Yesterday, we took a road trip down to Salado, Texas, to attend the grand opening of a new microbrewery, Barrow Brewing Co. Normally, we would never drive two hours for a beer, but this was family. The owners of the brewery are Bruce’s brother’s widow’s third husband’s daughter and her husband. This makes Sharon, the mom (one of the most delightful women I’ve ever met), my sister-in-law, and Katie, the young brewery owner, my niece, by any Southern Standard. So, Family. Even if we were just meeting for the first time.
And it was an absolutely delightful day. The sun was out for the first time in weeks, and I’ve never seen Texas so green in June. As we drove up to the brewery, we saw that a very eclectic crowd had already gathered, awaiting the ribbon cutting – luckily, the bartenders were not awaiting the same – they were pouring brew as fast as they could. I opted for the tasting menu, while Bruce went straight for the Evil Catfish IPA. Each one was tasty, but our favorite was the Tipsy Monk Stout; brewed with chocolate, we were told. It didn’t have the bitterness of Guinness, while still keeping all of the flavor.
While I was standing at the bar waiting service, I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me, and, the next thing I know, he not only poured a taste of the ginger rye into one of my empty glasses, but then poured a taste of his wife’s 784 Belgium Witte for me, too! What a great guy, I thought! Later, after we bought lunch from the food trucks, we looked for a place in the shade to sit and eat – and, hey, there were the husband and wife from the bar – the friendly ones, that gave me tastes of their beer! How fortuitous! As it turns out, he is a mortician, and, as is anyone who is passionate about their calling, wanted to share his knowledge with us, so we, too, could be passionate about it. Bruce bailed out right after the gentleman explained the reason a 2 man team or a 3 man were sent out to pick up the deceased (I will let you fill that in for yourself). Did my husband come back to save me, perhaps using the excuse that he had someone he wanted to meet? No he did not. The conversation had just segued from mortuary shop talk to crazy cats, and they were searching their phone for a picture of their beloved crazy cat, when I managed to escape. I went and found Bruce and punched him. Hard.
But, back to the opening, I can’t write enough good about the brewery. Everything about it was done right, and the owners built everything themselves, to make sure of that. If you get down to Salado, stop by, tell them you know me, and they will look at you blankly and politely take your payment in full. But they will serve you a tasty brew, and, if you are lucky, some of Sharon’s spicy popcorn to keep you thirsty and coming back for more. Check them out here: http://barrowbrewing.com/