Thursday, 22 February 2018

Beers, Ears and Doggy Fears

Abby's much pleased with Fredericksburg brew

The past few weeks have been an adventure at home.  Wait, I have to look up “adventure”.  Yes, that is it, according to the online dictionary that states an adventure is …

1. an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
"her recent adventures in Italy"
exploit, escapade, deed, feat, experience
"her recent adventures in Italy"

Things never seem to sit still around here as the seasons change with the light, the actual sun rise and sun set, the temperature from the dryer cold that requires repeated applications of lotion to the balmy humidity that reminds me of the Galveston I grew up.  The days getting a tad bit longer indicated by the amount of time we are spending AFTER dinner by the fire pit, still burning the days collection of brush, mostly cedar and oak from my ongoing park creation.  The sense in everything we do, that we are part of an ever approaching, slowly creeping, spring cleaning project that comes with this time of year and the knowledge that we have things to get done before our next travel date…. But, we still keep our immediate priorities straight.
 A quick jaunt to Fredericksburg for the matter of a little business, took care of our outing this past week that we have learned to fashion on the fly creating a daytrip out of a 3.5 hour drive.  There are many things to do in and around Fredericksburg and I am mostly disappointed in the number of people that go there and play tourist.  However, this past week, we indeed played tourist outside of our preordained responsibilities.  We took a morning walk that somewhere between Dooley’s Five and Dime and the Amish store became a mid morning stroll down Main street, transitioning into a quick duck into a taproom which happened to open before us at 11am, hoping for something unusual.  This was a bust.  It was our fault, we had set our goal too high.  Just the day before, we took the back roads of the Texas Hill Country from our home on through San Marcos, with an unplanned stop at a brewery called AquaBrew.  Abby was inexplicably hungry after a rather large breakfast and our schedule allowed for the stop having possible plans to be in Wimberly, possibly not.  It turned out not, as our hosts were tied up in Austin at an appointment.  No worries...we enjoyed AquaBrew a couple blocks from the square and the campus. Abby melded into a classic succulent grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup combination along with her “breakfast stout” ( I think it was the Oatmeal Milk Stout), while I sipped on my delicious Swine Dive IPA.
Innovative growlers and REAL flowers at AquaBrew

Skipping our connection in Wimberly, we took a left turn and headed to Blanco to happen by the Real Ale Brewery, on purpose.  I feel I can say with unabashed certainty, that this stop was a huge disappointment, but for the sake of education, I can not call it a waste of time.  It furthers my continuous argument that the bigger the brewery, the greater chance of disappointment.  They have less work to do to sell the wares that already line the grocery store shelves and supply the taps at restaurants.  Therefore, much less hustle in their game and discouragement for us on the other side of the bar.  So in response, we stopped at one of my Hill Country favorites in Johnson City for renewed fortification.  The brewery is Pecan Street Brewing and I don’t stop in for the food, but rather some old standbys in the beer department that have never steered me wrong.   The highlight of Fredericksburg was the Fredericksburg brewing company which I had abandoned visiting many years ago, because it is a pain in the arse to get in and out, being smack in the middle of the Main Street drag.  On foot, Abby and I managed to sit at the bar like good F’burg tourists for the first time and were pleased with the experience and the beer.  I was happy to retie the knot of of Fredericksburg Brewery attachment.  Everything else in town was mostly a myriad of German beer taps and bottles, of course...It’s Fredericksburg.

By now in the abbreviated two day stay, we were falling apart as a team.  My purpose for being there was resulting in head banging and hitting the proverbial brick wall.  The pecan allergens that plague me so often in Fredericksburg were seeping into my body and an earache I have been battling since our return weeks ago was full on.  Additionally and more importantly something was tragically wrong with our mascot and comrade in tow, Macy.  She had not been feeling that great, but in the short time there, she had become much worse and feeling less that happy.  I will spare the gory details of a dog that doesn’t feel well, but it isn’t much different than when humans don’t feel well and things are not going in or coming out right.  With the dog nestled in deep sleep in the backseat, we made the best of our drive home, stopping at two up and coming, VERY hard working breweries in the back roads of the hill country; one just near Kendalia, called Rough Diamond Brewery.  This was a pleasant surprise and a MUST visit and revisit.  We efficiently delved into a beer flight which for the first time ever, I liked all of my beers.  Before we left, I tasted their bock.  Watch out Shiner; this beer made me happy.  Also, the staff was very hands on, informative, involved and energetic about their future as a brewery.  NICE!!  We also stopped briefly outside of Sequin at a brewery called BS Brewing Co. that seemed a little piecemeal at first but then I started to appreciate the variety of offerings in their beer selection, as well as the environment.  They also offered a blackberry mead.  Not a fan of mead, but I saw a place for it in this gatherum of brews.  To top it off, I had their award winning Pecan Ale, something I wouldn’t normally drink, but it went well with the fire outside, complete with cows looking for photo ops and a resident cat named...I forgot.  No, really… I forgot, but it was a very pleasant calico cat that seemed to handle all jobs from greeter to security.  On the way home, we stopped for a quick dinner at a mexican restaurant in Hallettsville I had not been,  el Vaquero, where I enjoyed an unusual carne guisada that I will most certainly do again in the future.  Thumbs up for this quirky Mexican restaurant on the Hallettsville square, that now serves alcohol if that was at all a reason for not checking it out before.
Macy recovering

Stoli (otherwise nemesis) has not left her side

UPDATE:  The weather has suspiciously gone back to what feels a bit like winter.  It is cold and raining and outside work is not happening the past two days, but I am anticipating a nice weekend.  Macy went to the vet and we are no closer to knowing what is wrong with her.  She had some not so good blood work, but a clean X-ray and good on a few tests run by the vet.  She was sent home in frustration of both parties with some anti nausea medicine and an antibiotic.  She isn’t moving much but we are hopeful that she needs another day to come out of whatever has her down and out.  Abby and I are reading as much as usual and I hope that anyone interested, is keeping up with Abby’s “book reports” on this blog.  Most of the books are anything but mainstream or even current.  We are always juggling good reads and surprisingly, it is not hard to keep up with them all. 

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh! Now we must take a brewery tour of the Hill Country! Thanks for the recommendations, Anne and I hope Macy feels better soon.