Posted by: dougery | May 16, 2011

A Tankard to Remember

I’m what you might call a lightweight. Not in terms of boxing or something athletic or noble like that but in terms of drinking. This despite a family history that heavily suggests otherwise. Perhaps my low tolerance is due to the fact that while other folks in my high-school were hanging out with ‘friends’ and drinking warm, cheap, canned beer down dead-end cul-de-sacs and in the woods (and sometimes in the woods down dead-end cul-de-sacs) I was playing Goldeneye or MarioKart64. The only perception altering substances being ingested were pounds of SweetTarts and roughly my body-weight in Mountain Dew. So while I might have brought on early onset diabetes I failed to bring on early onset delirium tremens.

So yes, I’m a lightweight, a fairly inexperienced drinker. So much so that I have been routinely drunken “under the table” by the women in my life. Now ladies, this is not meant a slight against the fair sex but more a compliment to the simply heroic tolerances of many of you who I have shared a few pints with. Oddly enough, all of the women who come to mind are under 5’4″ which just makes it all the more impressive. Ladies, you know who you are and might I add, bravo.

/doffs imaginary cap

Yet I am not without sin. I did attend college after all and as such I have had occasion to imbibe (perhaps) too much. I proved too much a temptation to a few friends who were simply stunned I’d never had any alcohol before late in my freshman year in college. These few friends all take credit to ‘corrupting’ me, and since there is something deeply wrong with Goldschlager on a physio-chemical level and that was the first thing they chose to dispense to me then perhaps ‘corruption’ is the appropriate term after all. Cinnamon and booze do not go well together.

Yes there was some recreational drinking during my 5 year undergrad regimen (Architecture is 5 years, I’m not a delinquent or something). But it wasn’t until grad school in Chicago where I began to learn that there are better things in life than the stuff found at your local Kwik-e-mart. Yes, beer (and to a lesser extent) wine can taste good. And my good friends and coworkers did an admirable job teaching me about ales and lagers and wheat beers and so forth. Since then my wife and I have slowly become bourbon connoisseurs, if one can connoisseur anything on a limited budget.

But this is less about whiskey and more about beer. A few months ago L and I heard about a bar close by our house famous for two things. Chicken wings and an incredibly vast selection on beer. But there’s more! The establishment has a program where you can start a beer card, and your draughts are recorded all straightforwardlike, and after 50 different brews, you get an engraved pewter tankard. And then there are a series of other things you can achieve, as if sampling so many different tasty beers weren’t enough.  Ending in a specially designed coat of arms to be displayed above the bar. I think that is like 10 cards worth.

On Sunday L and I dropped in and I began my card. I got their famous wings and froze when I saw the beer list. What to start with? Something new? Something I’d already had but really enjoyed? Something to ‘just get out of the way’ (after all Bud, etc still count)? The writer, compulsive editor and organizer and general aplphabeteer decided to go with an ‘A’ beer. Thus beer one:

Allagash White (out of Maine). Which I enjoyed for the first time on Cape Cod with my brother and enjoyed the second time through very much. The wings, too, did not disappoint. And now I have 364 more days to drink 49 beers and get my tankard.



  1. I love that you were playing Goldeneye and MarioKart64, and that the only perception altering substances you ingested were SweetTarts and Mountain Dew. We would have been a gloriously nerdy couple, had we known each other back then.

  2. the nerdiest. No (diggity, no) doubt.

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