The Commerce Street Brewery in Mineral Point, Wisconsin has allowed both regulars and first-timers to buy a beer in advance for a friend, which could be collected on their next visit to their pub. The bartenders kept track of everyone who had a brew waiting for them in a charmingly analog way: by writing their name on a giant chalkboard hanging on the wall.
For the past several years, the top name on the list has been Betty White, who had more than 40 beers waiting for her if she ever happened to be in the area. The idea that the beloved Golden Girls star, who died last week at age 99, might make her way to southwest Wisconsin wasn't that far-fetched: her late husband Allen Ludden was originally from Mineral Point and is buried in the city's Graceland Cemetery.
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"Allen Ludden and Betty White is our connection to Hollywood," Mineral Point mayor Jason Basting, told WMTV. "For a small town of 2,600 people, it's pretty neat to have that type of connection. She's a legend right?"
Although White's 42 beers will sadly remain un-collected, Commerce Street is still taking "Buy a Beer for Betty" orders, but all of the beer money will be donated to a local animal charity. Commerce Street previously honored White with her own beer, an ale called Blonde Betty. It has been available semi-regularly since late 2018.
There had been some speculation that White might be buried next to Ludden in Mineral Point, but her agent, Jeff Witjas, told ABC News that would not be the case. White and Ludden were married from 1963 until he died from complications of stomach cancer in 1981. She never remarried, once telling talk show host Larry King that "once you've had the best, who needs the rest?" (And, in case you haven't cried today, White's Carol Burnett Show costar Vicky Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter that White's last word was "Allen.")
White attended Ludden's funeral in Mineral Point and, several years later, she donated a collection of his papers, photos, and memorabilia to the Mineral Point Public Library. "Through the material, a visitor to the library can trace Ludden's career from high school dramatics in Corpus Christi, Texas, all the way through the popular Password TV program," an information sheet about the collection reads.
If you happen to be in Mineral Point at the moment, the Commerce Street Brewery is still accepting donations in White's honor through the end of the month. Anyone who would like to chip in towards a local animal charity can do so in person, or through the brewery's Square site.