Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bumming it for Free Beer in DC

There's an outside bar down in DC called Bardo. It used to have a reputation as the fun place to be, but whenever I looked at photos of it online, there was little appeal, just rickety wooden benches, bare ground clinging onto a few sparsely scattered clumps of grass, so it could be referred to as a lawn, and in general, seeming to have an air of grubbiness about it. My DC friends had all been but I'd resisted their invites, protesting absolutely no desire to visit this ghastly place. Until Emily played her trump card. She had purchased a Groupon offer which was $200 of beer, equaling 25 pitchers. Her timing was exquisite, she flaunted this at a moment when my guard was down and I gobbled the proverbial carrot, worm on a hook, the whole enchilada. I found out later that she'd had this coupon for a while and was indeed finding it hard to pull a group together to enjoy this free liquid feast. But finally she had lassoed those of her friends who would willingly forgive her for a night of horror, and so we all met as planned. I was wondrously fortunate in not having to drive that night, and even started the evening off early. While waiting for Emily to arrive at her house with her rental car I sat on her porch chatting with her neighbor, and knocking back a few preliminary beers, to dull my senses in preparation for the upcoming gnats' piss I would be compelled to quaff.
 We arrived at the bar, and my spirits lifted on seeing the fine group of friends that Emily had persuaded, or I'm sure bribed, to join her in this 'free' evening of consumption. I looked around, dismayed at the unkempt and shabby first impression this place threw at me. I'd looked at the website before arriving, and the reality looks a little more jaded than the images it portrayed. The bar was just about standing, looking like it had been constructed from scraps of wood found in alleys, and there also seemed to be a lot more dogs than people. Apparently it's a dog friendly place so I made a conscious note to ALWAYS look where I was putting my feet. I felt badly for the few patches of turf, trying vainly to evade the shadow of a raised leg... The stainless steel vats were at least a little shiny, but I chose not to inspect them for cleanliness, worried at what I might find, and so turned back to the group. We sat down at a metal table that looked as though it had been driven over a few times and then hammered back into shape but the stained wooden benches looked relatively sturdy so I sat and focused on the beer list. I was actually impressed with the number of beers on here, and some of them sounded quite tasty, so Emily started off with a gingery concoction, that resembled washing up liquid, along with a brown ale and an IPA.  We supped and grimaced, and pretty much, that was how the drinking progressed. But the company was superb and we were having a whale of a time, until the rain started. No gentle spatters to slowly alert us of the incoming torrents, it was as though a hose had been turned on us. Grabbing the pitchers, we charged with the remaining punters to a dimly lit interior with sagging floorboards and a lot of wooden tables with benches and chairs.
Emily and Bob inspecting the door, wondering if it really worked as a door or was the opening to the Tardis.
The rain hammered down outside and some of it came in too. Poor Deb was bravely fending off splashes with her elbow from a spring that had developed in the roof above her. But regardless we bravely carried on drinking, and after a while the beer wasn't too bad. They were watery imitations of the fine craft beers we're used to supping but we did agree that we could progress with the brown ale and the IPA. I patted myself on the back, remembering the Ibuprofen I'd brought with me, I had a nagging feeling a headache would be the first thing I'd awake to in the morning.
Richard obviously isn't impressed with Bob's repertoire here, or it could be the beer...
Not impressed with Walter's either. It must be the beer,
OK, so now the beer was getting to everyone.
 The Marion Berry Lambic.
And eventually the rain ceased its attack, with Richard and Walter jumping at the opportunity to escape. He certainly looked a lot happier at being on the other side of the window.
The inside of the bar, then outside with Emily and Margie discussing the beer list to a drenched bar man. We only managed 6 pitchers between us, so there's still another 19 that need to be consumed. We have to go back! Oh, the humanity!
 My last photo of the evening. Emily's rental car had very cool lighting in the foot wells, giving the impression that our last stop had been in a disco. Maybe it was...

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