Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Distilling, Picking and the Abyss



During a daylong trip to LeClaire and Davenport, Iowa, we toured a new microdistillery, visted an antique shop featured in a popular cable television show, and experienced a film in a format that just arrived in Peoria: IMAX.

Our first stop of the day was the Mississippi River Distilling Company, the first microdistillery in the Quad Cities since Prohibition. During our private tour with the owners, we saw the entire distilling process, including cleaning, milling, and cooking of the grain, to the fermentation, blending, aging, and bottling of spirits. We learned how the company purchases fresh grain directly from farmers within 25 miles of LeClaire and ended the tour with samples of the distillery's own River Baron Bodka in the grand tasting room.

After lunch at Sneaky Pete's (where one of our participants "lost" his necktie), we headed to Antique Archeology, the home base for History Channel's "American Pickers," a show that follows three foragers who travel coast to coast in search of forgotten American treasures. While there, we learned how the owners pick through dilapidated barns and overgrown yards in search of rare finds and sensational stories.

Our last stop of the day was the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre for a look at the Titanic exhibit and viewing of "Ghosts of the Abyss," a film that follows director James Cameron to the site of his greatest inspiration: the wreck of the Titanic.

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