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It’s been a while since I’ve brought a large group of co-workers to the Toronado. However, a pair of beer-drinking vendors from Atlanta were in town, and far be it from me to let them go home with having some good California beers…

So at 4:30, a whole cadre of us made it to the Toronado. In attendance was Carlos, Christie and Molly from the office and the two vendors. Janet arrived about an hour later and Rochelle (another co-worker) and her beau made it a little after seven. Oh yeah, Albert, who had been promising to come to the Toronado for the last three years or so made it to the bar somewhere between seven and eight too…

Most of the time when I bring people out to the Toronado, one or two people end up not being beer drinkers and spend the whole time half-assedly sipping at their beers… not really liking what they (or anyone else at the table, for that matter) were drinking. But last night, everyone was a beer drinker.

Carlos made sure that the Atlantans sampled a Prohibition Ale, from our favorite brewery: Speakeasy… but there were so many new beers since my last visit that I felt compelled to have something new. Before the night was over, I would go through two pints of Lagunitas Brewery’s Hairy Eyeball, a highly hopped amber ale, a glass of De Koninck and a glass of Boont Amber. Janet stuck with a couple Imperial Pints full of Guinness. The others consumed glasses of Hoegaarden, Prohibition, Maximus, Lindeman’s Framboise and they also grabbed bottles of Chimay Grande Reserve and Cantillon Brouscella.

Everybody seemed to really like the beers, and the beer novices tended to gravitate towards Carlos or me in order to get some tips on what might be a good choice based on their tastes and drinking habits. It’s hard to recommend a beer to someone I don’t know well. It isn’t that I feel like I made a bad selection for someone if they end up not liking the beer I recommended. My problem is that some people tend to get a little snotty when you try to provide that assistance that they requested of you. I dunno… it’s just a risk you take when trying to help out people you don’t know well.

Looking back on Friday night, I think that the highlight was having time to talk to Molly. Molly was my fullback on the soccer team, the only person who can drink Guinness as fast as I can and the one of the only people close to my age at the office. Sigh. I need to make an effort to spend more time with my friends.

The group of us stayed there until almost 9pm… when the group left for dinner at Thep Phanom. Well, almost the whole group left for Thai food… Janet, Molly and I decided to stay at the bar for a while longer before leaving to get grinders at King Foot.

All in all, a great night at the bar.

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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