I made an overnight trip to Athens last week (Georgia, not Greece), and I kinda fell in love with the town. It reminded me a lot of Gainesville (Florida, not Georgia), except with a hipper downtown and more funky-freaky people. I found two record stores (2!), a crap load of cutesy-boutiquey stores, a ton of music venues (any one ever heard of the 40 Watt or the Georgia Theatre?) and a mess load of bars that all seemed to carry at least a few craft beers. I’m pretty much set to move there, if only so I could purchase vinyl on a regular basis.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still hate the Bulldawg nation. And I’m still really annoyed by that whole ‘barking’ thing. I’m a Gator by birth, and I know where my allegiances lie. But dammit, this town was cool.
I made it a point to go to Trappeze while I was there. My Gville people will know what I’m talking about when I say that it had the same vibe as the Top, but without all the kitchsy stuff on the walls, and selling insane amounts of good beer. I started out with the Terrapin bread plate that had bread made from the spent grains from Terrapin rye, and sugar used in Terrapin India Brown Ale. The bread was fantastic. It came with a orange butter, but I totally didn’t need it. As I ate the bread, I actually had a Terrapin Rye, and contemplated deep philosophical thoughts. Another cool thing I appreciated about Trappeze: you could choose between a half-pour and a whole pour. Ordering half-pours of everything certainly helped against that whole being-a-female-and-getting-drunk-faster-because-of-less-body-mass thing. I tried four draft beers total, and I would have crawled out of there had I gotten full pours of everything.
Trappeze had two cask lines- I was fortunate to get a glass of Victory Hop Devil on cask. WooHoo! I’ve enjoyed Hop Devil plenty of times from the bottle, but from the cask, it was ridiculously intense. It was pretty much like drinking an imperial IPA; it was freakin’ fantastic. Apparently, they just recently had Brooklyn Dark Matter on draft, which I missed, and a part of me died inside. (I was fortunate enough to have shared a Black OPS sometime before, and it made my soul laugh and shine.)
After stumblin’ a little out of Trappeze, I caught Morningbell, one of my favorite Gainesville bands playing at the Caledonia Lounge. I just so happened to be in Athens while they were playing through on their east coast tour. It was very nice catching up with some other Gainesville locals, and they played a great show.
I came home from Athens the next day with too much money invested in beer and three records; Bob Marley-Legend, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs-It’s Blitz!, and Lady Gaga-The Fame (for the boyfriend). It was a good trip–now I gotta go back and visit Terrapin.
Next time, I’ll tell you about the six gallons of beer brewing in my kitchen.