Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

She’s been waiting 14 weeks for this glass of beer.

img of My Darling B with a glass of 1515 from Central Waters BrewingWe went to the Central Waters anniversary party 14 weeks ago and the one beer that My Darling B dearly wanted to try was an Imperial Stout they put up in bourbon barrels specially for this very anniversary. They named this special beer “Fifteen.” See if you can guess why.

As soon as a line started to form for the tapping, she got in it, but while she was waiting they ran out. She’s been searching for it ever since then, with no luck at all, until tonight when the good brewers at Central Waters brought a keg of Fifteen to our favorite restaurant, Alchemy, for Madison Craft Beer Week.

I work just a few blocks away, so I was tasked with getting there as soon as I could after work to make sure I would be there when they tapped the keg. I snagged our usual table and, when the waitress came around, warned her that my wife would run over me with the car if I didn’t have a glass of Fifteen waiting on the table for her when she arrived.

A cheer went up from the crowd at the bar when the bartender announced, “Let the beer flow!” And about three minutes later the waitress delivered a goblet of Fifteen to our table so it was waiting when My Darling B walked through the door two minutes after that. I’d give her props for becoming my biggest hero if only she’d signed her name so I could read it.

This was a beer worth waiting months for. I like beer quite a lot, but bourbon-barrel-aged beers are really My Darling B’s thing. She loves them, but most of the ones I’ve tried are too boozy for me. Fifteen was not like that at all. It was silky smooth, rich and creamy, so easy to drink. Probably a little too easy; I’m sure we could each have put away enough of the stuff to make us unfit for work the next day. Thank goodness they served it in eight-ounce goblets and set the price just high enough to make us think twice about ordering too many.

Fifteen | 12:09 am CST
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Thursday, March 21st, 2013

“Home?” I asked My Darling B before I put the car in drive to pull away from the curb in front of the office last night.

“No. Alchemy. We’re eating out tonight,” she answered, naming our favorite after-work restaurant.

It was that kind of a day for her, too, then.

alchemy | 5:00 am CST
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Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Becky and John joined us for our weekly night-out at Alchemy. My Darling B works with Becky at the DMV and about a month ago invited her and her husband, John, to join us for dinner at Smokey’s the last time we went there. Ever since then we’ve been trying to get together again. Our calendars finally matched up on this particular Thursday.

It also happened to be a party for the folks at Furthermore Brewing to roll out their new beer, Full Thicket, an IPA that B won’t have anything to do with because hoppy beer, she says, smells like armpits. I tried it and disagreed, but I’m not the sensitive flower she is. Lucking our way into a party for a new beer was good and bad: Good, because, hey, beer. Bad, and only in a very minor way, because the place was packed with beer-drinkers who’d come from all over the map to quaff a hearty brew and talk.

Even though we were closely seated around a very small table, we could hardly hear each other over the din of hundreds of happy people drinking beer. And that’s as it should be, but we gave up and checked out shortly after we finished our dinners, promising to meet there again on a Friday for the fish fry.

Alchemy | 8:05 am CST
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Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

After the Mayan apocalypse brought the end of the universe some time late last night, I woke up this morning curled up around My Darling B. I always hoped that, if there was a heaven, it would be something like this.

I had to work yesterday but, when quitting time was drawing near, I shot B an e-mail that asked, “How about dinner at Alchemy? Want to meet me there?” B is not always sitting at her desk, and even when she is, she’s usually too busy to answer right away, so I didn’t expect to get an answer until she was putting away her work and shutting down her computer, which is why I honestly didn’t believe the e-mail that popped up in my inbox a minute later was from her. But it was. “OK!” was all it said.

I slid down the back of my bronto the minute the foreman yanked on the pterodactyl’s tail and was out the back door minutes later, cooling my heels at the curb as I waited for a break in traffic to cross Washington Avenue. The eastbound lanes were bumper to bumper with cars backed up from the capital to First Avenue and beyond. I couldn’t see what was holding up traffic. I had to wait about five minutes for the pokey-pants drivers in the westbound lane to let me through, picked my way through the traffic jam in the eastbound lane and I then I was on my way.

It was already getting dark and the wind was still rather brisk. I was bundled up tight and moving at a quick trot through the hard-packed snow. When my cell phone went deedle-deedle-deedle I was able to duck into a doorway for some shelter so I could take a glove off without losing any fingers to frostbite. “The roads SUCK!” My Darling B was texting me. “So do the sidewalks,” I texted back before bundling up and trotting away again.

She didn’t text again until I was sitting down at a table: “Traffic jam!” I warned her about the tailback on Washington; she tried to avoid it by crossing over at Blair and hit another jam-up. “CRAP CRAP CRAP! I just want a beer!” I checked the menu and asked, “Vanilla porter or Irish stout? I can have one waiting for you!” “VP” she texted back, so I ordered a porter and a plate of nachos with salsa to nosh on while I waited.

B had no luck getting through on Blair so she tried another route, punched through the snarl of cars on Washington and made her way to Alchemy on the back streets. It was almost five-thirty by the time she came through the front door with a big smile on her face, happy I guess to finally be out of the car and into a nice comfortable tavern where she could relax with a beer and a fish fry. The nachos bought me some extra brownie points.

heaven | 9:45 am CST
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Friday, December 14th, 2012

I had no plan for dinner last night and no idea what I could have scrounged up from the pantry even if I’d come up with a plan at the last minute. I couldn’t even suggest a place to go eat when My Darling B posed the customary Thursday night question, “What’s for dinner?” I was totally blocked, so she picked it. We had dinner at Alchemy. (Too bad I can’t see the future or I’d have simply met her there.)

I wasn’t especially hungry, so I asked for a salad. “Small or large?” the waitress wanted to know, and since I wasn’t that hungry I asked for the small. She followed up with, “Do you want chicken on it?” Picturing a small salad with diced-up bits of chicken appealed to me, hungry or no, so I said sure, and then I relaxed and enjoyed a few pulls off the frosty-cold beer she’d brought me only minutes before.

She brought me a whole chicken — no, two whole chickens on a salad as big as a wedding cake! And that was the small.

chicken | 4:38 pm CST
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Thursday, July 5th, 2012

image of One Barrel BrewingI took My Darling B to dinner at Alchemy because it’s Thursday, which means it’s Guy Night and I’m responsible for serving dinner, but it’s way too hot to cook on the grill, the only way I can cook an edible dinner, so I took her to Alchemy, same as I always do. They were serving a delicious 1/3 lb bison burger that they served to perfection, grilled to a very tasty medium-well and dished up with a side of very crispy fries. *bliss!* My Darling B went with the old dependable walleye fish fry and wasn’t disappointed, then ordered a cream puff just to make the night perfect.

After dinner, we crossed the street to see what was going on at One Barrel Brewing, which was scheduled to host their grand opening tomorrow night but is apparently having a “soft opening” tonight and serving up anybody curious enough to press their faces to the window and peer into the depths of their shop. At least that’s what they did when I did. Besides the guest taps they were pulling three of their own brews: a session beer, a kolsch and an ale that I was especially partial to. A very helpful young lady poured us samples of all three and, after tasting them, we settled into our bar stools for an enjoyable stay.

While I was soaking up the suds I couldn’t help but notice that One Barrel Brewing bore the mark of a genuine Wisconsin tavern: the head of a jackalope was mounted on the wall. I haven’t seen one of those since my last visit to Club 161 in Waupaca County many, many moons ago. It warmed the cockles of my heart to know that some die-hard Wisconsin traditions still live on.

1bbl | 7:53 pm CST
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Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I drove in to work today instead of riding my bike. The weather forecast called for high winds this afternoon and evening, and I hate biking against a headwind more than I hate biking through the rain, so I gave it a miss. Still left work at four-thirty, though.

This being Thursday, it’s customary for us to stop at our favorite pub, Alchemy, for dinner, not to mention hoist a beer or two. I don’t know how they manage to fit so much talent into such a little kitchen, but their food has never disappointed either of us, and we’ve eaten out in quite a lot of places in this crazy town. The beer’s never disappointed us, either, come to that.

So on the way to work, I suggested to B that, if it wasn’t pouring down rain when she left the office, she should just plan on meeting me at Alchemy. She was very agreeable to the idea, and it wasn’t raining after work, so I quit promptly at four-thirty and hoofed it on over, Alchemy being just five or six blocks from the office where I work.

The place was pretty quiet when I got there, not unusual as it was still early. Justin was at the bar and came right on over when I sat down to see what I wanted. There was an ESB on tap from Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont, CO, that sounded pretty good, and darned if it wasn’t just what I needed after a very long day of shuffling papers and answering phones.

I was almost halfway to the bottom of my glass by the time B showed up. I’d snagged our usual table by then, so she knew just where to find me. Not that it’s a very big place. Still, don’t want to make it any harder than it has to be.

The special tonight was NY strip sirloin marinated in bourbon, served on mashed potatoes and sour cream, with a side of radishes baked in butter. Doesn’t that make you drool like an idiot? Me, too. We goth ordered it, and we both loved it. To go with hers, B ordered an oatmeal stout and let me have a sip. It was so perfect with the steak that I ordered a glass myself, so we had to stay long enough for me to finish it off. Since we were staying anyway, I finished off our visit with a slice of double chocolate cake. What decadence.

decadence | 8:28 pm CST
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Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Madison Craft Beer Week is going to kick off a pre-party at our favorite neighborhood tavern, Alchemy Cafe featuring some scarce beers that we rarely get in this neck of the woods. Much as we’d like to be there, the party starts at 9:30. We’ll be fast asleep by 9:30 because we’re old and our office jobs kick our asses. If we wanted to make that party, we would have to come straight home, sleep until 9:00, go have maybe one beer at the party and then only if we can get two big guys to agree to stuff us into a taxi when we slip away to la-la land. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, so we may have to miss the pre-party. So sad.

snooze | 6:33 am CST
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Friday, April 6th, 2012

I ate the tastiest meatball sandwich for dinner last night. We swung by the Alchemy Cafe because it was Thursday, and on Thursday nights I’m in charge of coming up with the dinner, so I usually come up with the suggestion to stop at Alchemy. We have yet to be disappointed by anything we’ve eaten there, and they have a specialty beer menu that changes every week. Can’t beat that.

And although I had the tastiest meatball sandwich ever, My Darling B ordered something even more phenomenal: bacon-wrapped meatloaf in gravy. That’s right: Meatloaf, wrapped in bacon, dripping with gravy. ZOMG. And the portion was large enough that she could cut it in half, put it aside and take it to work for lunch. It just gets better and better.

BMAG | 5:57 am CST
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Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I have the teensie-weansiest little headachette this morning, just a little pressure at my temples that makes my eyelids squeak when I blink them, as if they’re on rusty hinges. I’m sure it’ll go away after a cup of coffee.

This is definitely not the fault of the beer I drank during our tour of breweries in the Fox Valley. That beer was just way too good to be the cause of any kind of hangover, no matter how slight. There’s no way I can accept that such lovingly crafted, drinkable brews could in any way be deleterious to my health.

There was that Bloody Mary I nursed at the bar in the morning while we were waiting for the bus to pull up. They’ve never given me a headache before, but there’s always a first time.

The bus left the curb in front of Alchemy, one of our favorite places to go have a bite to eat and tip a brew after a long, hard slog through the work week. It also happens to be the headquarters of Hop Head Beer Tours, run by a trio of guys (Justin, Pepper, and a third guy who wasn’t able to make the trip and I forgot the name of because I wasn’t taking notes. Mea culpa.) who have been slaving away to give ordinary people such as me and My Darling B the extraordinary privilege of visiting the most amazing breweries in Wisconsin and talking to the guys who love to make beer.

I just realized: In every brewery we’ve been to, the brewers have all been guys. Why don’t women brew? There are plenty of women who love to drink beer. Why would they leave the brewing to the guys? I might have to look into that.

Anyway, we called a cab for the trip to Alchemy at nine-fifteen, figuring that it would be prudent to assume that we would need a cab ride home when we returned. I called Union Cab because their cabs are yellow. I deeply believe that cabs should be yellow with a belt of black and white checks. Union Cabs don’t have the checks, but at least they’re the right color. Okay, I don’t believe any of that. I called Union because they made a catchy radio jingle out of their phone number that always pops into my head whenever I think of calling a cab. A yellow Prius pulled up at the driveway precisely at nine-fifteen and the driver, after saying hello and confirming the destination, switched on a episode of This American Life and we were treated to a story about interstellar space travel. Would this happen anywhere other than Madison?

When we signed in, we learned that our group that day would be very intimate, just eight people and Eric “Bruiser” Brusewitz, the head brewer at The Great Dane. Bruiser brought along a box of six growlers, gallon jugs of beer, from the Dane for us to sample during the bus ride to Appleton. The bus itself was not a typical coach: The front half had coach seating, but the back half had four big, comfy wing chairs and two tables with bench seating on either side. The tables let us sit together in a close little group, pass around the beer samples and ask Bruiser a lot of questions, which he was more than happy to answer in great detail. And there were a lot of questions: Bruce, one of the guys taking the trip, was a home brewer who was really into the chemistry of fermentation, and Bruiser had not only been to brewer’s school (yes, there really is such a thing), he’d also traveled to breweries in Britain and Germany to learn about their brewing techniques (and drink beer – that lucky guy’s got the most awesome job in the world). Not only did he answer every question we asked him, he also had lots of great stories about brewing beer that made the trip way more fun than if we had just sat around drinking beer. Not that drinking beer all by itself isn’t fun.

Our first stop was not at a brewery at all, but at Schultz’s Cheese Haus in Beaver Dam, because Justin, one of the trip organizers, wanted to pair the beer we were drinking with some cheese. He chose a cheddar and bleu cheese mashup that Bruiser paired with a porter. Everyone gobbled up the cheese and the porter was so good that everyone asked for more.

The first brewery we visited was The Stone Cellar Brewpub tucked away in a part of Appleton known as Between The Locks, quite a pleasant surprise because my brother and I used to hang out in a bar called Skyline on the top floor of the building. The bar’s still there and still called Skyline, but it’s known as a comedy club now. I popped in for a quick peek at this almost-forgotten corner of my misspent youth and it doesn’t look much different.

The Stone Cellar’s brewery is on the ground floor above the pub. Collin, the brewer on duty, gave us a quick and dirty explanation of how he turned water, barley and yeast into beer, moving from one giant stainless steel tub to the next, before we machine-gunned him with questions. Actually, I think we salvoed before he was finished. In either case, he was more than happy to answer all our questions in as much detail as Bruiser did. When we were done in the brewery we retired to the pub where we got a complimentary pint of whatever we wanted and a commemorative pint glass with the pub’s logo silk-screened across the side. Some day I’ll have to hang a shelf or two where we can put up all the pub glasses we’ve collected in just the past few years.

Our next stop was at Title Town Brewing Company in Green Bay, a total geek-out for me because not only was it a brewpub, it was a brewpub in a train station, the old Chicago Northwestern station on Dousman Street. Brent, one of the brewers and, I think, one of the owners, too (I wish I’d kept notes), was into the history of the place and not only had a lot of beer memorabilia, he also had lots of photos of the depot, of trains at the depot, of railroad heralds, and on and on and on. It was fantastic. I’m still geeking out about it. Oh, and the beer was delicious, too.

Our last stop was dinner at Hinterland Brewing’s Green Bay restaurant (there’s one in Milwaukee, too), which was literally right across the street from Title Town. Where Title Town was more like a pub, Hinterland came across as a tony high-end restaurant, very quietly lit and actually very quiet. We tucked into a scrumptious taco dinner on the top floor before trooping downstairs for a tour of the brewery. Almost all the breweries we’ve been to are packed tightly into small spaces, but I’ve never before seen mash tuns and fermenters packed so closely and efficiently together as they were at Hinterland. We had to walk single file between the fermenters in the cold room, weaving our line between the legs of the giant tanks.

And that was our glorious day out. We came back with all the usual bling: pint glasses, a six-pack and a bottle or two, some coasters we pocketed as keepsakes. Oddly, neither one of us bought a t-shirt this time. I slept on the way back and I don’t think I snored too loudly, not that anybody else on the bus was going to care. I’m pretty sure most of them slept on the way home, too.

Fox Valley Brewery Tour | 11:35 am CST
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Sorry, not much time left over to drivel tonight. I spent a couple hours doinking around with train track on the model layout in the basement, and when I thought I couldn’t justify spending any more time on that, I went upstairs, sat my butt down in the recliner and read other people’s drivel posted on the interwebs. That made sense.

I can claim to have spent at least a couple hours wisely this evening: I went to dinner at Alchemy, a nifty local bar, with My Darling B. We wish Alchemy was a lot closer to our house, within walking distance, say, then realize that, if it were, we’d spend all our free time and most of our money there. I don’t consider that a bad thing, just not very thrifty, but then if we stuffed all our money in a bank account we wouldn’t have any fun, would we? And it’ll all be worthless after the economy implodes, anyway. Might as well spend it while we can still afford thick, juicy burgers and put on a layer of fat for the lean years ahead. Geeze, could I be more cynical? Damn digressions…

And I washed some clothes! And put away the dishes! I’m an engine of productivity!

doink | 10:20 pm CST
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Saturday, May 28th, 2011

We went into town this evening to support our local brat fest, one of four that are taking place this weekend. Here in Wisconsin, our bratwurst festivals are such a big deal that we need several days in many different locations to properly do them justice.

What really happened was, we have this annual bratfest at the convention center that sells something like a half-million brats in two days, but all the brats are donated by Johnsonville, the meat packing company that infamously donated a bunch of money to help get Scott Walker elected governor, so the lefties have organized their own brat festivals. This is Madison, after all.

Never having done this before, they weren’t quite ready for the response they were going to get. The People’s Brat Fest we went to this morning didn’t fire up their grills early enough and ended up behind the curve for more than an hour trying to serve brats to a line of people that kept getting longer and longer no matter how frantically they tried to catch up. Next time, guys, start burning brats at least a half-hour before your scheduled start time. And turn the heat down. There are few foods more unappetizing than an overcooked brat.

When we strolled up to the Wurst Fest this evening we were pleased to see lots of people in attendance, but disappointed to hear from the people checking us in that they were sold out of bratwurst because so many more people showed up than they anticipated. It was a brat fest without brats. We stuck around for an hour or so anyway to check out the bands and drink a beer, but left earlier than we thought we would because we were getting hungry and knew of a bar just down the road, The Alchemy Cafe, that had some really good food. One way or another, we were going to get that food. And we did. Nom.

bratless | 7:01 pm CST
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Sunday, December 12th, 2010

image of me with beerI might possibly have drunk a little too much beer yesterday.

I was having dinner with My Darling B about two weeks ago at the Alchemy cafe, where I saw a poster for an upcoming tour of several breweries in the Milwaukee area. It was their first-ever attempt at putting together a tour like this, and we like supporting local business people who show this kind of initiative, so we signed up to go.

And it was my birthday this weekend, so it made a nice present.

So yesterday morning at eight-thirty we climbed into a taxi and headed into town. The bus was already waiting in front of Alchemy when we got there and the guy who organized the tour, Justin, was checking people in, which consisted of giving us a button with “Hop Head Beer Tour” on it and making us sign a waiver that said, and I’m sort of gisting it here, “You might get drunk and do stupid things that we don’t want to be responsible for, so sign here.”

They started getting us into the spirit of the tour right off the bat by handing out samples at the bar where B and I settled down for a cup of coffee. B sipped at a splash of a seasonal beer that I don’t recall the name of and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t, either, so I’m not even going to bother asking. I ended up with a snort of cherry brandy the bartender makes his own darned self in a huge glass flask that was sitting in plain view on the bar, and like a big dummy I asked him what it was. That’s how I ended up with a dram in a shot glass.

We all loaded on to the bus and left town at about quarter past nine, hitting the interstate by nine-thirty and hitting the sauce just five minutes or so after that. Justin brought along one of his friends, Nate, a brewer from the Great Dane Pub & Brewing, and they both brought several growlers of their favorite beers, passed out Dixie cups and started pouring samples for us to enjoy. The hour and a half drive gave us just enough time to enjoy a pour of each of the growlers and even get a taste of the pony keg they brought along. These guys went all-out to maximize our beer enjoyment on this trip.

image of a hundred swilling santasOur first stop was the Lakefront Brewery where we had the surreal experience of walking into the middle of an annual migration of bicycling santas who stop at Lakefront to refill their hydration bottles and load up on carbs before continuing on their cold, snowy trip.

I have to say that Lakefront was probably our best stop of the day, not just because it was the first one and I can remember most of it, but because they seemed to be having so goddamn much fun there, particularly our tour guide, Oliver, who had quite a schtick worked up to explain the history of the brewery and the making of beer. The tour began at the mash tuns, exported from Germany and still labeled with lots of little placards in German that said “Achtung!” and so on, and ended up at the bottling machine, also a bargain-basement piece of equipment from a soda factory. When we got there, Oliver switched on a tape player and led us through a chorus of the theme from “Laverne and Shirley” and switched on the machine so a bottle with a glove on top came around the track on the machine. Don’t even tell me you don’t know what that’s about.

One of the most interesting parts of the tour was stopping to see the giant beer stein that used to be in the baseball stadium where the Brewers played. That stadium was torn down and the guys at Lakefront managed to snag the stein and set it up in the back corner of the brewery. Oliver tells us the Brewers tried to buy it back from them for a truckload of money. The brewery owners said, “You can have it back if you leave our name on the side.” They didn’t go for that, and the giant beer stein still sits in the back of the brewery.

After buying some souvenir beers at Lakefront, we loaded up the bus and went downtown to the Milwaukee Ale House to get some lunch. It was like pretty much every other downtown brewpub I’ve ever been to, and yet they did have the most amazingly delicious potato chips I think I’ve ever eaten in my whole life, period. I could have eaten one great big plate of those all by themselves, loaded up another great big plate and eaten myself to death on them. Truly, they were dangerously good. Oh, and beer. They served pretty good beer there, too. We especially liked an ale aged in bourbon barrels. I usually don’t go for that, but this was exceptionally well-made.

Just a few blocks down the road from the brew pub we pulled up to the Milwaukee Brewing Company where they made the beer served at the pub in a plain cinderblock building. It couldn’t have looked more like a public utility if it had been made of poured concrete, inside or out. The able staff gathered us around the bar, tore open a box filled with pint glasses, filled us up and took us on a tour of the brewing plant, which once again could have been the inside of a brewery, or a gas-fired electric power plant. It would have been impossible to tell without a tour guide to point and tell us where the water went in and the beer came out, especially as they took some liberties with labeling the controls. I found a set of dials labeled “flux capacitor” and after that I kept looking for other easter eggs, but never did locate a continuum transfunctioner.

By the time we left I was feeling a bit tipsy and I fell asleep on the ride to the Delafield Brewhaus. They set us up with a flight of tasters; I think there was a porter, and I definitely remember a weiss, or maybe it was a Belgian style, but to tell the truth I wasn’t hitting on all cylinders by then and what I really needed was something to eat, so I ordered their combo plate. What they brought me was a huge platter heaped with chunks of brown food-like substances: onion rings, cheese and chicken fingers, all breaded and deep-fried to the point of unrecognizability. And just in case that wasn’t enough, it was served with a side of french fries, more than we could ever normally eat if we didn’t have the munchies from drinking beer all afternoon. We polished off every last bit of it, got our complimentary pint glass filled on the way out and climbed aboard the bus for the trip home.

I remember virtually nothing of the trip home. Loaded up with beer and fried foods, I fell asleep almost instantly and didn’t wake up until we began winding through the streets of Madison, where thick, heavy snow was falling. Naturally, we couldn’t get a cab. This seems to happen to us every time we try to do the responsible thing and take a cab when we know we’ll be coming home late after drinking a lot of beer. It’s like the universe wants us to drink and drive. Well, lucky for us Tim not only answered his phone, he was also willing to pick us up and take us home on the snow-covered, slippery streets. What a guy.

Hop Head Beer Tour | 3:58 pm CST
Category: beer, daily drivel, food & drink, My Darling B, O'Folks, play, restaurants, T-Dawg | Tags: , , , ,
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Friday, December 10th, 2010

I had a picture to post for you, but my google profile has merged with my Picasa profile and although I’m sure it was all for my own convenience and pleasure, it seems they haven’t worked all the bugs out because I can’t link to photos right now, I can’t even see any of my photos on Picasa right now, so I’ll just have to rely upon the awesome power of the English language to describe what I was going to show you a picture of: Beer. It was a bottle of beer. There. Pretty evocative, eh?

It was a bottle of pale ale from the Hinterland brewery of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s terrific beer, but their bottles are plain as a glass of milk. Chocolate milk, in this case, because the labels are black with a big white “H” in the middle of a yellow circle with the word “Hinterland” in white block letters underneath. There’s also a smaller label on the neck of the bottle, also black, that says “Pale Ale,” also in white block letters.

It reminds me of those white cans of generic beer they used to sell back in the 80s. Each can had the word “BEER” on it in black capital letters. It was awful stuff, completely unlike Hinterland pale ale except that the labeling sort of sparks a memory. You probably can’t get any Hinterland beer outside of Wisconsin and, if so, too bad for you because it’s just delicious, pure ambrosia. I’d drink it all day long if I could retain the motor skills necessary to keep hoisting the bottle to my lips, so it’s probably a good thing I can’t.

I’m thinking of beer because My Darling B and I will depart for Milwaukee, the Wisconsin city that used to be known as Cream City because they made so much beer there that it, uh, looked like cream? I don’t know. My guess is, it had something to do with a creamy head of beer. Anyway, my birthday is this weekend and we’re celebrating with a trip to Milwaukee to tour some of the pubs there, a tour we found out about while dining at one of our favorite Madison taverns, the Alchemy cafe. We bought the tickets on impulse, I tucked them into my wallet and I entirely forgot about them until this afternoon when I was rooting around in there for a dollar. Oh shit, I thought to myself, I have to get up early tomorrow! But that’s okay, I’ll be able to nap on the bus because the pretty girl sitting next to me will let me put my head on her shoulder.

Beer | 10:23 pm CST
Category: beer, daily drivel, food & drink, My Darling B, O'Folks, play, restaurants | Tags: , ,
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