5 November 2013, Chicago, IL

Dear Overlords at Munster Taverns:

Let me preface this email by saying that Lady Gregory's is one of my favorite places in the world.

This afternoon I ordered a Daisy Cutter with my burger. When my beer was close to the bottom, my server Jose offered to bring me another. I gladly accepted.

When he arrived with my second Daisy Cutter, I still had about a quarter-inch of beer in my first glass. He tried to grab my old glass, but I put a hand up to stop him. "Leave it." I said.

"Oh, I was just going to do this," Jose said, and he POURED THE DREGS OF MY FIRST BEER INTO MY SECOND BEER.

Well, I was stunned. I didn't say anything, but please, NEVER LET HIM OR ANYONE ELSE DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN YOUR RESTAURANT AGAIN. True, I would have finished what was in the first glass anyway, but you don't pour old, warm, backwashy beer into a new beer. It is DISGUSTING.

Christ. Kids today, uncivilized.

Bill Shunn

Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Subtle peppery undertone

Crisp pine
Grapefruit aroma

Mellow hops
Rich toffee notes
Freshly baked biscuits

Clean desert aroma
Citrus weed
Tangy cactus spine
Horse blanket

Slight nuttiness
Hints of bourbon
Smoked rubber
Magnesium flare

Coconut oil
Disintegrated cork
Essence of latex and sand
Porcelain overtones

Back alley rainwater
Wisps of mousetrap wood
Gunpowder residue

Battery copper
Flop sweat

Rocket fuel
Interplanetary dust
Venusian methane
Tears of loneliness

Half Acre

The topic of this poem was suggested by Kevin Swallow.

Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Whether you'd like to join today's Unofficial Worldcon Pub Crawl in Chicago from the start, or want to meet up with us somewhere along the route, here's the revised itinerary I've come up. It involves three train rides and only two cab rides, and gets us all over the North Side to some great brewpubs and beer bars:

11:00 am: Group meets at front entrance of Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.

Transit: Walk to CTA Blue Line at Clark/Lake, ride (in direction of O'Hare) to California stop

11:30 am: Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Transit: Cabs to 4300 N. Lincoln Ave. (Lincoln & Cullom)

1:00 pm (approx): The Bad Apple, 4300 N. Lincoln Ave. (main lunch destination, excellent burgers and beer)

Transit: Cabs to 5148 N. Clark St. (Clark & Foster)

2:30 pm (approx): Andersonville beer bars (all of which have very good food)
        Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St.
        Lady Gregory's, 5260 N. Clark St.
        Acre, 5308 N. Clark St.

Transit: Walk to CTA Red Line at Berwyn/Broadway, ride (in the direction of 95th/Dan Ryan) to Belmont stop, transfer to Brown Line, ride (in the direction of the Loop) to Diversey stop

5:30 pm (approx): Atlas Brewing Company, 2747 N. Lincoln Ave.

Transit: Walk to CTA Brown Line at Diversey/Sheffield, ride (in the direction of the Loop) to State/Lake stop, walk back to Hyatt

7:00 pm (approx): Arrive back at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

CAVEAT: This itinerary is subject to change, so watch the hashtag #ChiconPubCrawl on Twitter if you want to meet up with us along the route. I'll be posting our locations all day.

Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Laura and I had dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants this evening, Hopleaf. It's a Belgian place, with a bar out front specializing in Belgian and Belgian-style beers. It's always packed, and if you don't show up early you can wait an hour and a half for a table.

Hopleaf menu: entrees We showed up early and were rewarded with a quiet, secluded table on the balcony overlooking the main dining room. Laura had a bottle of Chimay Red and I a pint of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale while we perused the menu. Laura was there for the moules frites, Hopleaf's speciality. I ordered the duck reuben. It was amazing.

This is not a story about our wonderful evening, or our wonderful meal. This is the story of the poor rich kids in their twenties (three girls and a boy) who were seated at the table next to ours shortly after we ordered, and how we winced at every loud interaction they had with our rather curt mutual waitress.

"Can I start you off with some drinks?"

"Do you have Michelob Ultra?"

"Uh, no. We have a wide variety of Belgian ales and other fine beers. Can I offer you some suggestions?"

"What do you have that's light?"

"We have several good India pale ales, wheats, and weisses."

"No, I mean light beer."

"What do you like?"

"How about a vanilla vodka?"

"We don't have vanilla vodka."

"Do you have berry vodka?"

"We have six hundred beers. And vodka."

Most of them ended up drinking what looked like Diet Coke. I didn't actually hear them order because I had crawled so far under the table. Unfortunately, I had emerged again by the time one woman's Belgian steak frites arrived and she asked for A1 Sauce.

I'm sure we were all that young and inexperienced at one time, but ouch. I fear the only lesson learned tonight was never to come back to Hopleaf because the beer selection sucks and the steak tastes like steak.
I have defeated the Bourbon County Brand Stout, but I fear it is a Pyrrhic victory at best.
Via cyclist friend Colin, Patrick O'Grady starts asking important questions about the Tour de France:

Beer Me, Floyd

And that magical elixir called Shiner Bock gets a shout-out, proving that evil is not the only thing Texas exports.

April 2014

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