Free Beer: All You Can Drink! We are at Abita Springs Brewery for the noon tour. In true Vanstone fashion we’re early, so we hang around outside with a couple of dozen other beer lovers in the light warm rain. As we near the noon hour Robert recites us the routine. Make sure we have our purple arm bracelets on. We will be given a cup and we will pour our own beer. We can pour any beer we want and take as much as we want. If we don’t like it just dump it out in the sink, wash out our cup and pour another. After a while there will be a tour. After that there will be more free beer.
The doors open and we eagerly rush in. Single file, we line up for the taps. Marilyn chooses a Light, I go for a seasonal offering, the Spring IPA. I remind myself that I’m starting a little early today, and that someone has to drive home. They tell us there will be 2 videos and then a tour. We are all doing what we all do when you offer a group free beer. Everybody meeting everybody and becoming new old friends.
We line up for our 7 minute tour of the plant and move out to an area surrounded by huge stainless steel containers. An employee stands on a ladder, and with microphone in hand does his pitch. No one can hear a word he says until he yells “Who wants more free beer?” Miraculously, every single person on the tour hears that and we all cheer loudly.
“Free Beer! All You can drink!” he yells.
Back to the tasting room we all go, cups in hand and line up at the taps. Marilyn refreshes her Light, I try Andygator. We meet more fellow beer drinkers(including our next door neighbors from the RV park who we get to know really well, really quickly) from all over the globe. Mar and I are the only ones from Canada so it’s Cheers to that , more than once.
Marilyn offers to drive so I tap an Abbey Ale, another great beer. While I’m pouring Marilyn buys herself a cool looking t-shirt and a hat for me, but nothing for the dogs as she frugally passes on the Turbodog dog collars and leashes.
At 12:55 they give us last call and soon we are out and another excited group is in for their turn at the taps.
Now its early afternoon, I’ve had 3 beers (two of them 8%) I need food. In keeping with the day for lunch we choose the Abita Brew Pub where once again we meet up with our RV park neighbors. Debbie and Donna both live and work in the area. While we sip and chew, we talk about Katrina,fishing, camping and Canadian health care, a very popular topic down here when we say we are Canadian. We learn that Donna is an engineer working for NASA.
By now, with my burger I’ve had 2 more beer and I’m done, I need a snooze.
” It is better to think of church in the ale- house than to think of ale in church”-Martin Luther
Bottoms up! And Safe Travels my friends.