I was baby sitting on Friday night. Babysitting my friend that is. His daughter was celebrating her birthday and he didn't want to spend a night with a house full of yappy 11 year old girls. I don't blame him. Drinking beer at some of the better beer joints in Milwaukee would be preferred to prepubescent girls any day.
New Glarus Smoked Rye Ale. It is part of the Unplugged series by the brewery. This beer was stuck in my buddy's head. It was the first beer of the night and it left one hell of an impression. So much that he wanted to go to the brewery on Saturday. And that is how things started
I said I had nothing to do and a quick trip to New Glarus is roughly a two hour trip. No problem for a Saturday day trip. But I pointed out that if I was going to drive two hours to a brewery, I wanted to make it worth the time. I said we should stop at Ale Asylum in Madison as well as Tyranena in Lake Mills. Suddenly I was looking forward to hitting the road.
But there was one hurdle. His wife.
He swore that wouldn't be a problem but I know his wife. I know she would think he was kidding. She was not going to sign off on the plan. He called and through some hemming and hawing heard that he had to be home by 5 so she could go out drinking with her friend. I pictured our trip like Pac Man running into a ghost. Wap wap wap!
But we weren't totally dejected. We started planning on hitting up a couple places in Milwaukee. Let's go to Lakefront! How about going to that Stonefly Brewpub for lunch first. Yeah and maybe we can stop at the Milwaukee Ale House on the way back to the south side. Let's do this!!! But first we need to stop at the liquor to get some beer for drinking after the breweries.
And that was our downfall. See he found that New Glarus beer and bought 2 four packs. I added some Sprecher Dopplebock, a Rogue Northwestern Ale, and some Southern Tier Choklat Stout. We get back to his house and plop the beer in a snow bank on his back deck and begin to figure out when to leave.
But we had to wait for his wife first. She ran to Target for some stuff. So we had a beer as we waited. She was running long so we had another beer. Then she got home and she wanted help finding some ice skates. Now he was shoveling his way to the shed in the back of the yard. I had another beer as he worked. Soon he was popping the top off of another when his brother in law showed up with his kids. Apparently they were all going sledding.
Soon with was 2:00 and we realized that we weren't going anywhere. Now we were concerned about having enough beer. And building an igloo around the fire pit.
My buddy lit a fire and decided that a wall around the pit would keep the wind down and he had one of those snow block building thingys. So we started piling blocks on top of the snow he had moved out from around the fire pit.
We were doing some pretty good work but we had one big problem. We didn't have enough packing snow around to build up the walls of our beergloo. Yes, beergloo. It was an igloo to drink beer so it became our beergloo. Apparently the sun hadn't melted the top level of snow evenly around the yard. The snow by the garage packed much better than the snow in the middle of the yard. Add in the setting sun and we had to quit when we got it about shoulder height. When you were sitting down that is.
Sad to say the the sun and 47 degree weather killed our beergloo on Sunday. I tear up just thinking about it. More than when I think about the cancelled beer trek across Wisconsin. I think I just might make that happen still.