Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Want to Sit at the Bar?!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love beer. I didn’t always, but thanks to Alec and the fabulous staff at Timmy Nolans, I have come around. I am wiling to try just about any beer now and I actually have clear favorites.

While I was hanging out with my grandparents, I was telling Grandpa about my new favorite, Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery in Northern California. I discovered it like I typically do: sitting on a stool at Timmy Nolans. I wanted to try something new but I didn’t know what. I looked at the tap handles while Rocky, one of my fabulous beer professors, explained all the different kind of beers they have that I haven't already tried. One of the handles caught my eye. It was wood with a kind Picasso-esqe drawing of a man at a table with a beer and buildings in the background. I turn to Rocky and say, “I’ll take that one. I think the handle is pretty.”

Downtown Brown is a brown ale with a bit of sweetness to it, kind of caramelly. It’s not too heavy and there is not a whole lot of carbonation. Overall, it has enough flavors to keep me satisfied. Yes, I expect a beer to keep me satisfied from first sip to last drop. Is that too much to ask?

I was telling all of this to my Grandpa over dinner and he said, “Well I have to try it. They probably have it at that Yardhouse. That’s where the young guys go.” Why he added that on, but if that’s where the young guys go, I need to be there.

So, the next night, after we went to a movie, we went to the Yardhouse. If you have never been to the Yardhouse (it might just be Yardhouse, but I am not a frequent visitor, so I really don’t know), you should go. They have 100 beers on tap and the bartenders are pretty knowledgeable. Or at least ours was.

When we got there, Grandma walked up the hostess and asked for a table for 3, to which Grandpa replied, “BJ, let’s sit at the bar.”

Grandma whips her head around and says, disgusted, “You want to sit at the BAR?”

There was an awkward, staring moment between the two, so I turned to the hostess and said, “I guess we are going to sit at the bar.”

Grandma huffs off, horrified that we are actually going to sit at the bar and points out to Grandpa that he might not be able to get up onto the bar stools. He, in true Jack Brown fashion, shows her up by getting into the stool just fine. It might have taken him a few tries, but he did it.

The bartender barely gets over to us when Grandpa says, “Do you have Downtown Brown?”

The bartender, who clearly had a whole speech he was supposed to give us and is now thrown out of his comfort zone, “Umm..Yes? Downtown Brown, you said? Yes, yes, we have that.”

“Well that’s what I’ll have.”

Grandma orders a soda and then the three of them look at me, who has just started drooling over the possibilities. It must have been a full minute before I realized they were waiting on me, but I finally said I needed a minute to think about it.

The bartender comes back with Grandpa’s Downtown Brown and Grandma’s soda and waits for me to respond. I decide to go with a delicious stout called Old Rasputin and, in pure bliss, we enjoy our beers.

The best part, however, came when we got the bill. I had already intended to pay because I just spent 4 days at their house and it’s the polite thing to do when you’re a guest. We had ordered calamari as well, so I was expecting it to be a little expensive. When we got the bill and I looked at the total, I almost jumped for joy. Our beers were half off and so was the calamari! We had walked in after 10 p.m., during their reverse Happy Hour! Let me tell you, there is no better feeling in the world than going to pay for something and having it be half of what you expected.

Although, sitting at a bar, having beer with my grandparents "where the young guys go" might be a close second.

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