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Hoppy Face for Hippies

This afternoon, I started to feel a longing. It had been too long since I had been to the Toronado… almost two weeks to be exact. So, since I got out of work a little early, I decided to head over to the Toronado for a few beers while waiting for Janet to get out of work.

Though it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Toronado, it’s been even longer since I have been to the Toronado at Happy Hour… and even longer than that since I’ve been to the Toronado during Happy Hour while Pauly was working there. Pauly transcends scowly and has ventured into the territory of surly. I guess that’s why I like him so.

Anyway, I sit down and order up a Mendocino Brewing Company Red Tail Ale, which is cask conditioned and on hand pump. If you’ve never had a beer on hand pump, you’re missing out on something truly amazing. Beers on hand pump aren’t carbonated, and they’re served at cellar temperature (55 degrees). Since the beers are warmish, the aromas and tastes are fully released… and since they aren’t fizzy from the carbonation, they don’t fill you up as fast as a normal beer.

About a third of the way through the beer, this drugged out hippie guy wanders into the bar, sits down and starts to ask Pauly for a beer. Pauly immediately tells him to leave, reminding him that he has the right to refuse service to anyone. The guy starts to complain, which lasts for a few seconds… because the bouncer puts his meathook of a hand on his shoulder and says “He asked you to leave… so leave.” He left promptly, babbling something about the second son of God. I’m still not sure if he was calling himself the second coming of the messiah, or of in his drugged out state he was confusing Pauly (with his long, curly, black hair) with Jesus. Either way he was gone.

As the story goes, Mister Hippie came in at 3:30ish, right before Pauly got on shift. When Pauly started the shift, he noticed Mr. Hippie’s glass was empty. So, as all bartenders do, Pauly asked if he wanted another beer. Here ‘s Pauly’s recollection of the conversation:

  • Pauly: Need another beer?
  • Hippie: Yeah.

  • Pauly: What ‘cha drinking?
  • Hippie: (while vaguely pointing to the row of about 30 tap handles) One of
  • Pauly: Which one?
  • Hippie: (pointing more fervently at the tap handles) That one you asshole.

Ok. Now, you never want to piss off the bartender. However, Pauly had just started the shift and decided to let it roll off his back.

  • Pauly: (getting a little steamed) Which one are you drinking?
  • Guy sitting near Hippie: I think he’s drinking the Hoppy Face IPA
  • Hippie: Yeah.

So Mr. Hippie gets his Hoppy Face, and proceeds to spend the next hour “sissy-sipping” at his beer, taking up a valuable seat at the bar. He finishes his beer, and leaves… no tip. He left a few minutes before I got there. I guess when Mr. Hippie decided to show up again, Pauly just didn’t want to deal with him anymore. Remember the California State Law: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

The afternoon was rounded out with a great Rogue Brutal Bitter, which had an amazing grainy aroma and a crisp-sharp taste and a pint of this year’s batch of Anderson Valley Brewing Company Oktoberfest. On Octoberfest news… this Wednesday is a Spaten sponsored Octoberfest at the Toronado. Spaten has sponsored the last three Octoberfest celebrations at the Toronado… which means an oompah band, sausages and sauerkraut. Guess I’ll have to tell the office that I’ll be working from home on Thursday.

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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