Welcome to The Session, a monthly event in which beer and brewing bloggers get together to all write about a chosen topic on the same day! This is Session #20, for which we, Ray and I of Bathtub Brewery, have chosen the topic, “Beers and Memories.”
It was March 19, 2003, in the heart of Armory Square in Syracuse, NY. I was home from SUNY Brockport for spring break, and I had met up with my friends Eric and Laura (also Brockport students) and Peggy, my awesome assistant manager from work, at Clark’s Ale House, undeniably one of the BEST bars in NY, the East Coast, the US, and yeah, everywhere.
I had been going there ever since I could drink, joining Eric and Laura for trivia night every Wednesday we were home from college. Clark’s boasts 20+ beers on tap, serves it’s own Clark’s Armory Ale on cask, and provides wine enthusiasts with an exceptional selection of NY state wines. Oh, and I almost forgot: Clark’s makes the best damn roast beef and cheddar on an onion roll sandwich in the WORLD.
We were gathered around a small table near one of the windows. Laura and Eric were undoubtedly sipping a brew from Middle Ages Brewery, I had a pint of Lindemans Framboise, and I think Peg had a diet coke. It was the eve before the US invaded Iraq, and our small group sat quietly wondering what this was going to mean.
I remember Laura telling me that we should become ex-pats and live in France, polishing off bottles of wine nightly and writing (we were both English majors). Eric was fairly quiet, and I recall Peg chiming in with her views about Bush, I, myself, laughing between sips of the framboise, a beverage that I often referred to as “liquid raspberries.” (This was still during the time that I was a novice about beer, and only got hooked on framboise due to a suggestion from Eric when I found out that Clark’s did not serve cocktails. It’s been love at first sip ever since.)
To this day, when I drink Lindemans Framboise, I remember that cold winter night, the cozy warmth of Clark’s and the uncertainty of what lay before us.
Wow, tough act to follow. I think I might have had a Yeungling on 9/11.
My beer-memory pair involves probably my favorite Dogfish Head brew: the 90 Minute IPA. This beer is especially important to both Mel and me because it’s what I was drinking the evening Mel and I began our relationship. We didn’t officially ratify said relationship until a whole freaking year later, when I finally worked up the nerve to say, “You wanna be my girlfriend?” but Dogfish Head’s 90 was there the night I was set inexorably on the path to that question by the bone-rolling hands of fate.
Mel’s gonna kill me, but I can’t remember what the date was…
It was either June 12 or 16, 2006. Wait, let me look at a calendar … ah, it was the 16th, a Friday. It was at the party I was throwing with a former room mate, which we dubbed “Halloween in June.” Ray was dressed as Homestar Runner, and I rocked a post-apocalyptic Mad Hatter outfit. I was drinking some disgusting rum and Coke cocktail, and most likely crap beer. Good thing he saved me from that life!