Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We're gonna make our dreams come true. Doin' it our way

This coming weekend, my husband and I are going where the greats have gone before us (See: Laverne and Shirley, Gene Wilder, Frederick Pabst, Fredrick Miller, Joseph Schiltz and Valentine Blatz!!) and heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

You may ask, "Milwaukee? Why????"

In fact, we get that a lot. (You can picture my very pretty friend and Milwaukee resident K sticking her tongue out at you here for deigning to ask such a question). Firstly and foremostly, we're going to visit the above mentioned K and her husband B (names have been adjusted to initials to protect the innocent). Secondly, we're going because of my husband's love of baseball stadiums. We have sweet tickets to Saturday's game of the Brewers versus the Reds and number 7 clicked off the list.

Thirdly, we're going for the beer.

I have never really liked beer. In college I had a wicked "beer face" that I made whenever I tried to take a little itty bitty sip of beer. My lips would pucker and my eyes would close and my entire countenance was one of unhappiness. However, in the past ten years or so since I first developed my face, I have become much more tolerant towards beer. One might even go so far as to say that I like it.

I attribute this change in tastes to my brief sojourn in Bath, England where the beverage of choice is beer. However, like most of the other women on my trip, I would order pints of British cider. Unlike American cider, which tastes more akin to a malt beverage than a beer; British cider is very dry (which is easily remedied by having your local barkeeper add "black" or black currant syrup-- called a "cider and black" yum!) and resembles beer more than it resembles the apple-y goodness of Woodchuck. While in Bath I fancied myself as something of a cider connoisseur, adjusting my palate so I preferred the sharpness of Blackthorn to the smoothness of Strongbow, and weaning myself off of the currant syrup. By the time I got back to the States and tried to continue my cider obsession there, I found I couldn't. Some people will argue that American beer is inferior to English and Irish beers. I would argue that it is more the cider that can not stand up to the Brits. And so began my slow decent to becoming a beer-drinker.

Once graduated from college and working an entry-level job, this trend strengthened. Back up at my good ol' alma mater, a trip to the bar for an evening of mixed drinks would cost you $6-$10 and get you throughly hammered. A basic Vodka Cranberry would cost a whopping $2 ($2.50 if you were all fancy and wanted Absolute or some such pretension) and be 90% vodka, 10% cranberry. But down in NYC, one single vodka cranberry costs at least $6 and is not nearly as potent, whereas you can buy a domestic beer for a piddling $4! So, beer it is!

Nowadays I tend to order wine or beer instead of standing at the bar perplexed, contemplating exactly what fancy drink I want to order (though my drinks of choice are: Vodka Cranberry with lime juice; Jack and Ginger; Rum and Coke with lime juice; or anything that they can put a cherry in), annoying the barkeeper and all of the friends I am with. I'm still a kind of wussy beer drinker, but I know what I like and what I don't. I don't like the flavor of hops (!?!) so I prefer Lagers to Ales. I don't like dark beers. I will happily sit with my husband and down Miller Lites (sic) in perfect bliss. On fancy occasions I'll go all out and order a Stella or a Harp.
But if on tap I see the siren draw of Blackthorn or Strongbow ciders, I smile in contentment, knowing this is a true Irish pub and I sigh in a blissful way and go back to my roots.

So Milwaukee, we're looking forward to coming. We plan to eat Brats, drink beer and watch baseball like locals...

Give us any chance we'll take it.

Give us any rule, we'll break it.

When I return, I promised K that I would post on the top 10 awesome things about Milwaukee. But in the meantime I have a few other posts up my sleeve...

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