First let me tell you about the spat I had with my girlfriend at Total Wine. I know, you remembered I am married. But this girlfriend is Total Wine, and we've been dating for a few months now. Went to the beer aisle where half the aisle has sixers on it and the other half has singles all in rows. This aisle was pure disaster with some new dude emptying six packs to restock the single section. Now I can appreciate the courtesy of following rules, but when this guy went out of his way to explain to me that I shouldn't pull singles from the six packs, I had to bite my tongue. I had two kids with me and his absolute disaster prevented me from even going near the singles section as he was suggesting. But he was courteous and helpful and even as I tried to get even for the comment, he was cool, so I guess we made up. I was trying really hard though. Before I went, I pulled up their online list of beers and wrote them down. Three individual times I asked him where a particular brewery's beers were, and when I couldn't find the one their website said they had, I asked him to check the computer. And three times he played along. I still love you, Total Wine, except get me those beers! Now to what I really wanted to write about--cards and beer.
My family is a card-playing family. You name the game, we've probably played it. And we're introduced at a young age to the family pastime. I can't remember how many hundreds of hours I played double-solitaire with my great-grandmother when I was little. My brother and I spent an entire summer at my grandparents' house, and every single night we played pinochle with them. But when there were other adults around, that kid card time turned into adult bridge time into the wee hours of the morning. I never got to learn to play bridge with the family, but I learned anyway on that site Pogo.com, first in the beginner category but then a few levels up.
Poker, blackjack and other casino card games also were very prominent features with my family and our friends. My mother knows so many Atlantic City dealers and pit bosses from over the years that she actually convinced one dealer to come 300 miles to our home for a party one year. He was going to dress the part and even bring actual chips on loan from the casino. But in her zeal to make it a kick-ass party, she went too far when she printed invitations giving the name and employer of that dealer. He backed out, smartly, as his job and license would have been in jeopardy. The party went on as scheduled, however, and guests ended up taking turns being the dealers. It's always fun playing cards as an adult with your third grade and seventh grade teachers! They can't tell you what to do anymore.
Another from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine for today. That would be Brewer's Choice Special Ale which is a brown ale. No gloating, no poetry, no crazy psychobabble on the label. Just a nice old-time picture.
The aroma consists of banana bread and for some reason I smell some peaches, too. The main flavors are bread with some spices, but you get some good sweet malty flavors as well. A little nuttiness finds its way after a few seconds and on the aftertaste. This is a medium-bodied beer with lower end carbonation, but it's just about right and not flat at all. The finish is more bitter and dry. A nice beer that I'd drink again.