One nice thing about going to the local bars is that I get a chance to have regularly appearing beers that otherwise I’d overlook for the new thing. In this case, Ninkasi’s Believer ale, which is very much the kind of red ale I’d like to make someday. Rich enough in the malts to stand up but with a bitter finish that clears any pretense of sweetness away.
Tonight I’m at the Hawthorne Hideaway which has been a bar I’ve always liked but had trouble getting to. Being blessed with a number of good places to drink means that sometimes I don’t get to bars I really enjoy. Circumstances get in the way it seems but that also feels like a poor excuse. I don’t have any reason to avoid it here; the fries are good, the bartenders like heavy metal and there’s enough space but not too much so you won’t crowd the other patrons.
I like it more since the smoking ban; the Hideaway is cozy enough that just a little smoke makes it feel a hell of a lot more crowded, but even before the ban I liked it here. I could sit at a table by the window and play cards. Admittedly, I had to sit by the window as the lighting is too dim everywhere else but I’m OK with that.
Interestingly, it feels easier to pay attention to the football game here, where there is only one TV than at the 39th Street Pub where there were four. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to pay attention to the game, I can just check in, whereas at the sports bar I had to deliberately ignore it and the big empty spaces made me feel isolated.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to sit at the bar (which is why you have the shot of the wallohol) and I like it.
Plus, this bar is more lively. There’s a Monday Night Trivia event and it seems like there is a spirited competition there. As a bonus, if you don’t care about playing trivia there is a back room with pool tables where the patrons are all but isolated from the rest of the bar. I like the setup because I could walk in and enjoy myself no matter what my state of mind is. Which is pretty much what I did tonight, now that I think about it.