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Winter Beers Arrive

Last night was a Toronado night, as usual. When we got there at 7:15, I immediately noticed that the Aventinus Doppel-Weisen-Bock was finally on tap. Two Aventinus (would that be Aventinii?) were immediately poured by Steve, who was filling in for Jennifer’s Saturday 4-9 shift.

It’s good that we ordered these Aventinii quickly, because about 15 minutes after we got them, the Crown Royal shroud was placed over the tap handle, marking that they were out of Aventinus. So, I started to look at the tap list to see what else was new. The Lagunitas Maximus, an extremely hoppy Pale Ale was on tap, as was the Nick Wit from the 20 Tank Brewpub in San Francisco. In addition, the bar has started putting the winter beers on tap. Currently, they have the Full Sail Wassail, the Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, the

Deschutes Jubelale and the Fuller’s Olde Winter Ale from England. This would be great, if I happened to like winter beers. However, since I don’t like winter beers, all this represented was 5 taps that will be filled with beers that I don’t want to drink. Ever.

Anyway, we were still working on our first Aventinii (Aventinuses?) when Ian came in a few minutes before 9pm. Ian asked how we liked the beer, and we emphatically announced our love of this beer, but also exclaimed our sadness that they had just blown the keg and Steve said that they were all out. Ian then informed us that there were two more kegs in the back and that he would put another one up as soon as he could. The keg came on just as we finished our first half liters. Before the night was over, I would drink a liter and a half of Aventinus, and Janet would finish a liter.

Saturday nights at the Toronado have been unbearable the last few weeks, and last night was no exception. Every idiot yuppie came out of the woodwork and decided to come out to the Toronado for a beer. There were a ton of annoying incidences that I could regale you with, but I will focus on the two most annoying moments of the night.

10:15pm… A jock walks into the bar and asks Johnny for a “Sierra Nevada.” For those of you who aren’t beer drinkers, Sierra Nevada is a brewery that produces a relatively famous, yet extremely bland, Pale Ale. Tons of people come in and ask for a “Sierra Nevada” really meaning that they want the “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.” We all know that’s what they are looking for, and usually the bartenders will be nice about it and advise them that they don’t carry Sierra Nevada Pale ale, but that they should try one of the other pale ales.

But this unfortunate schlub was the fifth person to ask for a “Sierra Nevada” and he got the Pauly answer: “We have the Celebration, and the Harvest Sierra Nevada. Which one?” This usually is followed by the retort “The one I always get in the bottle” which gets Pauly to say “We don’t have that” as he turns to serve another person. Tonight, Johnny gave the schlub the Pauly Sierra Speech. In commemoration of Johnny coming over to the dark side, I wrote a sign in black ink on a napkin: Sierra Nevada is a BRAND not a BEER.

11:45pm… Todd, the daytime bouncer and occasional bartender was sitting in seat #1, and Janet and I were in seats 2 and 3. He got up to get a smoke, and this little stoner yuppie skater duuuuuuuuude comes in to his slot to place his order. Duuuuude then flags down Ian and asks “What do you recommend in a beer?” Now, I was working on my third Aventinus and was feeling no pain… and this guy just touched a raw nerve. I immediately sprang to life, bellowing “There are 46 fucking taps representing a myriad of different styles. If you can’t give him a name, a style or a brand, he can’t help you.” Scared little Mister Duuuuude then asks Ian in a timid, almost cracking voice “What goes well with a sausage?”

So, Ian pours him an Aventinus (which goes very well with sausage), Duuuuude pays and moves out of Todd’s spot, Todd sits down again, and then Duuuuude walks out… beer in hand. Ian then gives me this did he just leave look, and I turn to Todd and say “Hey, that asshole just walked out with an open container.”

You see, a bar can be fined if a patron brings an open container out of the bar. That’s why in a big sign at Rosamunde (the sausage shop) says that you can bring unopened bottled beer in from the Toronado. That’s also why a big sign at the door of the Toronado says NO GLASSWARE ALLOWED OUTSIDE.

Fast forward 1 minute. Todd is dragging Duuuuude in, explaining the laws about open containers in California, and telling him that he could bring the sausage in to the bar. Duuuuude then asks Todd to watch his beer, and then goes out, gets his sausage, grabs his beer and sits somewhere else.

Janet and I are now considering that we just get to the Toronado at midnight when the crowd starts to thin and then stay till they kick us out. We’ll probably be much happier if we do that.

But, in better news, we got tickets to the Belgian Beer Festival on December 13. Over an eight hour guided tasting, we’ll be going through 30+ Belgian beers and a full 5 course meal. Only three weeks away… I can hardly wait!

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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