Athens, Georgia – belly of the beast
I normally don’t venture out for dinner during the week. Seeing as how I usually try to climb in bed by 10. This means I’m fixing my lunch and prepping the coffee maker by 9. Or sneaking off to bed and leaving it for Sarah. Only bad thing is, with all this prep work, 10 usually becomes 11, which sometimes turns into 12. Which makes it really difficult to slap the snooze button at 5:30 the next morning. Again at 5:39, next at 5:49, followed by 5:59. Why does iPhone snooze in 9 minute intervals? So after rough back to back days at work, and severely missing Sarah being at home Wednesday night, I hunger for a fresh pint and some hot wings. During warm months I won’t typically have a beer during the week since work resembles too much of the inside of an oven. But what’s a pint or two?
One of my favorites is Copper Creek Brewery. Athens only brewpub. They have daily specials, with $2 pints on Tuesday and $.35 wings on Thursday being right up my alley. They always offer four types of in-house brewed beers. Going from light to dark and always offering a porter or stout as the dark. So on a not so recent Thursday we wonder on down. We arrive and I’m excited that there is a Kolsch on the menu. The picture is from a previous visit. The IPA was good that day. So we’re quickly seated by a familiar waitress, since unfortunately the bar was full. She quickly points out that due to the North Georgia United Methodist conference being in town all week, they are out of wings. Well damn! So we sip on our pints and decide where we want to have dinner.
We hop-skip a block down Washington St. to Trappeze pub. If craft beer in beautiful downtown Athens is a beast. Trappeze is the belly of the beast!
While we had visited Trappeze on several other occasions, we were always greeted with poor service. The lastest of those visits we were shocked by how well the ‘bar side’ of this establishments runs as opposed to the ‘food side’. We were out on a night after concluding a business conference at work all week. The single bartender easily handled the full bar along with the 10 – 15 of us, with the majority being made of heavy handed foreigners. I reminded Sarah that they’re menu was recently updated with some new items. One being an Angus burger, and another being fish’n’chips. Nice enough that Sarah loves burgers and I love fish. After browsing through the three pages of draft offerings I decide to go with a Heavy Seas Beer Red Sky At Night saison. Sarah joins me once hearing the description. They quickly find their way to our table via the owner. Who I recognized from pictures, but couldn’t call his name, so I didn’t bother speaking. Other than a pleasant thank you ofcourse.
After sipping on our saison and enjoying the fruitness and aroma of the beer, our dishes arrive. The angus burger looks fabulous. Sarah couldn’t decide if it was a frozen patty or not. I tried to convince her it wasn’t, but she wasn’t sure still. Yet I get drilled that I’m too picky, ha! I almost don’t want to eat the fish’n’chips since the plate looked great. The fish was complimented well with a very good, spicy jalapeno tartar sauce. The saison paired well with my meal. Not sure how it went with the burger, but her beer was done before mine. So it must have been quite alright. I hope these items stay on the menu from here on out. I hope the service remains as good also. Not sure if I should blame the good service on the fact that it’s Summer time and UGA is on low population or not. I mentioned the three pages of draft offerings already. Not diverse enough for you. Try 39 pages of bottled beers. No domestics on the list either. While the food only makes up the front side of one page, it’s a good solid list. Choices like Terrapin bread and beer cheddar soup, along with your normal brats and a pulled pork bbq sandwich. If you ever wonder what that ‘other’ place is that always finds itself next to Trappeze on billboards around Athens. It’s Highwire Lounge, located basically behind Trappeze on Clayton Street. It too offers a diverse, albeit smaller list of craft beers. Looking for something without hops? Their long list of high end hand mixed cocktails will please any non beer drinker.
I mentioned Summer in Athens. The time when Athens really shows why it’s often voted high among the lists of where to live. It’s not for the ever popular fall football Saturdays, when the cities population grows by some near 100,000 people. It’s Summer, when you can enjoy what the city has to offer without fighting the crowds of college kids trying to enjoy it all with you. Athens has long been known as a college town with vast amount of bars offering cheap domestic beer. It’s soon becoming a college town with vast about of bars offering cheap domestic beer and a laundry list of great affordable craft beer options as well. I’m not going to list all the places just yet. I’ll tell you about them as I revisit them all. Enjoy your Summer and your craft beer.