Beer Odyssey is 99.9% about domestic craft breweries: their beers and my experiences with them. This is that other .1%.
Intro: Half Pint's birthday falls right around Christmas. As such, most people are out of town or too busy with family to help celebrate. Months ago, when she took me to my orthopedist for a broken ankle I suffered before my book tour, she spotted a Chinese restaurant next to the medical center, which is what happens when your cheapo health care provider puts you in the Chinese Community Health Care system. Anyhoo, there's a sign that's all in Chinese except for a few words in English:
"Dancing Night. $13 per person (including dinner). Live Bands with Top Singers."
Figuring people would be around 2 weeks before her b-day when she wouldn't expect it, and I've never thrown a surprise party before, I surreptitiously emailed a few of her friends. I basically said it'll either be great or it'll be so awful, it'll be great.
Skipping over the part how I finagled Half Pint to the restaurant, she was definitely surprised. I begged the host to let her do some karaoke before they cut it off since it was her b-day. We ordered way too much food. And as for how much Tsing Tao we drank? Let's just say our new friend at the table next to us, Mabel, looked at our bill and stormed into the kitchen to demand that the manager charge us the Chinese people price, not the other price, since it came to over $100. When she came back and realized they didn't gouge us--that we really had ordered that many beers, she said, "No wonder you guys are so fun."
I'll tell you what's so fun.
Line-dancing to the Pussycat Doll's "Don'tchya Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot LIke Me" with 50 Chinese seniors.
Unrelated, just to squeeze this in a post about imported beers, I stopped by the Toronado today to check out their bottle sale. Hardly a treasure trove of rare and aged beers, and none were at bargain prices (even the cashier kept announcing that some bottles could be found cheaper @ City Beer), but she did pour me a great taste of last year's Abyss (see previous post), and I did get a $12 bottle of a Belgian micro I'd never heard of, Serafijn, a golden ale called Celtic Angel. Read about the brewery and you'll see why it appealed to me.
Kong chien & Op uw gezondheid.