Pub crawl in beer portraits

This weekend we converged on Des Moines for a bit of a crawl. Dinner at Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company, and beers at El Bait Shop and The Red Monk. My aunt and uncle, and boys, were there for the chow, but the real fun came when Wonderful Beer Wife Michelle, Cousin Matt, Cousin-in-law Mandie, Bro Joe and I took to the streets (on foot) for a few more beers.

This was the first occasion I’ve had a chance to sample all of Court Avenue’s beers, and while I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I have made a New Beer’s Resolution: I’m not doing these samplers any more. I don’t want to waste stamina, enjoyment and beer on the brewpub light lager, brewpub raspberry beer and often one or two other lackluster offerings, in this case the pale ale. I enjoyed the IPA and stout, and the sip or two I snagged from Michelle’s cask stout (not part of the sampler dealio). However, I’ll tell you right now that I will break this little self-imposed restriction if ever I get to the source of Russian River or The Lost Abbey, and probably a few others. The food was pretty good, though I just went for fish ‘n chips.

Outside of the Court Avenue lineup, I’m recalling Old Capitol Brew Works’ stout and bock (the stout was the better of the two), Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Unibroue Maudite, Orkney Skullsplitter and St. Bernardus 12. Some of those were shared bottles, I should add, as explanation as to how my skull didn’t get split and how I was able to judge at the IBU Open the next day.

At one point, I embarrassed Michelle, so I should take a moment to apologize. Since I was judging the next day, I had a little mini flashlight in my pocket. And since the bock I was drinking seemed quite dark, I pulled out the flashlight and looked it over. You’da thought I’d jumped on the table and peed my name on the wall or something. It wasn’t a horrible infraction, but fine, beer-geek-out-of-line. I’m sorry.

Oh, yeah, and I took a picture of someone I didn’t know. You had to be there. It was completely fine and appropriate, even though it was a female. But apparently I shouldn’t have done that either. Just trying to have fun. Sorry for that, too.

Anyway, what about those Beer Portraits?







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