Monday 28 November 2022

Silver Spring

Not the best of kips. I'm quite restless and do a lot of coughing. I get up just after 8.

No fruit and eggs this morning. Breakfast isn't included. My plan is to drop by Dog Haus (a sausage place) for a light lunch and a few beers. In the meantime, I watch Match of the Day 2.

Silver Spring isn’t somewhere you’d visit as a tourist. A bunch of shops and restaurants, many belonging to national chains. A swanky new library (of which I have a great view from my room) and a Fillmore complete the picture.

It’s just barely outside DC proper and is on the Washington metro. Effectively, a suburb.

One of the things about I like most about the contemporary US, is how random types of cuisine get mixed with craft beer. In this case, hot dogs.

Dog Haus is in a little pedestrianised precinct just around the corner from my hotel. I don’t really feel like doing much pissing around. Not exactly a bundle of energy today.

I order an Elysian Space Dust. At 8.2% ABV, it’s one of the strongest they have on draught. That should wake me up.

It’s reassuringly clear, an attractive amber colour. A decent malty base overlaid with citrus hops. Quite restrained, really.

It’s quite a modern place, with lots of TVs, in typical American style. They’re showing various bits of sport, as you would expect. You couldn’t accuse it of being overcrowded. There are just a few random blokes at the bar. Like me, I suppose.

I’m hanging out in Silver Spring because I can’t be arsed to lug all my books into town. Or my sorry arse. I’ve an event later today at Atlas Brew Works, somewhere in DC. Paul and Jamie will be driving me there.

Time for my next beer. Cigar City Jai Alai sounds interesting. I’ve heard of it, but never tried it. And it’s 7.5% ABV. It’s a bit darker than Space Dust. Reasonably clear, very malty in the mouth. Tastes a bit oxidised. Not a huge amount of US hop character. Does it have spices as well as hops? Not great.

It’s odd being on my own after several days surrounded by fellow geeks. Not just the other speakers. Attendees don’t usually get the chance to hang out with the speakers for the whole conference. Am amazingly positive vibe the whole time. Until the one twat at the end.

At least, now I’m unworked, I don’t have the deflating experience of going back to job where I’m underappreciated.

I get myself a sliced sausage. A bratwurst, to be precise. Without any bread or anything. That’s my very frugal lunch.

I’m now one of two customers. Soon to be the only one as the bloke at the bar has just asked for his bill.

Another beer, I think. Victory Golden Monkey, 9,5% ABV. I assume it’s a Tripel. Slightly on the dark side, but nothing too crazy. Has that boozy Tripel aroma, not too cloying. Could do with some more hops. OK. Quite perfumy.

The gents requires a code to unlock it. A very Manfred Mann code: 54321.

When I leave at just before 3 it’s pissing it down outside. Just as well it’s not a long walk back to my hotel.

Paul and Jamie pick me up at 18:45 and drive me over to Atlas Brewing. The weather is terrible. It's persisting it down. Which means the traffic is really bad. Even worse than usual. We crawl through a carousel of sparkly red lights. It's 19:45 - 15 minutes late - by the time we get there.

Mike Stein is outside to let us in. There's not much of a crowd. Which is probably connected with the awful weather. We chat and drink some beer for a while. And eat some pizza. It’s all very jolly, if incredibly low-key.

Until Mike gets out bottles of Obadiah Poundage and Black Eagle that Liz Garibay sent him. Everyone in dead impressed by the latter. It is a pretty nice beer, even if I say so myself. I’m glad I brought back a few extra bottles from

We don't stay too late. The weather is still dreadful when we leave, but there's much less traffic. I’m too tired to watch the city gliding by in a confusion of lights.

I don't stay up late, feeling exhausted again. Jim helps me over the edge of consciousness.

Dog Haus
933 Ellsworth Dr STE 933,
Silver Spring,
MD 20910.

Atlas Brew Works Ivy City Brewery & Taproom
2052 West Virginia Ave NE #102,
DC 20002.

No comments: