Who the hell would go to the brewery for lunch – especially without checking in with his other half first and I told him so. “No matter,” he said, “I have an in.” I guess these things while scheduled, are fairly exclusive. Especially as the so-called tour ends up in the brewer’s loft which I found out is well stocked with about a dozen different brands and Johnny’s “in” was the Brew Master himself who didn’t care much for the regulation four ounce sample with a six sample maximum when he gave the tours to ‘private guests,’ and we didn’t pay the $10 tour price either.
“Live life large,” Johnny toasted. He was sounding more and more like a wreck every day and while this may have worked in college, it was far from the recent history of late night shooter bars or even after work cocktails – which still happened from time to time. On the other hand I wasn’t there to judge him. I had done my fair share but seemed to have learned the lesson a bit faster than he had.
“One more dark ale, and that’s it,” Johnny said as he held up two fingers to Glen the Brew Master. And even Glen did a double take. Yes, I would get the keys and drive and would turn away from the last eight ounce, only to watch Johnny gulp down half the draft I left sitting at the bar. Instinct said something had changed in Johnny and I was determined to find out what. But not at the moment, we had agreed to meet the girls early that afternoon and I wanted to put some distance between the hops and this friend of mine lest we both got our asses kicked. 15 minutes later we were headed out of town to Roberta’s place, wind in our hair, tunes on the radio – and an open road.