Just as the skies opened last Friday and many of you headed back to your rooms for a pre-TGIF snooze, a devoted G posse boarded a yellow school bus and headed outside the Cambridge/Allston limits for a trip to the Boston Beer Company in Jamaica Plain. With trip organizers Jen Vogt and Brian Minnehan leading the group in rounds of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and “Bus Driver, Bus Driver,” spirits were high by the time we arrived at the home of Sam Adams beer, widely considered (at least by us) the best in the country.
During the 30-minute brewery tour, Chris Ortega and Noel Heavey distinguished themselves by assisting our fresh-from-the-frat-house guide on the subtleties of hops and malt. Chris Tyler then impressed the crowd with a historical reenactment of Samuel Adams-the patriot, revolutionary, and brewer-enjoying a Honey Porter after a hard day on the battlefield. Finally, Bob Geiman, ever the entertainer, surprised us all with a triple lindee into the 20-foot metal beer vat.
After those shenanigans, the group settled into the back room and began sampling the all of the various wares-Adams Scotch Ale, Cream Stout, Lightship and six seasonal brews. Andrew Croshaw’s 6-month old baby stayed off the hard stuff for the night, but did help the bartender operate the draught pump. Inspired by the assembled crowd (and perhaps by the potent lager) Jen Tippa and her fianc‚ Kevin stood on the table and practiced their wedding duet, belting out Stevie Wonder’s “Say You, Say Me” in perfect harmony. “Beautiful, incredible, better than Cats,” said Tige Stading, wiping a tear from his eyes. Finally, after a ferocious game of Thumper in which Dave Rowland demonstrated adept coordination and original technique, the group made a pass through the gift shop before heading back to campus. Just before take-off, we realized we were down a person. Julie Ritter went to investigate and brought back Joaquin Altenberg, laden down with miniature porcelain Sam Adams replicas and keg magnets, which he said his grandmother will love.
What was a 15-minute drive to the brewery became a 2-hour scenic tour home, as the bus driver took us back to Soldier’s Field via Cape Cod and Rhode Island. Blood-sugars low and heads a bit dizzy from too much microbrew, some of the group continued on to Ol‚ in Inman Square for chimichangas and sangr¡a. Martha Velando belted out Celia Cruz while Lucho Torres and Angela Liu danced salsa-a 5-star performance that the restaurant rewarded with a free dinner. Christine Tse’s invited us back to her place to celebrate. In the quiet confines of her chic flat, we ended the evening sipping scotch and playing air-guitar to the sounds of Radiohead, #4 on Christine’s famous top-ten list.