The nice part about sleeping in a basement is that it’s dark, which means later sleeping. Unless you wake up as soon as the house does. Which is my problem. So I woke at 7:30 and fell asleep (barely) until 10, and then was ready to start. The fine gentlemen from Country Boy were already in town and ready to have a beer. An important note: when touring beer places (bars, breweries, etc) it’s always better to have someone who owns or works at a brewery. It lends authenticity to what you’re doing. And when you put Evan Coppage and me together, we can talk our way into whatever (yes, ladies, yes). I was excited to see my friends and to visit DC. We met at Capital City Brewery, located in a large office building downtown with limited signage. Google maps did me no favors on finding this one. After the hugs and tears subsided, we got down to the daily itinerary. Evan and I bullshitted, while DH ensured the kegs were delivered for the event that day. Bad news: the carrier wasn’t sure if the kegs would make it on time. The kegs were “out for delivery” which could be a good thing unless your event is in a couple of hours, as was the case.
As it turns out, the kegs weren’t out for delivery, and they weren’t in the area. They were in Baltimore at the carrier’s warehouse. But where in the warehouse, no one seemed to know. The kegs weren’t lost, but misplaced temporarily. As panic set in (not having kegs at an event in DC where some brewery big wigs would be is not good news), we devised a plan. First, we need a car. Second, drive to Baltimore. Third, find kegs. Fourth, return. After numerous text messages to the four people I knew in Baltimore, Tully graciously loaned us his car, which was located at his house, ten miles away. So we cabbed it to his house, only to be told by the carrier (who DH was on the phone with most of the time) that the beer was still not located. Turns out the truck was checked in but not the beer. The beer was in Ohio, so no chance of getting that back. We turned around the cab and headed back to give Tully his keys, with the Country Boys feeling a little depressed. Then Evan had a grand scheme, which ended up working, and the lads went to institute said scheme. I left as there was little I could do to help, and would rather go have a beer or five. So I went back to Bluejacket.
No one was at Bluejacket compared to the previous night, until an hour before the baseball game. It got crowded, and I rolled out. I did have the pleasure of meeting some real interesting people, including a guy who went to UGA the same time I did, and a Navy Seal who lived in Alaska. After Bluejacket I decided I wanted to be filled with patriotic amore, so I walked to the National Mall. It is truly beautiful and spectacular. The Capital Building, all the museums, the Washington Monument (which was closed until four days after I left, so I never got to climb it, yet), Lincoln Memorial, and all the damn eighth graders in the US. Seriously, I think 65% of the nations youth were there with their schools. It influenced how I toured and made me ready to leave, to go get another beer.
A quick cab ride and I was at Smoke and Barrel ready to imbibe with my friends from Lexington who had found two kegs of their beer. There, I had the pleasure to meet the brewery ambassador from Schlafly, Stephen Hale, where I was hoping to tour in a month. He was pleasantly surprised that I knew one of his brewers, Jared, who is going to be my guide around St. Louis. I did my damnedest to get him to like me, and I think it worked. We will know when I get to St. Louis. The event was fantastic, and the bar as well. I immediately fell in love with the bar: it’s a whiskey and beer bar with great food, and, most impressive to me, they own a recirculating line cleaner!!! It’s a super nerdy thing to get excited about but it means they care so much about the quality of their beer they are willing to purchase the equipment and train their staff how to use it. That was amazing.
I then convinced the lads and Stephen that we needed to go to Right Proper. My selling point was that they brewed a Gotlandsrika, an historic style no one really knows about. We arrived, got beers and cheese, and as I was with brewer’s, we were offered a tour. Post tour, we paid and made to leave. I had been in contact with two friends from Louisville, one (Zach Everson) was living in DC freelancing; the other (Lori Mattingly) was in town to support her mom during a meeting with delegates. As we left Right Proper, these two arrived in what looked like a clown car, except for the paint job. Stephen was done; DH and Evan had no choice but to head to Churchkey with us. Churchkey had tapped several Firestone Walker beers that I was anxious to try and the group humored me by joining. When we arrived, it became apparent that Evan was done, a product of a long travel day, numerous beers, and a lack of food (he eats all the time). We sat down, Evan excused himself, and made for the door to walk home. DH held out longer and eventually we all left. I decided to take the long walk back to the den I had been calling home, and reflected on the days events. I thought about how I needed to get out of DC, but, hell, this is my tour. I had decided to stay for one more day.