Michael’s Thoughts – 2/14/14

A lot has happened since our last trip update, so bear with me. Last I wrote we were heading from Orlando to Jacksonville, FL, and we ended up staying in Jacksonville with Eric, who is a friend of our friend Tommy back in Dallas. After first meeting up with him at Intuition Ale Works, he and his GIGANTIC freakin’ dog took us to Green Room Brewery where we enjoyed the brews and atmosphere without having to interview anyone or take photos, and then stayed to watch the lackluster Super Bowl. The next day we all went to Bold City Brewery, and then went straight to a cool beer bar in the area called Kickbacks where I enjoyed a kickass sloppy joe with bacon mac & cheese and a good beer or two.

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[Me, Haggis, Eric and giant dog]

After leaving Jacksonville we headed north along the coast to Savannah, GA. At first we had nowhere to stay, but luckily a good friend of ours from the craft beer scene back in Dallas, Alex, saw our shout-out for a place to stay on Facebook and directed us to his friend, Sarah, who instantly said she would be more than happy to house us for a couple of days. I would also like to point out that there were multiple people who jumped on our Facebook cry for help and tried to find us a place to stay; I cannot thank those people enough for trying to help us out! That first night Sarah and her friend Allison took us out to trivia night at Wild Wing Café in downtown Savannah, and although we lost with flying colors, the four us had a great time getting to know each other over a few good, yet inexpensive, craft beers. We spent most of the next day at her apartment catching up on writing and scheduling, then went to check out Southbound Brewing’s Grand Opening for tours that night. The next morning we all went out to “breakfast” (I had a honey bun and some coffee, and I don’t think Haggis or Sarah had anything at all), then we said our goodbyes and headed into South Carolina.

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That first day in SC was doubled-up with visits to both Holy City and COAST in Charleston, and then we decided to go check out the town. We ended up at… another brewery called Southend Brewery & Smokehouse. We sat and tasted the beer offerings there while attempting to find a place to stay that night. We failed. Next thing I knew, we had driven to a Wal-Mart northwest of Charleston, parked our van in the lot, and passed out in the front seats on that near-freezing night with no heat. It was worth it, though, and we’re ready to do that as much as we have to in order to be able to afford and get through the rest of this trip. The next day we made our way into Columbia, SC where we spent most of the day at their public library. Later on that night, we made our way over to Conquest brewery and ended up hanging out with their whole crew for a few hours, as well as Nick, who is the man behind Drink. Blog. Repeat. Again we did not have a place to stay, so we made our way out to Brick House Campground in Sumter National Forest. We were the only people out there, which boggles my mind. Why doesn’t anyone else choose to sleep outside when it’s nearly freezing with a chance of rain? They’re missing out! Really though, camping is pretty sweet when nobody else is around.

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On our way over to Greenville, SC the next day, we pulled over at a rest stop to shampoo our beards in the sink. Yes, that really happened. We then made our way to the local library once we got into town, and after working on some write-ups and scheduling for just under and hour, I suddenly realized that I was mistaken about our meeting time with Thomas Creek and it was, at that second, 15 minutes after we were supposed to be there. We raced over there and checked out the brewery for about two hours, before having to head over to Athens, GA to check out Terrapin that night. Terrapin was having a busy night with the release of a new Mosaic hop-based beer, so they told us to just hang out until afterwards when they could attend to our pesky questions. We enjoyed some music, beer, and talked with some really cool people before getting a private tour of the huge facility. Once that tour was done, we stuck around for a few hours joking around, eating pizza and enjoying a few beers with 5 or so employees. Good times for sure.

At this point, it had been a couple of days since we had a place to stay and/ or shower. We had been changing clothes, cleansing our beards, washing hands and face frequently, applying deodorant, brushing our teeth, etc, so we weren’t noticeably disgusting yet, but sweet Jesus was it awesome to arrive at Haggis’ little sister’s friend’s apartment that night and take a hot shower in a warm shelter. Haggis’ sister, Lauren, was with her husband, Eric, in town randomly at the same time as us visiting their friends at the apartment we ended up staying at. I promptly passed out face-down on the ground after my shower, as the 5 of them stayed up doing… stuff… I dunno, I was passed out. The next day the 5 of them went to the mall and ate out or something, so I stayed back at the apartment and caught up on writing all day. Lauren and Eric left Monday morning (well, tried to, but their flight didn’t actually leave until after 5pm), but Haggis and I stayed with their friends, Stacey and her fiancé Lawrence.

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[Haggis, Stacey, Lawrence, Me]

When Lawrence was about to go to work that day, Haggis and I went up to the local library (AGAIN!) until we got to go to Wrecking Bar Brewpub that night. You’ll be able to read about our visit there later, but afterwards we went to check out the Porter Beer Bar. That place had the most ridiculously extensive beer list I have ever seen; it was literally a multiple page binder that contained a vintage list of beers I have never even heard of. We chatted with some locals over some good beers there and then made our way home. The next day we went to lunch with Stacey and Lawrence at this place called Taco Mac Sports Grill where we noticed that there was a brewery called 5 Seasons next door, so we added that to our list and went there later on that day. Then things got crazy. Wednesday we were stuck inside all day due to ice. Lots of ice. The president had declared a state of emergency, so we spent most of Atlanta Icepocalypse 2.0 catching up on writing and scheduling, while the Olympics were on in the background.

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[EXTREME HAGGIS]

The next morning I woke up pretty early and noticed that it was snowing pretty hard, so I went outside and built a pretty awesomely dilapidated snowman who I named ‘Olaf,’ since we had watched the movie Frozen back in Savannah with Sarah. By noon everything was melting quickly, so we said goodbye to Stacey and Lawrence, met up with Sarah who drove up from Savannah, and made our way to Twain’s Billiard’s and Tap where we met with Ty, a random cool dude that had reached out to us through our website. After that, the four of us went to another brewpub with a ridiculous beer selection just down the street, called Brick Store Pub, and enjoyed some of the crazy craft beers they had to offer. I would like to point out that Sarah dropped her phone in the toilet, and I found it quite humorous.

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[Olaf!]

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[Some of Brick Store Pub’s Cellar]

Ty ended up heading home, so Sarah, Haggis, and I went to the hotel we split in on. It was horrible. Instead of giving us a key to the room, they gave us the security guards phone number and told us to call anytime we needed in. There were muddy footprints all over the carpet. There was no hot water. We said screw it and passed out. That was last night, and this morning the three of us made our way to Waffle House and then to Sweetwater Brewing Company. Afterwards, Haggis and I said goodbye to Sarah again, left Georgia, and made our way to Birmingham, Alabama, back in Central Standard Time. We’re now staying at the house of a woman named Becky who used to live down the street from me when I was a kid. I was good friends with her daughter back then, so it was fun catching up with her and her husband all night. And now, I’m exhausted. Time changes and full schedules are tiring, so good night!

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[Me, Sarah, and Haggis]

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