I have come very far from my neighborhood to visit the Lombard House, a local pub in St Johns, and holy crap I could not create a more local local if I had wished it up. The bartender, Ryan, introduces himself and it isn’t until after I’ve sat down and seen him speak to five other patrons that I understand he’s greeting me because I’m new here and he knows it.
A gentleman finishing his conversation with Ryan tells me he’s drinking the Pilsner, so I order that and then look at the board to see who made it: Upright. The Engelberg Pils.
The nose has a sourish note, like raw sourdough: yeasty, bready. The middle is very clean and the finish is crisp, breaking on my tongue like ice in a drink. It’s drinkable, mining the classic styles of pre-macro lagers. I don’t know that I would’ve ordered it for myself but I can’t be mad at it, either.
“You hungry, you want me to get some food?” A different patron asks Ryan; and man, that’s how you take care of your bartenders. Offer to buy them food.
“I don’t drink much these days,” a man says behind me.
“I definitely do,” his friend replies.
On my left is an open window -and I’ve seen at least one person lean into the window to hail the bartender for a beer. Outdoor seating is clearly key to a pub as cozy as this one.
I’m not sure if I’m here on a special night or if it’s like this all the time, but I hope it’s like this all the time. Everyone and everything feels like they walked here from work or home and are catching up. Plus, if I don’t miss my guess, a country band is about to start rollicking the place up.
I find myself wishing there was a place like this closer to home.
Then again, if it was close, what would help spur me to new adventures?
Today’s second pint goes to the Maren Sanchez Home Foundation.