Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day Trip :: Weston, MO

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I took a day trip to Weston, MO (about 25 miles north of Kansas City) for some fall bike riding and to visit this historic town we'd never visited. What we happened upon was far more amazing than you'd ever expect from this town of slightly more than 1,500.

Each year, the local pub, O'Malley & Sons and the local brewery, Weston Brewing Company host an Irish Fest. There are a lot of these types of festivals around KC. I'm no historian, but I'd imagine it's because of a large number of Irish immigrants or possibly because we simply have multiple microbreweries with good beer. Whatever the reason, this festival was a lot like the rest: live entertainment, little shops set up in tents with Celtic jewelry and art, food, and of course, frosty beer of multiple varieties.

As we walked around, we decided to duck into the pub, O'Malley & Sons, and see what it was like. Here is the unassuming exterior of the building:

We walked inside and saw nothing but restrooms with long lines to our right. But, in front of us, a line of people was moving up and down a long staircase. My thoughts: Cool. Must be a basement bar. So, we followed the line of people down a long flight of stairs....down a ramp.....through a small room with a few tables..... down some more stairs....through a tunnel (my thoughts: Ok, really?? A tunnel? Is this a dungeon? There better be something cool at the end... my ankle [which is not fully healed from a recent sports injury] is killing me...

Finally, we arrived at this:

My thoughts: I haven't seen anything like this anywhere in the U.S. [I'm pretty well-traveled, having been to 3/4 of the states]... I haven't seen anything like this since my friend Michelle and I went to Germany and happened upon a small pub under the street near our hostel! Here are a few quick stats:

-O'Malley & Sons is the most sought-out pub by Irish musicians traveling the U.S.
-The Weston Brewing Company was built in 1842, and the three cellars that made up the original brewery are now home to O'Malley & Sons Pub
-The lower cellar of O'Malley's is nearly 60 (yes, sixty feet underground (the lower cellar is where we sat and had a beer and listened to the Irish band, pictured above)!
-The ceilings in the lower cellar are 20 feet high.
-O'Malley's is Weston, MO's tallest building, 6 stories, all located underground.
-The brewery, Weston Brewing company brews 5 beers year-round, and also brews special seasonal beers, including my favorite from our visit, Dropkick Ale.

My quick snapshots don't do this hidden gem justice. I am sure that I will soon return: the 25 mile drive is worth it to feel like you are in a different time and place... And, we spent the whole day at the pub -- there are many more attractions in Weston to visit, including antique stores, winter candle-lit home tours, shopping, a winery, and several bed and breakfasts. I'll be back!

P.S. As if having an awesome environment and tasty beer is not enough, Weston Brewing Company has some nicely designed labels on their beers, too:


Jeanee said...

How cool! Love the labels!!!

Erin said...

i love the beer! :o)

Marcos said...

So Jealous! that sounds amazing! how was the temperature 60 ft underground?

Erin said...

it was actually pretty warm -- probably because it was PACKED to the max...

i think in the winter, it would be chilly, but maybe they have heat?? i'm not sure.

i do know that in the summer, they don't air condition it, because it's nice a cool, and they have ceiling fans to circulate the air...

Cactus Creek said...

It is PERFECT all year long!! ;) The best watering hole & best kept secret in the KC area... Love it!!

Elizabeth said...

I just came across your blog last week and have really enjoyed reading the posts.
Weston is such a beautiful town. I just visited it on Sunday. I love going to the apple farm!