Posts Tagged ‘Beer’
5 March 2011
Being stuck in traffic due to an accident is not the way I wanted to start my first day as a beer manager at the North Texas Irish Festival. I had my schedule worked out pretty well and we left the house earlier this morning than we’ve ever left for an Irish Festival day. But, the universe had other plans for me, and by the time we parked (parking lot stupidity was at an all time high) and walked to volunteer check-in and I had a radio in my hand, I was much later than I’d hoped to be.
It worked out alright, though. I found my booth—they moved it last night!—met my first couple of volunteer pourers, and started my set-up. Wine and ice bucket over here. Sanitizing station … over there. Personal stuff back here. Boxes of cups … down there. Taps are hooked up … Breathe. Relax … Okay …
I got everyone signed in, checked their TABC licenses and learned names. We had little time to wait; since one other booth wasn’t opening at all due to the cold, nasty wind, we had early morning customers. The cold weather made for a slow morning, but by midday, the sun was out and the cold didn’t seem so penetrating.
It wasn’t too far into the day when Doug showed up in my booth looking all business-like. Then, Barbara showed up, too, and I started to get concerned that I might be in some sort of trouble. When Kara, too, arrived, I was officially worried. Three of the four beer coordinators—my bosses—in my booth all at the same time? But, moments later, after a wordy introduction about how I was crazy enough to want more responsibility, they presented me with the hat in this photo. Apparently, it’s become sort of a joke, that all beer managers are given a hat like this on their first day.
Those who really know me, will know exactly how ironic this is. I hate baseball-style caps. This is actually a “trucker’s hat” or a “hunter’s cap”—technically even more awful, in my book. I hate the fact that somewhere along the line it became socially acceptable for these hats to be worn by anyone, anytime, indoors or out. I get that baseball players need to shade their eyes from the sun … that’s an appropriate use of this hat style. I can even understand other uniform-type uses for it … But, backwards? Or, on a shady day? Or not on a baseball diamond? And, why are they such a fashion trend? And, when did men decide to ignore centuries of tradition and not remove these hats indoors? Or during the singing of our national anthem? I once tapped a six and a half-foot tall total stranger on the shoulder during the national anthem AT a baseball game and motioned authoritatively for him to take his cap off! He did, too. My list of billed-hat-related gripes is a mile long.
So, for me to be given this hat that I’m expected to wear, is frankly more than a little but funny. But, as the newbie, and not wanting to offend or buck the system, I wore the damn thing … all day. (I started to wear it the next day, too, until my husband told me how silly I looked in it and I got brave enough to carry it, rather than wear it.) I have since found out that everyone thinks they’re awful! Both those who wear them and those who just look at us wearing them. It’s really rather funny. A couple of the managers (mostly newer ones) wear them, but, one guy actually threw his in the trash moments after receiving it! LOL. Another guy wears it only when working, and switches the second his shift is done. Someone else said they were given one, but didn’t know where it was. I’m now trying to figure out if I can take the logo part that says “beer manager” and sew it onto some other, less offensive hat style for next year’s festival! I might start a new fashion trend!
I worked my shift as manager at Beer booth #3, then went to the whiskey tasting and worked another couple of hours. Since the whiskey tasting is how I got involved in this volunteer gig, I really didn’t want to give it up. When I finished there, I found my husband, and after a quick bite to eat, we enjoyed music for the rest of the evening. Lots of our friends were there, including Bryan, Mike and Graham, Allyson (and Rod, although I never saw him), Mary and Donny, Paige and Bobby and girls, Laura, Marcus and many, many others. We stayed almost to the very end of the evening, finally tearing ourselves away only because we knew we had dogs at home, and that tomorrow morning would come awfully early after such a long day.
Tags: Baseball Style Caps, Beer, Boxes, Cold Weather, Joke, Little Time, Midday, North Texas Irish Festival, Parking Lot, Personal Stuff, Pourers, Radio, Stupidity, Sun, traffic, Trucker, Universe, Wine
19 February 2011
Not off to such a good “re-start,” am I?
It’s been a whole week since I returned home from Sacramento, and the camera never came out of my purse. It’s been a week of cleaning and catch-up and meetings with customers. And, unfortunately, a few trips to the hospital. I delivered Stephen there on Friday and brought him home on Monday, with a couple of visits in between. And, now, I’m full swing into my sewing season.
Saturdays are a break from all that, though, as Kyle and I are thoroughly enjoying our volunteer status at the Rahr & Sons Brewery. We both poured beer last week, although I worked longer than he did. But, for good reason; we were joined at the brewery by not only Kara, but Terrill, as well! So, Kyle got in some good quality time with them at the brewery, and then we all went to Yucatan Taco Stand for food and yummy margaritas. This week, it was just he and I, and we worked the door most of the time—him unpacking cases of pint glasses and me taking $7 from each guest. We still followed all that fun with lunch from Yucatan and then we went to the T and P, where it turned out, most of the Rahr staff and volunteers had also gone. It was a good day.
I snapped this photo of a window in the old T and P Building … a fun bit of irony, I thought, and some awesome deco architecture.
Tags: 19 February, Amp, Beer, Deco Architecture, Full Swing, fun, Good Reason, Home On Monday, Irony, lunch, PHOTO, Pint Glasses, Purse, Quality Time, Rahr, Saturdays, sewing, Volunteer Status, Volunteers, Yucatan
9 February 2011
My last day in California. And, a day of triumph. I have learned so much this week—honed some skills I’ve been building for six years, and jumped head first into others. I’ve had to remember, relearn, unlearn and develop muscle memory—both physical and mental! I have gained tons of confidence and am very proud of where I am. And, today (with Kyrana’s prodding and assistance) I plead my case to the gaffer and convinced her I was ready to make a tumbler. I knew I needed coaching—the only reason I hadn’t tried a little clear cup the night she left me to practice snowmen—but I was confident I wouldn’t need a further bail-out. I knew I could make my own bubble, now. I knew I could do all my own gathering and marvering. I was pretty sure I could handle the jacks and the papering (although it turned out that the papering was my weakest spot). There were a couple of other areas that were still pretty foreign (dealing with the blow-hose), but I figured I could do what I was told to do. And, Shannon would punte and ultimately break the piece off the punte if I got it that far. So, after some quiet convincing, she gave the project her blessing and redirected the rest of the afternoon into that flavor of teaching. I went first, then Minda, then Kyrana.
It was a bit grueling, and at one point, I wasn’t sure the little thing was going to live, but when all was said and done, I put a charming little purple cane and white frit covered glass into the leer! Other than the punte and break-off, Shannon didn’t touch it. I was ecstatic … elated … and so, so grateful! The tears of relief (that I hadn’t disappointed the gaffer) and of joy and of pride were quick to the surface, and hugs all around were heartfelt and full of thanks.
Minda, too put a little cup in the leer, but it was her first attempt ever! She had more help, much like Ginger and Kelly and I all did six or so years ago on the Bristol floor when we first began our apprenticeships. But, it was very straight and indicative of how quickly she seems to pick up the movements she’s learning. Kyrana’s cup also went into the leer, with only one false start and a small bit of help. She has logged many more hours in the studio than I have, but had never tried a cup by herself. We were all so proud—of ourselves and of each other!
Shannon and Kyrana and I celebrated by going to a book signing we’d had our eye on, and then to the third of Shannon’s favorite local brewpubs—Hoppy Brewing Company. There, I had the best selection of beers I’d had all week—of the nine tastes in the flight, I loved over half of them, and only didn’t finish one.
Great friends, personal growth and success, awesome beer … beautiful glass, fabulous weather … dinner parties, lunch parties, and ice cream … six fun dogs, a few cats and a couple of chickens … it’s been an incredible week! Tomorrow, I go home. Glad to be going home … but so sorry to be leaving here.
22 January 2011
Darned near the perfect Saturday.
We slept ’til we woke up. We drank coffee and relaxed all morning until we started to get ready to head out … to the Rahr. We grabbed some fast food breakfast/lunch on the way and got there just before one o’clock. Kara and Mike joined us there, and Brett and Jill stopped by, too. I snapped this photo of the bottom of the glass Kyle used today, while we were enjoying Rahr’s award-winning brews.I think it’s really pretty, the way the light is filtered through the beer and down through the star-shaped molded glass on the bottom of the stein. The inspiration for taking the photo is all from Kyle.
We visited with brewery friends, and witnessed one the largest crowds there we’ve ever seen. Last call, and then a bit more visiting and we finally headed toward Yucatan Taco Stand around 4 p.m. A fabulous meal, more quality time with Kara and Mike, a quick run through the house to take pity on the dogs, and then out again, to a birthday party.
Donny turned 41 today … and had chosen a new Arlington restaurant, Babe’s Chicken, as his spot to celebrate with friends. I knew we’d get to see folks we don’t see often enough, but the crowd was even better than I’d expected! It was great to see everyone and I ate way too much chicken fried steak!
Happy Birthday, Donny!
Tags: Babe, Beer, Birthday Party, Bottom Of The Glass, Breakfast Lunch, Chicken Fried Steak, coffee, CROWD, Crowds, Dogs, FAST FOOD, Happy Birthday, Inspiration, Kara, O Clock, PHOTO, Quality Time, Rahr, Yucatan
Camera Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Focal Length 5.8 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire
29 October 2009
The birthday celebration continues. We left today for TRF, rather than waiting until Friday. Kyle had heard about this little pub in The Woodlands, and had informed me opening weekend of faire, that he wanted to visit the place on his birthday weekend. So, I put it on the calendar, we made plans to take friends along with us, and we made it happen.
Kyle and I got to faire, unloaded the stuff and then loaded up three beautiful women: Roxy, Damaris and Kelly. That’s when the rain really got intense. It had been raining most of the day (most of the week, too, I think) and we knew it was supposed to quit before the weekend. But, I, at least, didn’t realize it was to get so much more violent before it ran its course! Kyle drove us from faire to The Woodlands in some awful rain and strong, high wind. We got there safely, and while there, the rain did finally peter out.
The place is very nice, if a little off the beaten path. It is in a modern setting—not what I’d expected, but that’s okay—and it is designed and decorated within to recreate a little pub in the UK that was demolished to make way for a motorway expansion. Apparently, a couple of Americans with money had fallen in love with the place, and when they found out it was closing and being torn down, they made a deal to buy the contents of the pub. We are unclear as to just how much of the interior of this Texas place is original to the British pub, but we know for sure the bar and barback are from across the pond.
My photo is of the amazing array of taps on the front of the bar—very British in style. We had a wonderful time—good food, good beer and great company in a delightful setting. And the drive back to faire was smooth and quick in comparison with the first leg of the trip. So, birthday celebration day #2 was a wonderful success.
27 October 2009
My day was spent with an eye on the clock, ’cause once again, I was going to be sure to attend the PubGuys recording session, and this time, I didn’t want to be late! I got my wish—in fact, I got chauffeur service! Kyle was able to stop and pick me up on his way on down Hwy 287 to the Firehouse Grill where today’s recording was to take place.
This is a great place, by the way . . . and a little too off-the-beaten path to be as well-patronized as it deserves. It’s in Mansfield, in the same shopping center with the Home Goods and Marshalls store . . . right along Hwy 287. Awesome food, huge selection of beers, (Rahr Octoberfest is on tap!) full bar, and great people! Check it out.
It was a good session . . . made a little more special when the pub/restaurant owner came over to join the guys at the mics!