Monday, August 27, 2012

Beer and Wine

Sorry for disappearing last week - I wasn't kidding when I said posting might be sporadic as I figure out my new schedule this semester. Luckily, I managed to have a busy, productive, and fun weekend, which was great. Except I did nothing to prepare for the upcoming week, which was less great. Oh, well. That's what Monday mornings chained to your desk are for. But before I get to work, here's a glimpse at the last few days on the Henneward Homestead.

Beer looks a lot like a latte.

First up: beer brewing! We hadn't brewed in months, but we want to give homebrew as one of our wedding favors, so we needed to get back in the habit fast. We bought a part-extract, part-grain kit from Wilmington Homebrew Supply (a GREAT store, if you live in ILM and want to brew), and on Saturday morning a few friends came over for a morning of coffee, vegan biscuits, and brewing. We actually had a batch of beer in the ale pail from a few months ago that we never bottled (oops) so we managed to brew a new batch and bottle the old at the same time. 

We tasted the bottled batch and it was... not so great. Hopefully this new one (Nut Brown Ale) will be better. We have high hopes, as one of our friends is better at brewing than us, and gave us some tips along the way. We're going to bottle this batch in 22 oz bottles with fancy wedding-esque labels, which I will reveal at a later time. For now, we ferment and wait. 

Bottling line.

To balance our adventures in beer, I also worked a bunch at the wine store. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - a lot of time with the wine. Friday and Saturday were busy and fun - I love talking to customers and we have some serious characters that I'm definitely taking notes on for future stories. Sunday was slooooooow, and I spent most of my time cleaning the shelves. It's a dusty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Rickshaw Pinot Noir - delicious.

Finally, the weekend was book-ended with two trips to the bars downtown. On Friday night Nathan and I went to the annual MFA Pub Crawl, a hallowed tradition where a large percentage of the program travels to three or four bars in the course of one night. It's a really great way to get to know the incoming students and show them some of the cool spots for carousing, to reconnect with everyone who disappeared over the summer, and to get drunk. I missed the first stop because I was working late at the wine store, but put in a good showing at the second and third locations. We left before the final stop at the karaoke bar, which is really for the best.


And finally, Sunday night we met our friends M and E, who had spent the summer honeymooning in exotic locations, for a beer at Goat and Compass. I had heard of this bar but never been, and wanted to go mostly because it has a cool name. The bar itself was okay - mellow and laid back, a little run down in a good way. I wasn't truly impressed until two sweet dogs showed up with their owners and let me pet them as long as I wanted, which is a pretty long time. Not sure if we'll go back (it's a little out of the way) but I was glad to finally see it, and even more glad to catch up with friends over a beer. Also, I must go to Peru and Romania immediately. 

And now, with a weekend of lots of booze yet no hangovers (go, me!) I'm refreshed and ready to face my first full week of school. Wish me luck - I have a feeling I'll need it.