Thursday, 8 November 2018


The day starts with a fry up. The same bacon and egg combination I had a few days ago.

The same waitress serves me. And clearly remembers me, as she can recall some of my preferences. Which is quite cool. As is eating bacon after a couple of days without.

My flight isn’t until 2 PM. I’m planning on hanging around in my hotel room until checkout at noon. With one little excursion. To the liquor store on Main Street.

The weather is quite pleasant and it’s not that far. It lets me see a bit more of the town. To be honest, I’ve seen bugger all of it, other than the inside of my hotel. I walk past the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, which is in an old stone cottage.

I head straight for the bourbon section, but on my way there am distracted by the moonshine display. Now there’s something that would interest the kids. And very reasonably priced at $9.99 for a half bottle.

Once I’m checked out, I grab a cab and head for the airport. Where I pick up my boarding pass and dump a bag. It’s all very routine.

I spot a Sam Adams pub on the way to my gate. Seems a good enough spot to kill some time. My waitress looks a few years older than me. Her colleague could be her mother. They certainly let the old work here in the US. I feel slightly embarrassed about making her run around serving me. I order a Stone IPA. And a bourbon.

I feel like eating a little something.

“Could I have a portion of onion rings?”

“I’m sorry, we’re out of those. What about some fries instead?”

“OK, that’ll do.” It’ll have to. For a while.

I don’t go too crazy in the bar. I still have stuff to do today.

I breeze out of the airport pretty quickly, not having had too long to wait for my checked in bag. I’ve been lucky so far with that. Unlike in the summer in San Diego, when my bag went missing. And when it arrived, my clothes were soaked in bourbon.

I wonder why the driver hasn’t switched on the meter. “How much will it cost to downtown?” I ask, nervously.

“$32. It’s a fixed fare.”

That’s cool. No need to worry about what route he’s taking.

My hotel isn’t the nicest I’ve ever stayed in. Probably the grottiest US hotel I’ve had in a decade or two. It’s all a bit rundown. The bathroom fittings look like they need replacing. And why are there cars parked virtually under my window? I’m on the 7th floor. Oh, right. My view is of a multi-storey car park. Great.

Pretty much as soon as I’ve unpacked my laptop and fired off a quick email to Dolores, I’m on the move again. I’m already a little late. I’m supposed to be meeting Mitch Steele and Stan Hieronymus at 6 PM and it’s already a little past that.

I quickly grab a taxi and head for New Realm, Mitch’s new brewery.

Despite being fairly huge, the brewery is quite well hidden in an industrial estate. I don’t fancy searching through the whole place for Mitch and Stan, so I ask one of the staff if they know where he is. Just as well I did ask, as he’s out on the patio. Probably the last place I would have looked.

In addition to Stan and Mitch, there are a few other people from New Realm and Daria, Stan’s wife. They already have beer and food. No wonder, as I am a bit late. I order a beer and a steak. Haven’t had one of those in a while. Steak, I mean. It’s only been a couple of hours since my last beer.

It’s good to catch up with Mitch and Stan. We chat about beery stuff, obviously. One topic is preservation of contemporary American brewing records, something I’ve discussed with Mitch before. I fear that should anyone attempt the type of research I do in fifty years’ time, there won’t be much left to look at.

Stan and Daria have tickets for a concert and can’t stay too long. After they’ve left I adjourn to the bar with Mitch for another beer. Always good talking to him. And drinking beer, obviously. The New Realm ones seem pretty decent, based on the ones I’ve tried here.

Again, I don’t leave it too late. I’m getting vaguely responsible in my old age. I watch a bit of crap TV, drink some moonshine and then crash. Sleep stalking me from the shadows.

Virginia ABC
2026 E Main St,
VA 23223.
Tel: +1 804-225-2705

New Realm Brewing
550 Somerset Terrace NE #101,
GA 30306.
Tel: +1 404-968-2777

No comments: