/silence and actions/inactions allow the perception of it being less effective a tool as the many others available, then it will continue to wither.

    My documenting of all LNC chair debates and appearances across the country of every candidate participating has been a deliberate act of making it very clear to future freedom activists that the choice in St Louis was a fully informed one. These documented discussions will be of much greater importance months, years and even decades later to those needing to determine where and how best to direct their time and resources to expand human freedom. I’m working very hard to make that investment the Libertarian Party of the United States.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    @ #5 must have had one too many to make that snafu! Thanks David 😉

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