Drinks & Community
also it's almost Dry January
In 2013 a big thing happened in my life and I moved suddenly, lost all my non-family (and some family) ties, and basically changed almost everything about my life, except for my job (office life forever-gulp.)—yet, that is when I first began to find true community. At that time I was spending a lot of time by myself, mostly at home in a small but pretty okay pet-friendly apartment but I sometimes would go out for dinner and sit at a bar and eat and drink alone, I even brought books-to read at the bar.
There is a small and usually quiet community of people that eat dinner alone at a restaurant’s bar. I’m not saying I struck up conversations with anyone, I’m not good at that, then or now, but there was a good, solid, peaceful feeling knowing you were not the last person alone on earth and it was totally okay to enjoy Olive Garden or Red Lobster on a Friday evening alone-but not by yourself. There was the bartender/waiter, other people eating at the bar, and the background noise of actual socializing happening in the same room.
Also around this time I finally began spending more time in my city’s (I grew up in a small town that was/is a suburb of this “city”) downtown. Specifically, this is when I found Peeve’s Pub (now sadly closed!). My sister was actually the one to “find” it or know about it first. I believe the first time we ever went to Peeve’s together was to hear a lecture about bees, honey, and meade (tried meade for the first time!). This event was called “Cafe Scientifique” and it seemed beyond sophisticated and cool to me. After one visit I was hooked. I loved that Peeve’s was never totally crowded (unless there was a larger block-wide event happening) but never empty. The bartenders always seemed very chilled out, happy, and hard-working. Peeve’s had a different menu every week—-so not like Olive Garden in a good way (no shade to Olive Garden-I actually really crave their Zuppa Toscana at the moment). Peeve’s made their own potato chips. They had a rotating tap of local craft beers. I tried so many beers here and this is where my love for craft beers began. Peeve’s was truly a place for everyone, dogs, people with kids, people who came alone (again, with a book), people with family, people celebrating and people coming out of the absolute worst year of their life. I miss Peeve’s alot and am so grateful for everything it gave me at that time in my life.
Since about 2016 or so, I don’t do nearly as much drinking alone-this year especially, which has been different and good and for me, for the better.
Now I actually interact with people in my drinking community, usually one but sometimes whole groups of people in the before times and even a few times this year (omicron has dappened any expectations of larger gatherings in the beginning of 2022—huge bummer). I experience community at my new local favorite beer garden (actually there’s two that I love, one established and one up-and-coming), at local wineries, while visiting other California cities with friends, and most recently gathered with friends in my house for the first time since December 2019!
Of course community is more than just people to drink alcohol with, it can be shared over conversation, coffee, and/food. I can remember the first time I drank coffee from a proper teacup in this family friend’s home. It was such a charming and meaningful experience because this person had done so much for my family—things we could never repay—and it was evident to everyone that she was not long for this world (she’s been gone since early 2019). For a few hours, my sister, this woman, and I had a tiny community in her tiny living room over coffee and tea and cookies and it was perfect.
this brings me to Dry January
I’m looking forward to it. To a change, to trying new things and places. Are you trying something or giving up something drastic in the new year? Let’s send each other positive energy to accomplish at least(!) one month of something so out of the ordinary. I’ve already started a list of activities to try/do/places to visit in January that are not beer/brewery/dinner&drinks related.
a few more things…
next holiday season I really want to try making homemade eggnog, the kind where you pour in a full bottle of whiskey!
2. Excited that I now have a passport
3. Going to try to sell one vintage or thrift thing next year
And alwasy remember to