this past friday night, we gathered at beloved shot & a beer joint bob and barbara's, for a birthdy throwdown. our bestie Halimah turned 25! so in her honor, we settled in at the city-wide special watering hole for long, solid bar session. you know, one of those nights where you park it at the bar, the hours roll by, the beers keep coming, and before you know it people are talking to strangers, jovially yelling over each other and dancing to the jazz band. maybe a few friends even trade smooches on a drunk lark. the bartenders start to hate you even though you mean to spread love through your tips. i wish i could elucidate this better but it just felt very...philly.

after the majority of the friends had disbanded, ryan, hammy and i stumbled out of the bar and into the clear autumn air. tipsy, but not yet tired, someone proposed a nightcap before turning in for good. we decided to get one more at tattoo mom, mostly out of its convenient location to pizza (eep!) and home. on our bike ride down south street, i proposed a slightly classier option - brauhaus schmitz. much to my surprise, my cohorts heartily agreed to abandon our punk rock destination for the german-themed bar. something about brauhaus has always been tinged with douchiness (is it that boot thing?), or fratiness, or something, but it also has the potential to be really nice. which would it be on that saturday morning at 1:20AM?

blonde, redhead, brunette

thankfully, the meathead contingent had already retired for the evening, and the bar was pretty quiet. yeah, there were still a few questionable looking/acting young men, but we ignored them and ordered our delicious final beers of the night. i can't remember what ry and ham ordered (full disclosure: i think i acheived 2.5 out of 3 sheets to the wind), but i ordered a big, beautiful mug of spaten optimator (the dark beer on the far right in the photo above). yes, 17 ounces of this 7.2%, bottom fermented, rich and roasty malted doppel bock was a bold choice for a night cap. but after a night of mediocre lager, it tasted SO good, and i really took my time sipping. if we'd actually gone to that other bar, i certainly would've ended up gulping yet another crappy beer, and probably would've ordered a second. instead, all three of us lingered, truly enjoying the complex, deep aromas and flavors of our brews. and at $5.50, this heady bev was worth every dime.

ending our night this way felt, well, very adult. adult in the best way - a savvy, relaxing way to spend a little more time together before hitting the sack. perhaps appropriate for a quarter century b-day, eh?


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