It was dinnertime, and I needed a beer.
The first day of my vacation had been a lot of fun — Natural History Museum, Shake Shack — but the kids hadn’t napped much. IKEA had let them run out some energy, checking out the various kitchen models, but my nerves were fried. I needed a break.
And a beer. Beer is good.
As I said in my previous post, I had one shot: find a place that’s family friendly and close. There are strange magicks around the Beltway, where space-time warps and five miles can take 30 minutes or more to drive. I had heard good things about Lost Rhino, but that was on the other side of the city. ChurchKey seems amazing, but it’s a little too upscale for 4-year-olds.
We decided on Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store: close by, pizza and fish sticks on the menu, an interesting and broad beer selection. We drove from IKEA and were seated by the time I had paid for parking.
I scanned the beer menu, trying to find a good mix of interesting, varied and not entirely imperial beers to try. I started with the Vodou, which is in fact pronounced “voodoo” and not in mangled French as I attempted. It was an unfiltered pale ale with Azacca hops, which sounded tasty. They also had their Twisted Turtle Pale Ale on tap: as someone with a brewery who recently had two pale ales pouring simultaneously I could dig it.
The Vodou was a little too bitter for me, in the way that our Hop Burst v1 was. It wasn’t unpleasant, and went down wonderfully (especially after a day of chasing my daughter away from staircases), but I’d have liked fewer bittering hops. It had a wonderful aroma to boot. By the time we ordered our food I had finished it.
I ordered the Open-faced Mediterranean Vegetarian Flatbread Thing, because with a name like that how could I not? Also, the aforementioned Shake Shack visit coupled with fussy kids not eating meant that I had eaten a double cheeseburger, half a bacon cheeseburger and about a milkshake and a half for lunch. I could deal with some veggies.
The Vodou finished, I moved on to the Blasphemous, a goblet of sour brown ale. “Oh, I like this” I typed in my notes. It was sour as — giggle — hell, with a vinous, acidic aroma and flavors of tart, dark fruits. Oh yes, it would do nicely.
I finished the Blasphemous in the awkward period between when we’re obviously finishing up and when there’s obviously time for another beer. I decided I’d go for a third anyway — treat yo’self — but, alas, by the time the waitress came over the kids were getting restless and I decided it was in my best interest to skip it.
I had my eye on their Batch 700, an English Strong Ale, both because I like the style and because CBW had In C, its 500th batch, on tap at the time. I texted Rudy that a brewpub which had been open 20 years longer than us had only made 200 more batches, which made him jealous and probably a little morose.
On our way out we checked out the general store section of Franklin’s, which was actually fairly well stocked with toys, games and foodstuffs. Yes, I just wanted to write “foodstuffs.” I looked through their games section, hoping to find a copy of Animal Upon Animal to play with my son: they didn’t have it (though I did pick it up the next day at a local game/toy store), but they did have quite a few versions of Risk Legacy Grand Champion Justin’s favoritest game ever, Fluxx.
That was it for my beer on the trip, with the exception of a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Namaste the next night at a friend’s. As we were driving back towards 495 to leave I realized I never visited a beer store to pick up some things we couldn’t get in Buffalo. I checked inside the gas station convenience store after filling up to no avail; ah well.
We got home at dinnertime, so after ordering pad thai for my wife for the umpteenth time I headed to the Village Beer Merchant for a growler of 2X Rye. She fell asleep as the kids went to bed so I settled in, drinking it out of a stainless steel mug we bought at Michie Tavern while watching a “Let’s Play” of a friend of mine going through X-Com: Enemy Within.
Vacations, man. They’re fun and all, but between driving and kids I need a rest afterward.