The first Friday of the month means it’s time for The Session, the collaborative blogging effort that brings together beer bloggers from across the web to write about a common theme. We’re in the 34th iteration of The Session—fast approaching the third anniversary!—and this month’s topic is from Two Parts Rye: Stumbling Home:
It’s time to give a shout out to your favorite watering hole. How good are the beers? Any interesting cast of characters? What are your drinking buddies like? They probably need to be embarrassed on the internet. Now’s the time.
You don’t have to limit yourself to one. Feel free to reminisce about the good old days if you like. Maybe you are a shut-in like this guy, and don’t get out that much, talk about the home bar.
There is a catch. This booze stuff has interesting side effects. That means, you can’t get behind the wheel. You gotta walk, take public transportation, or be a regular supporter of your favorite taxi company. Bicycles are acceptable but you still need to be careful. I have the cracked helmet and scars to prove it. Gotta love the 5 mph one man crash.
Ohhh, I wish I could say I have a regular watering hole, but other than the occasional visit to a brewery or—lately—The Abbey Pub (Bend’s newest beer bar, whose owner I am fortunate to know), it’s really the “home bar” where I enjoy most of my beer these days. (Also our friends Paul and Sandi’s place—they are beer aficionados as well and whenever we visit there’s always good beer on tap, be it craft brewed or homebrewed.)
As might be expected based on what you’ve read here over the years, I (try to) keep a fairly decent selection of beers on hand, from the one-off bottles I buy to drink and review, to a rotating selection of homebrewed beer (right now I have Billy Chinook Cream Ale, Hood River Harvest Apple Ale, my world-(in)famous Pumpkin Ale, and the latest Coconut Cream Stout that isn’t as good as the first batch), to a “standard” stock of craft-brewed beer. You’ll also find the occasional Macros like PBR from time to time, I’m not ashamed to admit.
Drinking from home (or from friends’ houses, which are very close by), I really don’t have the opportunity for any good “stumbling home” stories. If we’re out and I’ve had more than enough to drink, I don’t drive. If we’re home, then I go to bed. Along the way I try to make sure to drink plenty of water (not always successful) and occasionally pop some pre-emptive aspirin when I go bed (which doesn’t always help).
But! There was this one time… way back in 1999, at the Oregon Brewers Festival… yeah, you see where this is going, but no, it’s not as bad as you think. I went up on Friday for the start of the Fest, and started drinking around 1:30. (I had parked my car at my friend’s place and rode the bus downtown.) It was a pretty hot day, and between sampling a fair number of beers and traipsing around under the hot sun with, er, not so much water, by the time we left (my friend Justin joined me later in the day), we were pretty happy.
We rode the bus back, but it was a long-ish ride and after consuming a fair amount of liquid with limited restroom facilities (late in the day at the Fest there are infamously long lines…), by the time we exited the bus we had to find a restroom pretty desperately… and we were still five or so blocks from Justin’s house. Fortunately there is a restaurant at that bus stop (it’s changed hands and names, but it’s still there), so we ducked in, asked politely to use the facilities, and were in luck—they graciously let us in.
But! They were so nice to do so that we felt we couldn’t leave without buying at least one obligatory beer… so one very unnecessary pint later (I had Widmer Hefeweizen) we were on our way. And I’m pretty sure “stumbling” could well have been an apt description of the walk back.
Too much beer + too much hot sun + too little water = an evening feeling nauseous and fugue-ish. I remember watching “The Blues Brothers”… or semi-watching it anyway. It was a bit rough.
But we had recovered sufficiently by the next day to head down to the Fest again… albeit for a much more subdued day. There was no stumbling that day.
Incidentally, that ’99 Fest was the first time I tasted Arrogant Bastard. Is that relevant to the story? Probably not, but it’s one of the details that sticks out from that trip. That and I bought three of the previous year’s 1998 Oregon Brewfest T-shirts for something like $1 each. (Still have them, but they’re getting pretty ratty.)