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Adventures in Maryland

It was dinnertime, and I needed a beer.

The first day of my vacation had been a lot of fun — Natural History Museum, Shake Shack — but the kids hadn’t napped much. IKEA had let them run out some energy, checking out the various kitchen models, but my nerves were fried. I needed a break.

And a beer. Beer is good.

As I said in my previous post, I had one shot: find a place that’s family friendly and close. There are strange magicks around the Beltway, where space-time warps and five miles can take 30 minutes or more to drive. I had heard good things about Lost Rhino, but that was on the other side of the city. ChurchKey seems amazing, but it’s a little too upscale for 4-year-olds.

Yes, SOMEBODY forgot to put his glasses on the day he left for the trip and had to go without them for five days.

Yes, SOMEBODY forgot to put his glasses on the day he left for the trip and had to go without them for five days.

We decided on Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store: close by, pizza and fish sticks on the menu, an interesting and broad beer selection. We drove from IKEA and were seated by the time I had paid for parking.

I scanned the beer menu, trying to find a good mix of interesting, varied and not entirely imperial beers to try. I started with the Vodou, which is in fact pronounced “voodoo” and not in mangled French as I attempted. It was an unfiltered pale ale with Azacca hops, which sounded tasty. They also had their Twisted Turtle Pale Ale on tap: as someone with a brewery who recently had two pale ales pouring simultaneously I could dig it.

The Vodou was a little too bitter for me, in the way that our Hop Burst v1 was. It wasn’t unpleasant, and went down wonderfully (especially after a day of chasing my daughter away from staircases), but I’d have liked fewer bittering hops. It had a wonderful aroma to boot. By the time we ordered our food I had finished it.

I ordered the Open-faced Mediterranean Vegetarian Flatbread Thing, because with a name like that how could I not? Also, the aforementioned Shake Shack visit coupled with fussy kids not eating meant that I had eaten a double cheeseburger, half a bacon cheeseburger and about a milkshake and a half for lunch. I could deal with some veggies.

The Vodou finished, I moved on to the Blasphemous, a goblet of sour brown ale. “Oh, I like this” I typed in my notes. It was sour as — giggle — hell, with a vinous, acidic aroma and flavors of tart, dark fruits. Oh yes, it would do nicely.

It's a flatbread thing!

It’s a flatbread thing!

I finished the Blasphemous in the awkward period between when we’re obviously finishing up and when there’s obviously time for another beer. I decided I’d go for a third anyway — treat yo’self — but, alas, by the time the waitress came over the kids were getting restless and I decided it was in my best interest to skip it.

I had my eye on their Batch 700, an English Strong Ale, both because I like the style and because CBW had In C, its 500th batch, on tap at the time. I texted Rudy that a brewpub which had been open 20 years longer than us had only made 200 more batches, which made him jealous and probably a little morose.

On our way out we checked out the general store section of Franklin’s, which was actually fairly well stocked with toys, games and foodstuffs. Yes, I just wanted to write “foodstuffs.” I looked through their games section, hoping to find a copy of Animal Upon Animal to play with my son: they didn’t have it (though I did pick it up the next day at a local game/toy store), but they did have quite a few versions of Risk Legacy Grand Champion Justin’s favoritest game ever, Fluxx.

That was it for my beer on the trip, with the exception of a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Namaste the next night at a friend’s. As we were driving back towards 495 to leave I realized I never visited a beer store to pick up some things we couldn’t get in Buffalo. I checked inside the gas station convenience store after filling up to no avail; ah well.

I don't know why I love watching other people play video games so much, but I do.

I don’t know why I love watching other people play video games so much, but I do.

We got home at dinnertime, so after ordering pad thai for my wife for the umpteenth time I headed to the Village Beer Merchant for a growler of 2X Rye. She fell asleep as the kids went to bed so I settled in, drinking it out of a stainless steel mug we bought at Michie Tavern while watching a “Let’s Play” of a friend of mine going through X-Com: Enemy Within.

Vacations, man. They’re fun and all, but between driving and kids I need a rest afterward.