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I have a personal tradition.  In the dead of winter, on the coldest night, I bundle up and head out to a local bar for some beers.  I’ve never thought of it as a “tradition,” but looking back, its something that I’ve consistently done for several years, so I’ll name it as such.

So last night, in 15 degree weather, I braved largely unplowed icy roads on a charming 1/2 mile ride to Johnny Brenda’s.  I thought I was going to see some friends bands play and I was grateful for a fun night out.

Funny thing, though.  I paid the $10 cover, found a friend at the bar, and cozied up with a glass of Legacy Bruin (delicious, though maybe not as hearty as such a night called for).  I realized that other than Alex at the bar, whom my meeting was a happy accident, I didn’t recognize another face in the place.  I didn’t even see my friends who were supposed to be playing.  I finally got suspicious enough and checked out the band list for the night, and realized that I was totally at the wrong show.  Oops!  For the record, don’t trust Facebook invites, they often have the wrong dates.

So I took my Weyerbacher Fireside ale down to the main bar and spent the rest of the night there.  Despite the show confusion, it was a great night.  The tap list at Johnny Brendas usually bores me, but there was quite a selection last night.  Besides the Fireside ale, which was sublime, the Dock St Imperial Stout was impressive.  I don’t remember the Sly Fox Gang Aft Agley being so smokey, but I loved it.  Overall the beer selection was perfect for a frigid and ill planned evening.

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Lois and I had a chance to run out for some drinks Thursday night at Johnny Brenda’s. Beerlass posted a tip that there may be a newly tapped keg of Sly Fox Jasper Mai Bock there. There wasn’t. But we had some nice alternates instead. We had a pair of Sly Fox Ichors to begin. A bit cloying, and perhaps unbalanced, but it was fine with me. I wasn’t sure what it was when I ordered, but as a quad, it made alot more sense. For round 2, I got a Stoudt’s Mai Bock, since the Jasper wasn’t there. Classic, well balanced, though I was greedy for more than a 10oz pour. Lois tried the Dogfish Festina Peche. She wasn’t much into the tart (a peach sweet tart, in her words), and I can’t say I blame her. It tasted fine, but a full pint would take some dedication. Or, as Lois suggested, it would have gone much better with some pie (in contrast to the Ichor, which she likened to a dessert in and of itself).

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