The timeshift that occurs when you have an eight-month old really is amazing. Gone are the days of sleeping in until 9 on the weekends, replaced by 6am squeals through the baby monitor. Sometimes, you get lucky and you wake up to see 7am or maybe even 7:30am on the clock, but the late nights of just a year ago are quickly replaced by the early mornings of today. Funny thing is, though, that even the nights seem to start later. Instead of sitting on the deck with the tiki torches lit having a drink with my wife at 6pm or 7pm, it’s dinner on the deck at 8:30 after the baby’s gone to bed. So, I’ve really begun to appreciate the downtime between fathering duties, because it’s amazing how quickly it flies by.
Did you know that Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey starred in one of the worst “horror” films ever made back in 1994? Neither did I, until I cracked open a Sam Adams “Beers of Summer” sampler pack last night.
The night started out like any other. My wife and I had just put our seven month-old daughter Hannah to bed. The tiki torches on the deck were lit. She had a bottle of wine chilling that I knew she was going to hate and I was deciding between Samuel Adams Pale Ale and Hefeweizen.
I’m a big fan of the Sam Adams sampler packs, even though this one had Boston Lager and Light in the mix. My rule of thumb is that sampler packs should only have unique styles and flavors in them. If I wanted the Lager and Light, I’d buy them and be done with it. But, I’m all about variety, and the rest of the selection drew me to this 12-pack. Summer Ale, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen and Cherry Wheat. That’s a good combo.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been remiss in my beer-blogging duties the past couple weeks, but my co-worker Rhonda is trying her best to remedy that. The other day, I walked into my office to find a “royal sampler” of beer waiting for me. Or, as some others would call it, a bag of beer that her husband bought, didn’t like and was actually considering throwing out before she decided to donate them to a worthy cause three doors down.
Of course, hand-me-down beer is usually a mixed bag, but this time I was in luck. In addition to a few types of Troegs that I’ll be trying in a few days, there were a couple bottles of a Belgian blonde ale I had never heard of from Leffe.
There are certain things you expect at a wedding reception: the requisite bride & groom, a cake of some kind, scallops wrapped in bacon, the “Electric Slide” and usally a decent open bar that has good drinks, but nothing you’re too excited about. Yeah, that’s about how I expected things to work out at my friend John’s wedding on Friday afternoon.
When I got to Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant in Wildwood, NJ and stepped up to the bar, there was a smile from ear-to-ear when I saw what was on tap for that afternoon. Yeah, there were the usual suspects: Budweiser, Coors Light and local fave Yuengling Lager. But, who would have expected Stella Artois, Heineken, Smithwick’s and Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale on tap at a wedding? Very nice selection…
There are certain things you expect at a Jimmy Buffett tailgate: limey beer, margaritas, tiki bars, men wearing coconut bikini tops, you know the deal. But, a bottle of great craft beer at a Buffett tailgate? No way!
Surprises come in all shapes and sizes. This time, it was a one-pint six-ounce bottle of Stone Imperial Russian Stout that my friend Mike had just cracked open. He’s a big fan of it and orders a case every year. After a couple sips, even out of a plastic cup on a ninety-degree afternoon, I can see why.