September 14, 2005

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

The joys of the micro-brewery! I'd have to imagine that Gritty McDuff's on Fore Street in Portland, Maine was the first brew-pub I ever went to, and I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. On the right day the smell of the cooking grains and malts, etc can be nearly overpowering, and that smell always stirs up good memories for me. Now before you question why I was in such an establishment, well they have a restaraunt also. Regardless, the micro-brewery is in my blood, so to speak. Ol' padre even used to brew up some funky batches in our basement.

Off the top of my head I can recall a few establishments that brew their own beer which I have frequented along the way:

Iron Hill Brewery (Newark and Wilmington, Delaware)
John Harvard's (Wilmington, Delaware)
Brandywine Brewing Company (Greenville, Delaware)
Gritty McDuff's (Portland, Maine)
Stewart's (Newark, Delaware)
Grand Rapids Brewing Company (you guessed it - Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Here's the catcher. I turned 21 only nine days ago, so as one might reckon, I've only ever ordered a beer at one of these places (I live in Michigan...). This is not to say that I have not sampled the beers from these fine establishments, only in the past it was all sips and never pints. Speaking of pints, who needs 'em? I'm Mr. Mug Club now at GRBC - a low ranking #354, but it counts. Mugs are supposedly ~ 20 oz, which is a few ounces more per draught than a pint glass (four, to be precise). This is great and all, but the real benefit of being on the mug club is on Tuesdays: $2 Mugs all day long. Yesterday was the first Tuesday since my I got signed up, and I felt I would be remiss to not pay GRBC a little visit. So instead of going northbound from Calvin back to my place after classes I simply hopped on the southbound bus and made my way to the bar. It's just that easy, and in order to assuage any concerns that any guardian-type reader may have, here's this:

A. I have no car. You can't get in trouble for driving home from the bar if you have no car.

B. Let's just say that I didn't exactly have my first drink on my 21st birthday. Responsible contact with alchohol has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, both by example and practice.

I believe that the worst thing that parents can do is try to keep their kids away from stuff like that entirely for as long as they can. What's the point of that? Then the kid goes from 0-60 all at once when they hit college and has no clue what the deal is. Anyway, it seems irresponsible to not train one's kids to know what alchohol is all about (of course, this is if one were to consume alchohol at all). That being said, I still think my parents are feeling hesitant regardless. Just remember that the drinking age was 18 back in the day...and I'm an old school kind of guy, know what I mean?

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