Good Friends, Good Beer!

20 December 2008

The day began with the phone ringing at about two a.m.  I was still up, but the very ringing of a phone at that time of night, is startling and fear-inducing.

Turned out though, no family emergencies, thank goodness.  Instead, it was an American Airlines emergency and it was up to Kyle to fix it.  He took the call, answered some questions and went back to sleep.  But, not half an hour later the phone rang again, and he was off to the airport to work his magic.  Having  just gone to bed after the first call, I was now wide awake after the second one, and found myself playing with Facebook after he left.  Back to bed finally at about four a.m.—-I never even heard him come home at five-thirty!

So, that’s the set-up for this day.  We slept ’til nine-ish, and then had things to do before our noon get-together with Rod and Allyson.  They met us here around noon, and we headed to the Rahr Brewery for their weekly tasting event.  Rod and Kyle are both incredible tasters . . . candidates for sommelier training in my opinion.  Wine, beer, scotch . . . whatever the category, these two can discuss it in terms of bouquets, noses, mouthfeel, linger, fullness, aftertaste and the like.  When it’s a beer tasting, you also get words like “hoppy,” and “malty.”  We were especially jazzed about attending this event this week, because the Rahr had publicised that this was the week they’d be tapping their new Winter Warmer Ale—a brew we always look forward to and enjoy.

We got there at the perfect time.  We had just enough time to buy our glasses, run the extras to the truck, and be among the first dozen folks in line when the one o’clock bell was rung and the pouring began.  We chose as our first taste, the Winter Warmer . . . and a good thing, since they were out of it by two o’clock!  I was a little disappointed in this year’s brew—not quite as sweet as I remember the Winter Warmer being, but tasty nonetheless.  I’m not sure what others did, but my second taste was the old standby, Ugly Pug.  A very good beer compared to most things readily available, and my preference to the lighter pale ale and IPA at Rahr.  The big treat of the tasting came at the very end.  In fact, it was well after last call that Kyle brought me my glass of Iron Thistle.  Now, Iron Thistle isn’t really a is a brand new Rahr brew (UPDATE: Slated for a 23 January release).  It seems they have a guest brewer visiting from Scotland and working with them right now.  This is his concoction, and oh my, is it fabulous!  I daresay, it’s one of the best beers I’ve tasted in quite a long while.  IMHO, of course.

We were right, I think, about Rod and Allyson enjoying the event—we all had a great time.  And, we enjoyed the extra added bonus of our dear friends Ronnie and Tracy, and their dear friends Lori and Russell joining us as well!  it was a great little party of special people, and three o’clock came way too quickly.  We made plans to have lunch at Fuzzy Tacos and that too, was a great choice.  Practically an institution on that side of town now, I think it’s a really good thing that this little joint wasn’t there when I was in school around the corner at TCU.  My “freshman fifteen” would have been “fifty” and I’d never have been able to drop that or maintain my 99 pound max, to be able to dance on the football field!  🙂  My whole college experience would have been vastly different — tastier, but different.

After lunch, we drove up University/Bellaire Drive to Hulen and over to the new Goody Goody Liquour Store.  Ronnie had introduced us to this amazing new flagship store a few weeks ago, and we knew that Rod and Allyson would love it, too!  Ronnie says his personal bar set-up at home has blossomed greatly since this store opened so near to his house.  Their prices are good, their selection is much better than most local options, and their presentation is innovative and artful.  I’ve dubbed them the “Disney” of Liquor stores.  It’s not just a theme park liquor store, it’s an experience.

After all that, by the time we got home, it was dark, and our next chapter of our planned day with Rod and Allyson had to be postponed.  There will be a weekend in February, though, where we teach them to play mah jong!

It was a full and wonderful day, and although tired, I was totally wired with excitement and the anticipation of the trip (in only four more days!), and simply not sleepy.  I worked until two, then looked at the clock again and it said four!  At six, I was finally at the stopping point I sought, and went to bed.  Good thing it’s midwinter, and the sun wasn’t already up—it made it easier to get to sleep.

Since I’m writing this the following day, I can toss this tidbit in, now . . . the phone rang again at 7:30 in the morning!  (Yes, on Sunday—but he’s the guy who can fix things!)  Kyle was up and out to the airport by eight, and I kissed him goodbye and went back to work!  Sleep is for the weak! (And for those not leaving the country in four days!)